Friday, April 3, 2009

Cafe Athena; Greek in PB

Josh took me out to lunch this week in exchange for a haircut. We perused Yelp for awhile, trying to decide between Greek, Thai, and BBQ. Greek won.

We drove down the street to Cafe Athena, located at 1846 Garnet Ave in the heart of Pacific Beach. Josh is a total foodie like me too, so we tend to order a lot and share everything. We started out with the hummus.

Very very good hummus, actually some of the best I've had at a restaurant in San Diego. For our entrees Josh and I ordered the Gyros Plate and the Riganato.

I started mine with a Greek salad. Their dressing is on the creamier side of a vinaigrette, but still very good, while their feta had a less "crumbly" consistency which I really enjoyed. I would have preferred a grape or cherry tomato instead of the sliced hot house ones I got, and a few more olives could have helped, but overall a decent salad.

The Gyros plate arrived with beautiful long strips of meat, tender rice pilaf (though I saw no orzo) and Briami, which is basically Zucchini and Eggplant in a tomato sauce. The Briami was a first for me, but really good. Their tzatziki was TO DIE FOR, thick with lots of cucumber shreds in it to give it a nice rustic texture.

The Riganato was fall off the bone tender, and came with these very interesting "Lemon Potatoes" which are kinda like home fries with lemon on them, the Briami and a garlic aioli on the side that was delicious. I hate mayo, so aiolis are very hit or miss with me, but this hardly felt like a mayo. In fact Josh and I forgot what it was until we double checked the menu.

As far as Greek places go, this one is near the top of the list and a definite must try if you like Mediterranean food. I will totally go here again and get a bit more adventurous with my choices next time, but we felt for a first time place, if they can get the basics right, they deserve another shot.

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