Week 23: Some local Greek

Athenian

I fucking love Greek food, it’s safe to say. But I haven’t found anything as good as the genuine thing since being in small town Delphi in country Greece.

A recommendation can be brilliant or touch-and-go. Would this have a chance at stacking it against Delphi?

 

Nutrition- 7

Taste- 7

Service- 8

Ambience- 3

Extra mile- 5

Budget – Medium

*Scores are out of 10

Athenian: Overall rating – 30/50 on a medium budget

 athenian

Nards

I must confess that I do not know much about Greek culture.  I know that the Greeks were instrumental in creating a lot of the world as we know it today, without them we wouldn’t have streets, the odometer, alarm clocks, showers, plumbing, vending machines, and of course those other things; science, medicine, mathematics and the Olympics. 

I know even less about Greek cuisine, and my experiences so far have been limited to that dodgy Kebab that’s bought after a monster night out at 2am, pita bread, and Mike Campbell’s’ famous Greek salad.

 Greek salad

Admittedly heading to a Greek restaurant did not overly excite me, but clearly since we are in this together, I had to go (and also because we were heading to Jesus Christ Superstar the musical immediately after, so it seemed fitting that we had an ancient theme to the evening).

 

You cannot miss the Athenian restaurant in Sydney’s CBD.  It has ostentatious pillars outside, and a big automatic sliding door that allows entry into a cavernous eating space (I imagine that it’s to allow large groups of equally large gentlemen into the restaurant speedily).  Be warned, the interior is super bright, and there are many, many tables.  If one was to dine during off peak times, it would feel quite lonely in there.  We were one of the first couples in there (as it was our usual Nana-o’clock booking), however, by the time we left it was busy and loud, and would no doubt be the perfect setting for a boozy, loud festive night out.

 

We were recommended this place, and from reading all the reviews it has a reputation of friendly staff and great, generous, home-style authentic Greek food.

Initially our waiter did not seem that friendly, however, once he had finished setting up the restaurant, all focus was on us.  He was super friendly and very helpful.

 Papoutsakia

I ordered the Papoutsakia which was stuffed zucchini with spiced mince meat and bechamel sauce and MC ordered the Athenian special which was a combination of Greek lamb, papoutsakia, stuffed capsicum, cabbage roll and vegetables.

 

The portion sizes are huge, and despite being big, the dishes are full of flavour.  What I particularly like is the way they tend to stuff a lot of their Capsicums or Zucchini with meat, vegetables and spices.  This is a good way of getting extra vegetables into the diet, and is a good way of eliminating the need to have any starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes and bread (although they do have Pita bread and potatoes in a lot of their dishes). 

The take home is that one can eat a good hearty, satisfactory meal without having to worry too much about the impact of the starchy foods.

 

Would I eat there again?  Hmmm, I think that it is a good place to go for the experience, and the authenticity of the Greek food, but I don’t think that Greek food is high up on my list of favourite food, so to answer that question, probably not. 

Maybe I’d be inclined to go back if I see some smashing of plates though…

MC thoughts?

 

Mike

Well, to be honest, my initial thought is- Hey NN, I remember some ‘oh my gawwd’s coming from you at times at this dinner…

So yes I may be biased towards Greek food- I loves it- but I also remember you, at least at some point, too.

Anyway, that’s one for us to sort out at home, really.

 

This was very traditional Greek, it was wholesome and awesome. I couldn’t decide what to get, there was so many wonderful looking dishes that I found it hard. Should I go for the lamb’s fry and bacon? What about the chicken livers? Or maybe the roast lamb shoulder… oh man, I was lit up (and I know what you’re thinking and yes, you’re right- I will be going back).

 

I was tempted to get some of the offal, but I opted for the selection so I could sample a few dishes. And as NN said, it was LARGE…

 Athenian special

So this immediately poses the question- does one eat it all?

 In this case… I nearly did. But I used some restraint. As you can tell from above- liked it- so the temptation to keep eating was pretty big.

Tzatziki & taramasalataPlus the pita bread that they had with the tzatziki and taramasalata we’d ordered was, umm, awesome. I limited myself to a piece early on, but I love tzatziki and this was drawing me in to ‘Xmas day fullness levels’…

How did I get around this? Well, I used some common sense and restraint. One of the biggest issues I’ve seen most people face when it comes to eating somewhere they’re paying for the food is that they have to eat everything on the plate.

News flash- you don’t!

 

If you have some body composition goals as an outcome then you need to nail your behavioural goals in order to make it there. Number one behavioural goal when it comes to eating out in situations like this-

  1. 1.       You don’t have to eat everything on your plate!

 

Get you head around that and you’ll save your poor gut from being over stuffed with food it can’t digest properly, kicking off a myriad of effects ultimately leading to you gaining, or not losing, fat.

 

So there you have it- some pretty damn good Greek food, not quite like the stuff I remember from Greece itself, however. Plus a lesson in not being a scarcity minded mother f’cker and just having to eat everything in front of you, because, you know, you paid for it…

You won’t die and you won’t go broke. Do your body a favour and leave some there.

 

MC & NN

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