Altamonte Springs' Athena Cafe owes its success to at least two factors: the hard work of its founding family and the traditional family recipes revived after their move from Greece more than a decade ago. Offering good-value Greek fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this casual, family-friendly eatery sees a steady flow of local customers throughout the day. A favorite morning stop, Athena turns out some fabulous Greek omelets and ever-popular breakfast gyros, ideal for getting the day started with an, "Opa!" Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), the traditional Mediterranean starter, are one of many outstanding appetizers, in addition to hummus spread served with warm pita bread. Sandwiches, salads and other lunch-like fare are all as fresh as they are affordable. For a more down-home Greek treat, spring for some authentic moussaka-a lasagna-like casserole baked with layers of eggplant, sliced potatoes, lean beef, feta, onions and garlic-or the traditional spanakopita (spinach pie). Finish your night with spicy-sweet baklava for dessert.
Reservations not accepted. No alcohol available. Serving breakfast Sat-Sun, lunch daily, dinner Mon-Sat."Sometimes you have to look hard for the authentic, particularly when it's buried in the stratum of an unremarkable commercial area off 436, but seek and ye shall be rewarded. Décor here is generic-Greek touches remind you not to waste calories on burgers-but the food spans the Med and the cuisine is multi-layered as well. "
- Orlando Sentinel