Athens is great for a little taste of Persia
There’s just something about seeing Mr. Salehi and his family preparing tasty Greek food behind the counter at Athens. It’s like going home for lunch. You know the people preparing your food, and it’s comfortable while you wait. The TV is always on, and today we even had Christmas music playing over the TV, which was even better. Many times there are two or three squad cars full of Bethany police officers eating in too. Plus all the other regulars. In fact, some days at peak lunchtime, you might have to wait for a table. But if you combine two tables for a large group, be sure you put everything back like you found it. They like that. Yep, Athens is one of the few great restaurant finds in the Bethany area.
The Salehis arrived in the U.S. 30 years ago from Iran, or ancient Persia. They have been serving up their own recipes for 11 years now, and I think they have the absolute best gyro meat in town. Remember as a kid when you went to Long John Silver’s and the best thing about the meal was the crunchy tidbits of batter in the bottom of the basket? Well, Athens has the same type of thing, only the crunchy tidbits in the bottoms of their baskets are tasty bits of gyro meat. This is why I think their meat is the best – somehow or another, Mr. Salehi knows how to get his gryo meat crunchy, and it’s fabulous.
These crunchy little tidbits come on the Greek platter, which is my favorite dish. It’s a combination of shaved gyro meat, pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and their own homemade meat dip, which is a kind of yogurt dip with yummy seasonings. And in fact, they have recently improved on this – today it was very creamy with extra seasonings. I recommend the Greek platter because you can make mini-gyros with it instead of the great big huge regular-sized gyro that, in my opinion, is hard to eat. My husband, on the other hand, likes the big, huge gyro, as it is more of a big, meaty, manly man sandwich. I order a side of their homemade tabouli to top off my platter, which is just right. But if you order the regular-sized gyro, you can get the lunch combo that comes with fries and a drink.
If you’re not into gyro meat (my Mom can’t stand the thought of eating “a sweet little innocent lamb”), Athens also serves great grilled chicken, other types of sandwiches and even great tasting old-fashioned grilled hamburgers and big, thick fries. In fact, sometimes we just go for the burgers. If you’re not a meat person, they also have a good three-salad combo which is made up of the Persian salad, Greek salad and tabouli. And there’s always a tray of freshly made baklava on the counter for dessert.
This is a great place. One of the guys I work with eats lunch here almost every day, and one of my best friends and I use Athens to talk about work strategies. It’s where we go when we really need to talk and solve all of our workplace problems. One tip before you go, don’t park on the west side of the building. The silly loan place next door has posted rude signs that they’ll have you towed if you do. Only park east.