Reflections on Stripmall Eating

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Monotheism Changes Everything

Name: Athena Restaurant
Location: 264 Keswick Avenue, Glenside
Personnel: Jesse, Me
What We Ate: Kafteri (a dip of tomato paste and feta) and Pita Bread; Complimentary Salad and More Pita Bread; Pastitso; the Pikelia Platter (Moussaka; Feta; Olives; Spanikopita; Gyro; Dolmades; Keftedes)
Condiments: Tzatziki, at our server's suggestion
Bill Total: $52
Observations: Keeping up these suburban excursions through the holidays might be a little challenging—not to mention jeans-expanding—but I'm going to try to work through it. Last night, in fact, Jesse and I left a holiday party early, giving up a free buffet, open bar and what looked like a bakery smorgasbord to journey out to Glenside. I'd been to Athena, but it was at least a decade ago, and I wanted to know if it was as good as I remembered. Parking was surprisingly tight around there, perhaps because Cyndi Lauper was playing at the Keswick Theater a few doors down. Yet the restaurant itself was quiet, which is to say we interrupted an employee mopping up. The motif, in classic American Greek restaurant style, is azure and white, and the walls are embellished with mini bottles of ouzo and nostalgic photos of stark island houses. Like a true goddess, Athena is truly generous. You are plied with free salad and many piles of fresh warm pita triangles, which we used to scoop up the tangy kafteri dip. Other dishes, however, were only okay. Both of our meals came with potatoes roasted to a nice lemony crust, but Jesse's also had string beans that had been cooked to splitting. Everything needed more seasoning, including the moussaka and pastitso, which are such indulgent dishes that when you order them they ought to be worth their cholesterol count. If I had to do it over I'd try the fish. And, had I known, I would have gotten Cyndi Lauper tickets.
Bonus Errand: Jesse scored some mistletoe at the florist across the street.


frankenslade said...

This is a great new site for me to add to my browsing list. There's a little Hungarian restaurant in a strip mall in Medford, NJ. I believe it's called the Red Hen. We haven't been there for a couple of years, but we really liked it. It may be something that would fit with your work here. They served a particular specialty that I haven't seen in Hungarian restaurants outside of Hungary!

Jessica said...

This restaurant is in my neighborhood. I like it when it's warm enough to sit on the deck.