I LOVE Greek restaurants.
I am old. I remember Lexington’s great Greek restaurants, Levas’s, Grecian Gardens, and Stanley Demos’s. Then for decades, no Greek restaurant after those until Claire and Tommy Karalis had a tiny part of their American menu devoted to three or four Greek items. Then for ten more years, no Greek restaurant.
NOW, however, Greek Ilias Pappas has opened this Athenian Grill near to StarBucks in Chevy Chase. The other reviewers have already told you about all the other menu items. But I’m going to tell you about an obscure, wonderful Greek appetizer. For the first time in 40 years you can get saganaki cheese in Lexington again. Sounds Japanese, doesn’t it? It is pure Greek. I LOVE saganaki. It is a special hard white cheese that is coated with something, maybe egg, then cooked at high temperature, then doused with brandy tableside, lighted (whereupon every one yells festively, “Opa!”, then it is extinguished with half of a lemon. The salty hot cheese, brandy and lemon tastes explode into a wonderful YUM on your taste buds. Oh Apollo! Sometimes I go to a Greek restaurant and tell the waiter, “Just bring saganaki’s every 15 minutes until I tell you to stop.”
Well, Athenian Grill can’t provide the brandy, or “Opa” or fire (Too many attorney’s these days, I guess), but if you taste hot saganaki with a squeeze of lemon, you’ll be hooked. You will thank me later.
I’ve met Ilias, and his lovely parents Maria and “George” and his aunt Louisa. What lovely people. They are all very devout Christians, as are almost all Greeks. It is nice to have Mediterranean food in a Christian friendly environment. I hope soon they will get a wine license.
Here’s links to the restaurant: https://www.facebook.com/AthenianGrilllex . http://www.atheniangrilllex.com/
And here are just some of the menu items:
garbanzo beans, tahini, Lemon juice, extra virgin greek olive oil, paprika and cyprus black sea salt.
ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS (TAHINOSALATA KOKKINI PIPERIA)|
garbanzo beans, florinis roasted red peppers, tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin greek olive oil, paprika and cyprus black sea salt.
SPINACH PIE (SPANAKOPITA) This is amazing. Even if you hate spinach you should try this! Yum.
phillo dough, fresh organic spinach, feta cheese, green onion, leeks, olive oil, pink salt and black pepper, served with tomatoes, cucumber and onions.
served with pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet onions and tzatziki sauce.
LAMB GYRO - BEEF GYRO - CHICKEN GYRO - VEGETARIAN GYRO
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