If you didn’t already know that Athens Family Restaurant was featured on the Food Network, the menu announces it. The network’s logo is splashed around some of the dishes spotlighted by Food Network host Guy Fieri during segments he shot with Adel Elostta, the owner and chef of Athens, which was at the time located in Nashville. Earlier this year, Elostta and his wife, Dina, moved the business from the Music City to a strip mall space on Bee Ridge Road, bringing their Fieri-beloved cuisine with them.
The menu contains many of the greatest hits of casual Greek diner food—familiar favorites like a savory avgolemono soup, a powerful hummus, a crunchy Greek salad and filling gyros. But you’ll also find a number of more unusual specialties, like kotopita (a savory chicken pie made with phyllo), a platter with bifteki (spiced and grilled ground beef) and soutzoukakia (baked meatballs topped with onion, garlic and tomato sauce). Nothing on the menu is priced higher than $13, making it an ideal pit stop for a workday lunch or a quick dinner.
The kotopita is one of the dishes bearing the Food Network logo (Fieri dubbed it “crunchalicious”) and it’s obvious why. A rectangle of delicately layered dough stuffed with a rich creamy filling made with chicken, celery, onion, carrots and feta, it’s delectable, and the salad on the side is fresh and crisp. Deserving of its food TV fame? You bet.