Athenian Grill opening Tuesday July 22nd
As the subject says... the long awaited grand opening of Athenian Grill at their new location on 6th (just west of Congress) will be tomorrow, Tuesday July 22nd.
We stopped by there today and the owner or a relative thereof gave us a tour. The decor inside is way upscale now, and that is somewhat reflected in their prices as well. Most of the lunch plates seem to have gone up about a dollar from their old menu. However, most of the selections are unchanged from their old menu - why mess with success, right?
I'm looking forward to a pot roast plate and some chicken lemon soup!
Went at 10:58 this morning. I think I was the first customer though someone was ordering pot roast in front of me (was it pwang?) but I made it to the register with my Athenian Combo salad first. My salad was about $1.50 more than last time, totaling $10.75 with tax and no drink. Seems like I used to walk out for $9 even.
Seems like a nice setup, and I'm sure it will be successful - there was 30 or so people in line by the time I left at 11:05. Or maybe it was just a bunch of people hoping to get free food....
Quality was the same, portion was the same, and I noticed some of the same workers and a few different ones.
I'll return but the 10.75 stings a bit - I wish they did half portions as I really don't need that much. I might have to drop it from a once a week deal to a once every two week treat. I try to limit my lunch to $7 or so.
I'll have to try the dinner service sometime - looked like a nice dining room and the way they did the lunch line around the back of the bar was smart.
I think $7 is a little on the low side, but for around $8 you can eat at:
Wahoo's Fish Tacos
And there's the chains:
Wiki Wiki Teryaki
And, although it is not that close to downtown, you can usually find a willing body to go pick up a large group order from:
El Pollo Regio (on Riverside)
This is, of course, by no means a comprehensive list...
Yeah I was the sucker waiting 15 minutes for the pot roast plate. Congrats on being the first to the checkout register! :)
I think that with their higher prices, they're going to have to do some sort of smaller serving deal in the $7-$8 range. Spending $10 or $11 (before tip) is asking a lot of folks, especially given the current economic environment.
I had dinner last night around 6. The good: the food is still delicious. The bad: the awesome side salad is an additional charge of $4.50, and all the entree prices have been raised $2 along with appetizers $1 or so. We were regulars for about 2 years before the closing, so when we chatted with the owner for a bit and commented to the waitress on the salad not coming with the entree, it seemed as though our salads were comped last night, because they weren't on the check. That saved us $13.50.
I love the salads, but $4.50 for a side salad portion that used to come with entrees is too much, especially when the cost of an entree has risen $2. I guess I'll be going in for lunch instead of dinner.
Just returned from dinner and, while the food is delicious, the prices are pretty outrageous. $17 for the Trio Kebab plate gets you two chunks of lamb, two chunks of chicken, and two medium shrimp with some lackluster rice and humus. The chicken and shrimp really were outstanding, but it didn't feel like a $17 plate of food. For that price you'd expect either better presentation, a soup/salad, or something. The tzaziki appetizer was $7. The veggie plate was $15. It feels very expensive. We got out of Vespaio for less (2 pizzas and a salad) last night.
I hope they'll consider putting some of the lunch-priced options on the dinner menu because the food is tasty. But at those prices, I won't be going there often.
We went at lunch yesterday. Before they closed & moved, we were completely smitten with this place. But not so much for me after yesterday. I think my coworkers were still pretty happy, although the prices are all $10+ before tax now, so about $2 higher across the board. I, however, am vegetarian & the veg plate options are really limited now. Used to be 2 fantastic combo options, each with rice & a main dish, salad or soup, hummus or grape leaves, etc. Now their veg plate is supposed to have hummus, tourlou, salad, steamed vegetables, and cheese pie (not nearly as good a combo as they used to allow - I love the lima beans they used to offer). Perhaps they're working out the kinks, but what I got was hummus (good), spinach pie (eh), salad (good), a big blob of tzaziki sauce (good, but not exactly an integral part of my meal), and a large helping of broccoli, carrots & a hint of cauliflower drizzled VERY lightly in a very slight/mild seasoning blend - no rice or tourlou at all. Now, I like tzaziki & love broccoli, but I will not be spending $11 for that again.
The owner told one of my friends that they welcome suggestions, so I plan to submit a comment asking, nay, begging them to bring back the old combos, or at least a mash-up of the two. Otherwise, I sadly must write Athenian Grill off my Most-Favoritest Restaurants list. Sigh. (Why do changes to "more healthful food" always hit the vegetarians the hardest?? I know, I know - don't answer that. But I'm not veg for health & veg food doesn't have to mean a big plate of barley and zucchini. Athenian used to know that & hopefully will remember soon!)
I'm surprised by all the negative comments here. This restaurant has only been open 2 days. You have to give them some space to get the kinks out.
As for the prices, you can't compare to the prices two years ago--food prices have gone up 20%+ since then. What I'm curious about is it is a bargain for downtown? I'm guessing that is. $10 lunches and $20 dinners are relatively cheap for downtown, non-fastfood.
I only went to Athenian Grill once in its old location and enjoyed it but was not amazed. I look forward to giving them a try in their next few weeks.
re: Carter B.
Oh we still love them.
I am curious about the 20% figure, though. I haven't noticed prices going up that much at Louie's 106, Mekong, the Belmont, Kyoto, Koriente, or even Marakesh. I agree about $20 dinners being cheap for downtown but $10 lunches are a hair bit on the expensive side.
Then again I recently started cooking a lot more, so maybe I can afford to splurge every now and then. :)
I just went for lunch today and it is as good as it ever was. They have raised the prices, but I couldn't really feel it when the bill came and if there was any other downtown, or Austin for that matter, Greek food that even comes close to this place then maybe you could complain about the prices. Go early, Go often!