Lunch with Brian

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Athenian Grill, April 29, 2009

Athenian Grill is in the heart of downtown Austin with no parking, so we parked on the street. We were lucky... someone had left 24 minutes on the parking meter, so it didn't cost as many quarters as usual.

There are good things and bad things about Athenian Grill. One bad thing is the setup. It looks cafeteria style, but it's a hybrid between cafeteria style and counter ordering style. You get in line to get a drink first. The tea dispenser comes before the ice dispenser which means you either have to backtrack to do things in order, or you have to get your tea and then let it splash when you get your ice. Since we got there early, there wasn't a line of people, so I was able to backtrack for the tea.

The second station is the part that looks like a cafeteria where you can see the food behind some glass. But there's a menu above that you order from. Each item has the name of the meal and a picture. Brian was ahead of me, and I heard him ask the difference between the Combo Platter and the Athenian Sampler. As I walked toward the food ordering station, the server asked me what I wanted. It annoyed me that I was asked what I wanted before I even had a chance to look at the menu. I probably sounded testy when I said, "I'm not ready to order yet. I haven't even looked at the menu." I hope he didn't spit in my food.

After looking at the menu, I also wanted to know the difference between the Combo Platter and the Athenian Sampler. The server muttered something unintelligible, so I just took a chance and ordered the Combo Platter. Later, I found that Brian chose the same dish, and I asked him what the the server said the difference was. He said he didn't know, either, because he couldn't understand the server. At least you can say the service is consistent.

The Combo Platter had chicken and gyro meat with salad, spanikopita (a spinach pastry), rice pilaf and a pita. The portions are huge, and we always eat too much when we go there.

Some good things about Athenian Grill are:

  • You don't get held hostage at the end of the meal waiting for the bill because you pay up front.
  • The gyro and chicken meat are fantastic.
  • There's no shortage of food on the Combo Platter.
  • They give you extra Tzatiki sauce for free if you ask for it.
  • It's fun to say Tzatiki!

While we ate, we discussed the swine flu pandemic. That made me think of the neti pot I bought recently, so I asked Brian if he'd heard of them. Brian says his brother Hunt uses one. If you're unfamiliar with the neti pot, it's a contraption that allows you the clean out your nose and sinuses with saline water. I told him I'd started using one, but I wasn't sure if it really helped, but I kinda thought it did. He asked me if any twigs came out of my nose when I used it.

We both like Athenian Grill. It's probably a good idea to study the menu and know what you want ahead of time, so be sure the visit their presence on the interwebs before you go. And be sure to look up when you get there. They have bubbles flowing down from their ceiling.

Athenian Grill light fixture that looks like bubbles falling from the sky

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