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Athens Bakery: great way to start Saturday - other one-dish niche spots ?

Bigtigger Jun 13, 2009 08:28 AM

I happened to have a very early errand in the Beach this morning, so on the way back to mid-town, I stopped at the Athens Bakery just as it opened at 9 am - easy parking on the Danforth at that hour.

The filled flaky pastry treats for which the two friendly but efficient female proprietors are justly famed were just out of the oven; so they filled a box for me with cheese and spinach, meat and custard pastries, conveniently cut into six bite-sized portions each. Two orders of each (so 12 x 3 pieces) came to $19.80, Carefully packed so that the sugar and cinnamon custard squares didn't leach flavour into the meat and veggie ones, the box and wrapping kept them warm until I returned home after another 90 minutes of errands. As always, they are delicious, and remain totally flaky, not soggy. My dinner guests will enjoy the rest for appetizers tonight (If I fend off other predators durimg the day lol). NB - CASH only !

I think of the Athens as a niche place that does one thing, and does it very well. (you can also purchase various coffees and teas - but that's about it.) What other examples are there in TO of equally commendable one-and-one-only-dish restaurants/caf├ęs ?

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    Smachnoho RE: Bigtigger Jun 13, 2009 11:05 AM

    I have been going to Athens Bakery since 1984. Great place & great food to take out. better than any of the other Greek places on the Danforth.
    It is a great place to "eat-in" too with a Greek Coffee after grocery shopping on the Danforth.
    I have never ever been kicked out even spending way too long chatting with friends.
    The bathroooms are always clean too.

    1. g
      Greekfood Koukla RE: Bigtigger Jun 13, 2009 11:16 AM

      Agree. They are the best.

      However I went to Akropolis today for the first time (their warehouse is open to the public on Saturdays only from 10-2pm) and bought a couple cases of bougatsa (custard phyllo pie) and tiropites (cheese phyllo pie). You bake them at home. So, I'd like to compare the flavour and quality.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Greekfood Koukla
        julesrules RE: Greekfood Koukla Jun 14, 2009 06:03 AM

        Is this the same as the Akropolis restaurant east of Pape? They are closer to me than Athens Bakery and I love their spanakopita and tiropites (square, spiral or cigar, baked or unbaked... all delish) . I order the cigars for parties all the time and they are always a hit.

        1. re: julesrules
          Smachnoho RE: julesrules Jun 14, 2009 07:32 AM

          Wow! I would love to try that.
          What is the address please.

        2. re: Greekfood Koukla
          berbere RE: Greekfood Koukla Jun 14, 2009 08:05 AM

          oooh, can you share the address of the Akropolis warehouse? looove their spanakopitas...

          1. re: berbere
            Greekfood Koukla RE: berbere Jun 14, 2009 10:54 AM


            746 Warden Ave., Unit 4
            Tel: 416-615-2774


            Their warehouse is open to the public on Saturdays only and I think it's either 10am or 11am until 2pm. But you might want to call to confirm hours.

            1. re: Greekfood Koukla
              embee RE: Greekfood Koukla Jun 14, 2009 11:12 AM

              I'm definitely a fan of Athens, which produces some delicious pastry within its clearly defined niche.

              Akropolis, at least on Danforth, not so much.

              1. re: embee
                Greekfood Koukla RE: embee Jun 14, 2009 11:23 AM

                Yes I'm definitely with you. This is when in the dead of summer (if we ever get there...) when it's hot and I don't want to cook anything and I don't have any of my own in the freezer, it's a nice quick snack. But it is not in my opinion, the same as Athens. The phyllos is definitely different--the Akropolis reminds me more of a store-bought phyllo, whereas the Athens version reminds me of a homemade phyllo, a little thicker and a little moister. I find the Akropolis to be a bit of a drier product and sometimes brush with butter, especially the tiropites (cheese). But again in a pinch, and just so I don't have to do it, it works ok. I think the warehouse prices are also a bit cheaper than the retail on Danforth.

                1. re: Greekfood Koukla
                  embee RE: Greekfood Koukla Jun 14, 2009 11:30 AM

                  Speaking from hearsay:

                  Athens makes their own phyllo
                  Akropolis phyllo contains shortening (how weird is that?)

                  Speaking from experience:

                  Athens pastries have been the same (other than in price) for decades.

                  If Akropolis (or Donlands, Select, or even Serano) ever use butter in their products, my tastebuds don't notice it

                  1. re: embee
                    Greekfood Koukla RE: embee Jun 14, 2009 12:47 PM

                    Not sure if it was clear, but *I* brush with the butter because it's so dry. Didn't want to imply that they use it because I don't think they do. Now if they use shortening, that's interesting and probably would keep me from buying again, but I'll take a look at the ingredients list and see. Thx.

                    Oh, and it's not heresay, Athens *does* make their own phyllo!

                    1. re: embee
                      julesrules RE: embee Jun 14, 2009 04:55 PM

                      I don't think there is butter or shortening in the Akropolis product. I actually don't miss the butter, which is surprising because I do love butter. I think I must have hit Athens on a bad day, years ago, but I'm happy with Akropolis.

                      1. re: julesrules
                        dvst8u RE: julesrules Aug 6, 2009 03:21 PM

                        Funny I just bumped into this thread, I've actually worked with both products over the last few years from a distribution perspective and I can tell you that the Akropolis brand is much healthier from a nutritional standpoint. First off I've been to and seen both facilities and they both make their own phyllo. Secondly, both Akropolis and Athens use shortening in their products - you can't make a good phyllo without it. The difference between the two is that Akropolis uses a non-hydrogenated shortening which contains 0 trans fat while Athens utilizes the cheaper hydrogenated shortening which is loaded with the unhealthy fats. Since Akropolis launched their manufacturing division I can tell you one thing my Athens sales have significantly decreased as more and more of my customers have started purchasing the Akropolis Brand. Apparently they now manufacture product for Krinos which is being sold in Longos, and others supermarkets across Canada in their prepared food sections and are gearing up for a full retail launch very soon.

          2. food face RE: Bigtigger Jun 13, 2009 07:55 PM

            The custard rolls with seeped in honey work me into a desert frenzy

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