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Dec 31, 2009 03:30 PM

Berkeley: Good Greek in the Gourmet Gulch - Athineon

I can not imagine a more pleasant place to have my last restaurant meal of 2009 ... and the decade.

The sum is greater than the parts.

I had the Athineon sandwich - A warm, soft, grilled pita stuffed with chicken souvlaki and gyro meat, grilled onions tomatoes and dressed with tzatziki sauce. The meat was standard gyro cut from the vertical spit.

It reminded me of lots of nameless corner neighborhood shops in Greece serving up gyros. Just nice places to grab an inexpensive bite.

I also had the hot Greek coffee, like many of the cups of Nescafe I had, very sweet with grounds at the bottom.

The family ... mom, dad, and daughter... is from Athens (thus the name) and just the nicest people. There are lots of tables covered in blue and white oil cloth. There is a more private back room.

The menu is simple. Niko (the father), said as they get more business they will be adding dishes. Startng Monday they will have some sort of Greek spaghetti.

A Phlliy cheese steak was one of today's specials.

Other menu items:

- Greek burger: Tzatziki, lettuce, tomatoes, onions & feta served on pita bread
- Tuna wrap
- Greek veggie wrap (pita with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, feta & Greek dressing)
- Taramosolata
- Stuffed grape leaves
- Greek salad
- Xoriatiki (Greek salad with anchovies and bell peppers)
- Baklava
- Frappe (iced Greek coffee)
- A few beers and glasses of wine
- Various appetizers, plates, salads that are made up of items previously listed.

The restaurant was briefly mentioned in an East Bay Express article that christened that stretch of University the Gourmet Gulch ... I kind of like the name.

The Road to Gourmet Gulch

Previous chowhoud report ... I thought it deserved a post with the name of the restaurant

New Greek Restaurant Berkeley?

Maybe not gourmet, but certainly tasty, comfortable and a nice place to stop for reasonably-priced food made with care.

1941 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

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  1. The gyros sandwich I had at Athineon was pretty good, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it the way I would for Oasis Market's schwarma.

    Oasis Market
    3045 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Word to the wise...Athineon is open for dinner as of this week. They have added a few items to the menu including moussaka (which is quite good, by the way) and Greek pasta.

      This may or may have anything to do with my instant crush on the girl behind the counter, but the family really seems to care about their customers and everything I've had there has been pretty good.

      1. re: Agent 510

        Walking by I noticed table service.

        The substantially expanded menu is on the new Web site, as well as a list of the all-Greek beer and wine.

        1941 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I had a pleasant dinner there a couple months ago. Simple and tasty - one of the places I should go back to so that it sticks around.

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        Is Oasis Grill on Center St in Berkeley related to Oasis Market on Tele in Oaktown?

        Oasis Grill
        2114 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704

        Oasis Market
        3045 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        1. re: chocolatetartguy

          I don't think they are related. At least, I think the food at Oasis Market is tastier.

          Another data point is at O Grill the vertical rotisserie Lamb wrap is called Gyro and is the Kronos type of pre-formed meat cylinder while at O Market they call it Shawarma and it's layered meats like the chicken shawarma at both spots.

          Oasis Market
          3045 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          1. re: chocolatetartguy

            If they were related to anyone, it might be Oasis Grill in SF.

        2. whenever i come in to eat here, it's always nearly empty.

          if you're a Cal student, you get an order of fries or a soda for free with any purchase!