While many Greek-American restaurants across the United States have shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns choked off their business, Athena’s Greek & European Kitchen in Houston opened in 2020 when it began and is doing well.
With more than 110 years’ combined experience in the restaurant industry, Maria Stefanakis and Aristidis Varoutsos said they are being sustained by a thriving take-out and delivery business that has seen people hungry for Greek food keeping the orders coming.
“People like my food. My reviews (are) five stars everywhere,” Stefanakis, who moved to the Texas city from Greece in 1974, told Community Impact newspaper about why she’s doing okay during the horror show.
Stefanakis said she prides herself on the authentic Greek cuisine offered on the menu at Athena’s name for Athens but said diversity on the menu has helped too as Varoutsos has decades of experience in French cuisine.
Popular dishes include classic gyros, lamb chops, Greek fajitas and traditional kebabs and there’s a pronunciation guide for dishes as kokkinisto, yemista and galactoboureko, traditional beef stew, stuffed peppers and baked custard dessert, for those not in the know.