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Jul 26, 2007 03:37 PM

Athens Grill - Toms River

I tried this new greek restaurant for lunch today. Its located in the same shopping center as El Familiar - Stella Towne Center off of Route 166 in Toms River. The space while small and sparsely decorated was casual and comfortable. Myself and my co-diners ordered pretty much the same thing. We started with an order of Tzatziki and nicely grilled pita (cool, creamy and wonderful) and then proceeded to have a traditional greek salad with a nice skewer of chicken souvalaki. The salad was delicious (consisting of garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta, black olives and stuffed grape leaves in a very light dressing) while the chicken was perfectly seasoned and juicy. A tell tale sign of the quality of this restaurant was the feta and the stuffed grape leaves. Both tasted fresh and homemade. We eneded the meal with a nice large piece of homemade baklava and a plate of sliced watermellon compliments of the house. This place is sure winner and a welcome addition to the barren wasteland known as the TR restaurant scene.

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    1. I work in TR and will definitely be checking this out. In fact, someone dropped a menu at the office today...looks great.

      "The barren wasteland known as the TR restaurant scene"!! I couldn't agree more. :)

      3 Replies
      1. re: MartiniQueen

        Me too. I got one dropped off at my office. It looked so good I had to go. Other office mates went today and loved it too. BTW, I had a wonderful lunch at Bistro 44 today. I usually get the daily special chef salad and today was no exception. It was a perfectly cooked tilapia with mixed green, dried cranberries, mandarin orange segments and spiced walnuts. As usual it was excellent. Have you tried Bistro 44 yet? One of the only other brights spots here in TR.

        1. re: bgut1

          Haven't tried Bistro 44 yet, but it's on my list...and within walking distance of the office so I have no excuse. Their menu was posted outside when we were at the car show and it does look wonderful.

          I'd be interested in your opinion of Villa Amalfi...we've had several excellent meals there.

          1. re: MartiniQueen

            Hi Matini - We must be around the corner from each other. While I've never been to Amalfi, several of my co-workers have and commented favorably. Sorry but that's all I have about that one. With regard to Bistro 44, you defintiely have to try it. Trust me you will not be sorry.

      2. After going to El Familiar numerous times, decided to try Athens Grill. What a great find in a strip mall. The staff was extremely friendly and family-oriented. The owner stopped at our table to introduce himself and explain the menu. We started with the spinach pie and cheese pie triangles and also the meatballs - all three were outstanding and fresh. Likewise the greek salad was just as fresh and tasty. The stuffed grape leaves were some of the best I've ever tasted. We then split an orzo platter with gyro and pork. The orzo was not over-cooked and had a nice buttery taste. Both meats were well-seasoned and moist. The dessert menu was a bit difficult to make a single choice. The filo dough with a warm custard was perfect on a cool night. The chocolate cake with mousse was delicious, but a bit on the sweet side. All in all a good meal. I will be adding this restaurant to my list of regulars.

        1. Coincidentally, I stopped by at Athens Grill just last week for lunch ... my first visit since last summer. There's a new (and I believe more extensive) menu and new people running the place. See details at their web site:

          One of my favorites from last year was the "greek pizza" - spinach and feta on a grilled pita, which has undergone a bit of a renovation and is more spinach-y and less feta-y than I recall. Still good, but I think I preferred the old recipe.

          I tried a new dip called tyrokafteri: mild hot pepper and feta cheese. I thougt that was very good.

          Athens Grill
          1222 Route 166, Toms River, NJ 08753

          1. I went to Athens Grill prior the change of the owners. The previous owners, George and Tina were very nice and the food was great! I enjoyed the food and the company, the stuffed grape leaves were excellent! The food was surely home made then and Tina told me how they made them,,,,I sometimes stopped by for a greek coffee in the past and I visit there once after the new owner took over, yearning for a greek coffee and the lady(not sure if she is part time) gave me an attitude since I just wanted a greek coffee to go! The funniest thing was that there was only one customer only! Then, the customer actually complained about the taste of the food...I did not taste the food so I am not going to comment on that but it was the attitude of the server/cashier that kind of put me off and I have not stepped in there after that! Anyway, your article made me want to go back and give it another try!