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Oct 30, 2007 12:54 PM

Cheap Greek near Downtown?

A buddy of mine is coming into downtown tomorrow and wanted to grab a Gyro or other greek for lunch. Since the Athenian Grill is now closed, I don't know where to take him. From my research on Chowhound the closest places I'm seeing are Arpeggio on airport, Phoencia on S. Lamar, and Milto's up by campus. I've previously been to Marakesh on Congress, so I wanted to try something else.

I couldn't find a menu for Milto's online - what is the lunch menu like? Atmosphere is not important....

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  1. Gyros, suvlaki, panakopitas, salads. Also pizzas, pasta etc. I love everything on their Greek menu and dislike their pizza. By the way their cakes are not bad either.

    2 Replies
    1. re: threecats

      Would you recommend the greek food at Milto's over the other places I mentioned?

      1. re: LakeLBJ

        I did not try Arpeggio yet, so am unsure. Phoenicia is still my favorite for Middle Eastern food, I never even noticed they have specifically Greek dishes. Anyhow Phoenicia on S. Lamar is nicer than on Burnet, but you just pick up your food there and go. My experience in Phoenicia in general is that you cannot go wrong there with traditional Middle Eastern food. But whenever they try to do something more adventurous, it does not work very well.

    2. The schwarmas at Phoenicia (I usually go to the one on Burnet Road) are great. They have several dozen things on their menu that I've tried only a few of. Everything I've had has been very good. Used to like Milto's a lot but haven't been in years.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Jim Washburn

        The traditional sandwiches at Phoenicia are amazing too! Their french bread is great. One of my favorites is the Prosciutto. And they're all cheap as well. My friends and I go get sandwiches and take them to Auditorium Shores on nice days. The tabouli and hummus aren't bad if you want to split some to go with your sandwich too.

        1. re: foodiegal71

          Try their cheese bread. It's on a flat bread which is not like a pita, but more like a large crumpet. Hot, very rich, and tasty - a great deal for only $2. IMO. I always get one before I go to the dentist across the street (which has been a lot lately).

      2. I like Milto's a lot. Have had souvlaki and gyro several times. The greek salad is great, and they serve it with these addictive knotted rolls that I think are made from their pizza dough. They have a small parking lot but it's often a mess to get in and out of.

        Campus Food has a copy of the menu:

        1 Reply
        1. re: mkwng

          Thanks for the menu link! I think I'm going to take my buddy there for lunch.

        2. I actually like Milto's more than Phoenicia, but that's personal tastes I think. Gyro there is probably the best I've ever had. Love the fluffy pita and the sauce has just the right kick. Agree that the side salad with the house dressing is a must...those knot rolls ARE addictive.

          1. Follow Up:
            I did go to Milto's yesterday with my friend. Did they change the sign or has it always said Meditteranean Cafe and not Milto's on the sign? Well, it says Milto's, but in really small letters....
            Anyway, it was a decent experience. We went at noon and it was actually dead. I ordered the small house salad with house dressing and the Souvlaki. The souvlaki was wrapped up in foil and a fluffy pita held tender pieces of sirloin steak in a tangy sauce and veggies. My friend ordered the gyro. He said it was good, the gyro meat looked like any gyro meat I've seen at any other greek place. (I'm assuming that gyro meat is bought from a vendor like Sisco - I doubt most places make it from scratch, right?). My salad was $3.10 and the Souvlaki was $5.25, so with tax it was just over $9 with water. The salad was very appetizing in appearance - fresh vegetables, pepperoni, cheese, and a garlic knot on top. I wasn't wild about the house dressing - it was ok but not my style. I'll try another dressing next time. I thoguht it had a bitter taste to it, I recently purchased some Annie's Naturals Green Garlic dressing and it tasted almost identical to that. The service was friendly.
            Overall, I'll be back....until Athenian Grill re-opens in downtown. For $9, Athenian offers a gyro with twice the meat and veggies, and they include your choice of soup or salad.

            I've been in Austin for 3 years and I'm trying to hit all the food in Austin that's been around for 20+ years - next stop is the Frisco Shop before it moves.

            4 Replies
            1. re: LakeLBJ

              Thanks for the report.

              I think you're right about gyro meat being outsourced. Nearly every single place that slings gyros gets them from a vendor -- granted, there are varying tiers of product, and you can also send them your custom-designed recipe (even better) for the loaf, but they're all essentially the same. Timing is key when you order you gyros, I find. All the generic gyros are still tasty to me (if they've had a chance to caramelize up a bit), but man, gyros made in-house can be something else. Probably non-existent here in Austin, but I'd love to know if it's out there.

              1. re: LakeLBJ

                Lale LBJ, is the Athenian Grill actually going to reopen, or was that just an off-hand comment?
                I really loved that place and could not figure out how it closed in the first place with the vast lunch crowd it attracted.

                1. re: chowbandit


                  I randomly saw the owner walking down Congress Ave. about a month after the original location closed. He said they were going to reopen in the fall and that they were looking at two locations - I know one of them being in that building at Brazos and 8th where they are redoing it into a Loft buidling. I can't remember the other possible location. Either way it looks like they've missed their opening mark but I can't see him not re-opening it.

                  1. re: LakeLBJ

                    In this thread about Athenian Grill - - someone said the lease at 8th & Brazos fell through, and someone else links to an article in the ABJ that says Athenian Grill will reopen in One American Center (6th and Congress) at an undetermined date (est. March '08?)