Athens West, 303 Main St., Seal Beach, 431-6500.
• Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or so.
• Location: Athens West is located in Seal Beach. There is free parking adjacent to the restaurant as well as street parking and a public lot nearby.
• Staff/Service: The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating; service is fast.
• Food/Drinks: Athens West’s appetizers include hummus and pita, zesty feta (spicy dip made with feta cheese, tomatoes and red bell peppers) and pita, Greek fries, calamari, and a veggie teaser appetizer with spanakopita, dolma, falafel, hummus, tzatziki and pita.
Salads include Greek, gyro salad (Greek salad topped with gyro meat), chicken breast salad, falafel salad, calamari salad and salmon filet salad.
Pita sandwiches include zesty chicken, zesty steak, and the Lamb-o-rama with gyro meat, French fries, zesty feta, lettuce, tomato and onion.
Veggie pitas include falafel, zesty veggie, and veggie stuffed with seasoned veggie patties, lettuce, tomato and onion with hummus on the side.
Platters are served with orzo pasta, Greek salad, pita bread and tzatziki.
You can choose from gyro meat, kabobs (chicken, steak, shrimp, or scallop), salmon filet, lamb chops, falafel, spanakopita or veggie.
There are family packs available with a large Greek salad, orzo pasta, kabobs or gyro meat, a combo of the two, veggie, or lamb chops.
Greek wine is available.
• Atmosphere: The restaurant is festive with an outdoor patio. The dining room is cozy and comfortable with bright colors.
• The Taste: I stopped early in the week before the national turkey kickoff to the end of year shopping frenzy. I love Greek cuisine and Athens West is a great place to get a quick feed.
It’s not a formal haute cuisine kind of Greek eatery; it’s more the taco stand equivalent of Greek food. Kabobs, lamb chops and gyros are the order of the day. And that suits me just fine.
One of my favorite eateries in Toronto was Astoria, a kabob and lamb chop eatery on The Danforth. Athens West reminds of Astoria on a smaller scale, but the food quality is just as good.
On this visit I ordered a Gyro Platter and Jennifer ordered a Chicken Kabob Platter. Both were served with a nice-sized Greek salad with tangy vinaigrette and chunks of Feta cheese. Crunchy, tangy, sharp; the salad was very tasty.
Each platter also came with a mound of orzo pasta, pita and tzatziki sauce. The pasta is tender and flavored with herbs and chicken stock. The tzatziki sauce is rich and tasty. They were great accompaniments for the main course.
Jennifer’s chicken kabobs were large chunks of chicken breast on two skewers grilled with slices of red pepper and onion. Jennifer thought her chicken had a great flavor, Greek herbs and grilled.
My gyro platter came with probably half a pound of gyro meat. The meat was tender and tasty and is one of my favorite vices. I could live on gyro platters, a curry or two, and the occasional pizza.
Athens West is offers tasty food, generous portions, and very reasonable prices along with quick, friendly service. At this time of the year, reasonable prices and tasty quick dinners are a necessity. Stop by Athens West for a change of pace and enjoy some wonderful food.
• Price: Lunch for two is $10 to $15 and dinner for two is $15 to $25.