Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson Dining: Its Greek to Me, Athens on 4th Avenue

It’s Greek to Me

Although I love Greek food and have lived in Tucson for almost 8 years, I recently went to Athens on 4th Ave. for my first time. I can’t wait to go back.

My fellow food writers took me for my birthday and it was a special event.

I’m especially drawn to family-owned independent restaurants, the real moms and pops that put their heart and soul into a good product and a special experience.

We began the evening with a Greek merlot which was above and beyond a mere merlot. I don’t recall the name.

I love a meal that has many tastes so we opted to share a bunch of appetizers. We began with probably Greece’s best known appetizer –Saganaki, Kefalotiri cheese lightly sauteed in clarified butter then flambéed (don’t try that at home) with brandy surrounded by pita bread. Think of it as grilled cheese for grownups. OMG! It was heaven.

We also ordered Taramosalata, red caviar spread with more pita bread; calamari lightly dusted in flour then sautéed in olive oil; and roasted red peppers filled with cheese (feta and cream cheese) and herbs. Yum!

Everything was fresh and a treat for my taste buds.

Moussaka proved to be a richly devised plate of braised ground beef baked between layers of grilled eggplant and potatoes, topped with béchamel sauce and served with rice. This wasn’t an appetizer but just something one of the foodies was craving.

The evening went along with lots of good conversation and girlfriends gossip.

Dessert came from another restaurant, B-Line and we shared generous pieces of German chocolate cake, carrot cake, and raspberry rhubarb tart. It was truly decadent. I prefer frosting over cake any day. I let them eat cake while I floated away on the frosting.

With all the food and sugar and wine – I felt like I overdosed but in a good way. Thank goodness birthdays only come once a year.

Athens on 4th Avenue is open for dinner Monday through Saturday and has a lovely outdoor patio when it’s not 100+ degrees. The restaurant is available for private parties on Sunday.

500 N. 4th Avenue (at 6th Street)
Tucson, AZ 85705

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