Athens Family Restaurant
2526 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
I have literally driven past Athens Family Restaurant for years, and nearly every time, I’ve thought to myself, “I want to go there.” I love Greek food, and I had always heard good things about Athens Family Restaurant. Well, this week, I finally made a point to go. My co-worker Dave suggested we go somewhere different for lunch. He also suggested I pick the place. So, I chose Athens Family Restaurant, a Greek/American family-style restaurant in the Melrose section of Nashville.
Walking into Athens is like walking into one of the Greek restaurants you see in a movie. When it says it’s a “family” restaurant, you can believe it. Athens is not fancy or pretentious in the least. It feels like a family restaurant. There was a sign that indicated we should wait to be seated, but the server saw us come in and said, “Ya’ll just sit wherever you like.” So we did.
Next it was time to make a decision for lunch. I have a fairly hard-and-fast rule when it comes to international cuisine. The first time I eat at an international restaurant, I generally order the most popular, well-known dish they serve. In a Mexican restaurant for the first time, I’m ordering a combo plate with some mixture of taco, burrito, and enchilada. Likewise, in a Greek place, I’m likely to order a gyro sandwich or plate, or possibly a chicken gyro or plate. If I’m feeling particularly saucy, I’ll go for the combo plate.
On this occasion, I ordered the chicken plate, which is called the Chicken Souvlaki Platter. And it’s just what it’s name implies – a very generous platter of delicious grilled chicken, served with salad, pita, and Athens fries. What are Athens fries, you ask? Well, they are normal French fries, only they are sprinkled with spices (paprika and oregano, me thinks) and topped with a little feta cheese. In short, they were fantastic.
Dave got a gyro sandwich with Athens fries, and he was kind enough to let me sample it. The gyro meat was very tasty and mild, just like most Americans prefer their gyro meat. It was also very juicy, which is not always the case at other Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants. It’s up there with the best I’ve ever had.
Now that I’ve had two Greek staples – at least as far as American palates are concerned, next time I will venture out and try something else, such as the Bacon Lamb Burger or the PLT (Pig, Lettuce, And Tomato). One thing I definitely want to try is the Avgolemono soup (chicken, rice, and lemon juice).
Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Greek food, or you prefer a good ole American club sandwich or hamburger, Athens has something for you, including a full breakfast menu. For a peek at the full lunch menu, click here. From there, you can browse your way to dinner, desserts, and more. They also cater.
Athens Family Restaurant has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and they’ve been voted the #1 Greek/Middle Eastern restaurant in Nashville. After visiting, I know why. Stop in and yell Opa!