West Seattle restaurants: Grand opening day for Athena’s

Story and photos by Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Nick Parisi of Highland Park plans to open the doors to Athena’s restaurant today at 11 am.

We first told you three months ago about the plan for the newly designed Greek-themed spot (across from Fire Station 11 at 16th and Holden, in the original home of Zippy’s Giant Burgers, now in White Center) will also be the brick and mortar commissary for Athena’s food truck [reported here by WSB].

The family’s new food truck carries on the food-stand circuit tradition begun by Nick’s father 30 years ago at countless Seattle events and festivals. It has been operating in the parking lot as a kind of soft run for the cuisine to be offered indoors and has had steady business, but this past weekend the busy festival season for the Athena truck began with a gig at the Mobile Food Rodeo in Fremont as well as a taco challenge. So the truck will no longer be around as the busy season begins and the sit-down Athena’s doors finally open.

As Nick took the paper off the windows last night, we chatted with him about the grand opening. In preparation for the big day, he had just started the first batch of three or four kinds of fresh gelato, and an employee had begun the slow caramelization of heaps of savory Walla Walla sweet onions, which Athena’s uses in everything from falafel sandwiches to traditional gyros with lamb and beef to food with vegetarian Field Roast (made by a Seattle-based company). Lighter fare includes a Greek salad and for libations, Nick will offer Schooner Exact on tap Tuesday, but with plans to add an additional option soon.

Most items are in the $6-$10 range and Nick says, for now, the new spot will be open until 8 every day until they figure out the best schedule.

The opening celebration will continue this weekend with live music courtesy of the band The Madelines; the exact time has not been set, but we’ll add it to the calendar as soon as we find out.

Find Athena’s on Facebook, here.

15 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Grand opening day for Athena's"

  • Amber May 8, 2012 (9:32 am)

    YUMMM! I know what I’m doing for dinner.

  • Ted Diamond May 8, 2012 (10:07 am)

    καλή τύχη!

  • adamk May 8, 2012 (1:12 pm)

    Do they have a Doner kebab spit yet?

  • Christa May 8, 2012 (1:58 pm)

    Yummy! There is an Athena’s by my work on lower Queen Anne and the food is excellent! Now I will have one near my home as well!

  • highlandpark May 8, 2012 (2:23 pm)

    Their Golden Graham milkshake is out-of-control yummy.

  • Aman May 8, 2012 (3:11 pm)

    At first, based on the Headline Photo I thought this was a story about Rush Plumbing. Good luck in your latest location Athena’s!

  • Peter May 8, 2012 (4:46 pm)

    Enough with the ‘y’ expletives. Do they have a shawarma, aka doner kebab, or not? Gyro junkies wanna know…yippee!

  • LoHo May 8, 2012 (5:18 pm)

    We just got done eating here. Got 2 burgers, falefel gyro, and lamb gyro – all were delish. Fries are super good – well seasoned. They have several burgers and gyros to choose from. No gelato today, but we’ll be back. Glad that spot got filled, we need a good eatery in the hood.

  • DBurns May 8, 2012 (8:31 pm)

    The regular old cheese burger is AWESOME!! And the fires are the BEST I’ve had in a long time! Go Nick!
    My son and his friends are going to be all over this place!
    Thanks for bringing burgers back to the hood :)

  • AJP May 8, 2012 (9:04 pm)

    Are they going to do doner kebab sandwiches stuffed with french fries and garlic sauce like you can get in Europe? Oh my goodness we need some of that around here!

  • drummr May 9, 2012 (3:40 pm)

    Don’t think they are affiliated with the Queen Anne restaurant, are they?

  • dervish May 10, 2012 (2:36 pm)

    All they have is gyros and burgers, no doner kebab, no schwarma, no doner ekmek (the sandwich filled with fries, mentioned above). Gyros, schwarma, and doner are all essentially the same thing. lamb or beef grilled on a revolving spit, served on pita with veggies and tzaziki, cacik, or tahini. The sauces spices and vegetables may vary by region/nation, but the three words all refer to the same cooking style of the same staple meat. Athena’s is a greek restaurant, and they do a definitely greek version = Gyro. Heavy tzaziki, carmelized onions, tomatos, feta, and kalamatas.

    If you really want to know the answer to ‘are they going to offer this’ or ‘are they going to sell that’, go there. ask them. Patronize them and find out for yourself.

  • dervish May 10, 2012 (2:40 pm)

    Also, they are cash only, which seems ludicrous. Its fine for a food truck, but I hope they decide to get a credit card account at somepoint. I’d hate to see them lose business, when they could be making money hand over fist being the only food supplier in this neighborhood when the trucks are not at HPIC.

  • rgh May 12, 2012 (12:34 pm)

    Two of three things we ordered were out of stock on a Saturday afternoon out of only 11 menu items available. Gal at counter writes nothing down and is then baffled and apologetic when order is wrong. Out of ice, too. Not a strong first impression.

  • Matt May 13, 2012 (3:26 pm)

    I was looking forward to a Gyro all day long after hearing about this place for awhile and their Grand Opening, I figured this would be a perfect time to try it. I ordered 2 Lamb Gyros and a Greek Salad.

    I can honesty say that this is the worst Food I have ever eaten. One of the Pitas was burned black! No exaggeration. How can something like that leave your shop during a Grand Opening!? The other Pita was not warmed at all. The caramelized onions did not work on the sandwich at all. They claim there is Tzatziki on the sandwich, but if there was, I couldn’t tell because it was covered in a watered down greasy substance that I am unfamiliar with. The flavor of the meat was not even vaguely familiar to the Lamb that I grew up eating that was prepared by Greek families. I have no idea how it could be so horrible.

    The Greek Salad had about 4 olives in it and very little Feta. It was basically a bed of lettuce drenched in oil. I can’t even begin to explain my disappointment with this place. I would never go back. I never eat fast food, but I would rather eat anything from any fast food chain in America before I ate this again. Which is really sad, because I really wanted to like this place and support a local Family business. I just can’t in good conscience not report the terrible experience I just had there.

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