Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Athens Grill (Gaithersburg, MD)

Well, everyone, the time has finally come. It is time for me to tell you about my favorite restaurant in the entire world.

When I was growing up, it was always a special treat when we could go out and bring home food from Athens Grill for dinner. This tiny little Greek restaurant in the middle of a shopping center in Gaithersburg turns out generous portions of delicious food, and the owner is a gregarious man who always recognizes us when we come in. There are only about ten tables in the entire place, and while it's not usually packed, it's pretty much never empty--the stream of people coming in and out is almost constant. It's simple in decor, and there's no waitstaff, so you order at the counter and pick it up when you're called. It is definitely one of those hole-in-the-wall places where you come for the food.

And oh, the food. I usually get one of the souvlaki platters, which has a gigantic amount of food and is one of the best things you can get. It includes kebab-type skewers with shrimp, chicken, or lamb, and a large amount of Greek salad on the side, plus pita and your choice of fries or rice. I thought I had a picture of it on my computer, but apparently I don't (either that, or I missed it looking through the zillions of unorganized photos on my laptop). I've tried every one of their souvlaki platters, and they're all so amazing that I actually haven't gotten around to ordering anything else. However, I do have some experience with other things on their menu, since my family depends on Athens Grill for my mom's side of the family's holiday party every year. We order a whole rotisserie chicken from them, along with sides of things like rice and salad. It's always a hit at my house once the holiday season kicks in.

 To sum up:

Amazing food? Check.
Hole-in-the-wall ambiance? Check.
Friendly staff? Check.
Even more amazing food? Check.

Looks like it has all the makings of a restaurant I love.

Athens Grill
9124 Rothbury Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20879


Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Master Grocery List

To tide you over while I prepare some restaurant reviews and a few new recipes, I thought we'd take a peek at the master grocery list I created a while back. I was at that dubious point of no return where I had pretty much no food left to cook with, and it occurred to me that it would be great if I went through my recipes and made a list of the ingredients I would need to cook most of them. So, what ingredients do I use most in my cooking (besides spices and baking ingredients)?

Onions and scallions
Lemon juice
Beans (chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans especially)
Cilantro or parsley
Coconut milk
Chiles and/or hot sauce
Asian seasonings (soy sauce, fish sauce, etc.)
Plain yogurt
Green veggies (especially cabbage, kale, and spinach)
Cauliflower or broccoli

So what have I been eating lately? Have a link to a recipe before I go:
Maple Sticky Biscuits from Dinner with Julie