By Pamela Brownstein
As the only place in town to get great Greek food, Athenian Gardens has been creating authentic dishes from the Old World for eight years.
Owners Stephen Balabanis and his mother, Maria, serve a busy crowd for lunch and dinner.
The restaurant, located on Ribaut Road across from Beaufort Memorial Hospital, was recently renovated with new wood floors, light fixtures and an updated stereo system.
The colorful posters and maps of Greece that cover the walls can easily transport you to the shores of the tiny European country where Democracy began. We said that if we could visit, we would tour the beautiful Greek Isles.
April, Kim, Elizabeth and I represented a Lunch Bunch of four.
With a variety of sandwiches and salads and specials, it can be hard to decide what to order.
We all shared the hummus appetizer that came with red-roasted pepper hummus, pita bread, cucumber and tomatoes. It’s a healthy, yet flavorful way to start a meal.
April tried the Philly steak n’ cheese with peppers and onions and a side of fries. She got the small size, but the sandwich was plenty big and delicious.
Elizabeth had an adventurous appetite so she chose the falafel platter with roasted potatoes and a Greek salad. The balls of falafel are made with chic peas, split pea and spices and are served with hummus.
Even with all the choices on the menu, Kim and I ordered the same thing: the gyro platter. I did consider trying something new, but I always get the gyro because it is my favorite. We both got the platter with Greek salad and roasted potatoes. I had never tried the potatoes, and they were fantastic. We agreed they are a must-have. We also both love Tzatziki sauce; Kim even ordered extra with her meal.
For dessert, the choice is simple: baklava. Homemade by Maria with layers of flaky philo pastry leaves layered with walnuts and honey, this baklava is the best. I like to think it was the favored dessert among the Greek gods. April, who was skeptical of it at first, couldn’t get enough and even declared that baklava might be better than her beloved key lime pie.
It’s just one of many reasons to dine at Athenian Gardens.