Sexy Feast: Deli Shez Serves Up Some Sexual Gyros

In the midst of a preponderance of pie-eating–which was about to include the Triple Coconut Cream Pie at Dahlia Bakery–I needed something savory to justify the sugar rush ahead of me. Spotting a sandwich board promoting Deli Shez Cafe a block away, I said the name of the café aloud several times before getting the “delicious” joke.

Would the gyro be delishez? I ordered one with lamb. It came with the usual accoutrements: lettuce, tomato, onion, feta, and tzatziki on pita bread. Not bad. Better than the falafel sandwich I tried, with garbanzo bean patties that were a little too dry. (This was my first falafel sandwich since eating an amazing one at L’As du Fallafel in Paris, so it was apt to fall far short.) Compared to other gyros I’ve tried over the years, just so-so.

So what does Deli Shez Café’s gyro teach us about sex?

It’s all about gyro/hero worship.

I once knew a guy who was crazy for gyros. Wherever he lived, he had to try all the gyros in town. And when he traveled, he did the same, albeit in a short amount of time. He idolized the sandwich, truly looking up to it. Really. I once saw him hold a sandwich in the air and say to it, “You’re the best.”

I wasn’t held in the air, but someone recently called me his hero. This student had come to hear my sex lecture at his campus three times and said “it changed my life for the better.” His words felt funny, but ultimately flattering.

In a week in which we honor our veterans and find ourselves reflecting on first responders in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, I find myself thinking about heroes. Taking nothing away from the previously mentioned people, teachers are my heroes. As the good ones give their lives in dedication to helping others and creating a better world in the future, I believe teachers should get increased pay, a holiday named after them, and the chance to board airplanes first.

Those working in the field of sexual health are typically teachers of some sort (whether working with individuals in examination/counseling rooms, groups in classrooms, or the public at-large), and they’re all heroes to me. I think of the doctors and clinicians who cross picket lines to provide abortion services–as well as services to prevent the need for abortion–like Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Kansas who was murdered for his work. I think of sexual health activists and advocates like Sandra Fluke, who Republicans refused to let testify in health insurance hearings (about birth control) earlier this year, and who Rush Limbaugh called a slut. I think of those in the field helping to educate others, like Wedad Lootah, an Emirati marriage counselor who writes and teaches in the Islamic world–even in the face of death threats.

And I think of the many people who have educated and mentored me over the years. They are my heroes. If I can help others as they have helped me, I’ll be flattered to be a hero. I’d like to help create a world in which Savita Halappanavar doesn’t die because she’s denied a life-saving abortion in Ireland. A world in which people can marry and make a life together regardless of sexual orientation. (After the recent election, that’s looking good!) And a world in which my students say I’ve changed their lives for the better.

That world would be “delishez.”

First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on November 15, 2012.

Deli Shez Cafe on Urbanspoon

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