Restaurant Review of Athens Steak House in Bristol, Virginia
Athens Steak House was opened in Bristol in 1975 by the Eleas family, who moved to the U.S. from Greece. If you visit, the co-founder and cutest little old Greek lady in the world, Betty Eleas, will likely be there to greet you and may even serve you on her little push cart.
It doesn’t appear that much has changed since it opened in 1975. Old pictures of the Parthenon cover the walls and the rest of the decor also appears to be from the 70’s. We found this charming and very fitting for a Greek restaurant. After all, Athens is one of the most ancient cities in the world! The menu sums up the atmosphere of the restaurant perfectly:
“We are a relaxed steak house – we serve our customers at a leisurely pace to let you enjoy your meal.”
I happen to like a slower pace when I’m eating dinner. I feel like too many restaurants are trying to get you fed and out the door before you’ve even had time to look at the menu! At Athens Steak House, we had a pleasant, no-rush dinner. This isn’t to say that the service was slow – far from it. I felt like the timing of all our courses was just right. Betty even took the time to have some conversation with us, which was delightful.
I ordered the 7 ounce filet, cooked ‘medium’, as I always choose. I noticed that on the menu under the steaks it says, “Excessive broiling reduces the flavor and tenderness. We’ll do it if you insist, but it breaks our hearts.” This made us laugh out loud! I’ve always loved my steaks medium (or medium-rare!) because that’s how my dad taught me to eat them. However, my grandfather and mom like their steaks well-done. My dad has been saying for years how this ruins the steak – reducing the flavor, juiciness, and tenderness!
After we ordered, we were first served a cup of soup and some sliced bread. Apparently everyone gets this, regardless of what you order. I’m not sure what the soup was called, but we asked what was in it. Betty told us it was a chicken broth base with rice, butter, eggs, and lemon. It was a good little appetizer.
Next were our salads, which were great. Herb got the Greek salad, with anchovies! We’d never had a straight-up anchovy before! His salad had feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and carrots. I ordered the Combination salad, which was lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes.
I got my filet and it was cooked perfectly. Every bite was delicious – it was one of the best filets I’ve ever eaten! It was served with a steaming hot baked potato. My filet with all the trimmings was only $17.95!
Herb got the Beef and Shrimp Kabobs with grilled veggies. The beef was excellent and tender and the shrimp was very good as well. The green beans (veggie of the day) were served with rice in a light sauce with rice that was also full of flavor. Herb’s entree was only $15.95.
For dessert, we both got the baklava with vanilla ice cream. I’ve had baklava before and have not been very impressed. This, however, was delicious! If you are unfamiliar with baklava, it is sort of like a piece of cake – more of a pastry, really, with nuts and honey. This baklava in particular had a spiciness to it, which went really well with the vanilla ice cream. We gobbled it all up!
The menu stated, “In Greece, the expression is Kalesas Orexis. In Bristol, we just say “Enjoy Your Dinner”. We very much enjoyed everything about Athen’s Steak House and will definitely be returning! We highly recommend Athens Steak House!