Sometimes, you just want something quick over the noon hour. Yesterday, work demanded that the New Mentee and I get back to our desks promptly, so she suggested that we head to the Elia Athenian Grill. It’s in one of the storefronts along High Street near the corner of Broad and High, where a lot of food places have come and gone in recent years. Unlike some of its predecessors, Elia has shown some staying power.
Elia Athenian Grill is designed for the busy worker who is not going to be lingering over lunch. You order at a counter, choosing from four base options — a pita, a salad, a grain bowl, or a “mixed bowl” — and then you identify toppings to be added as you move down the line. By the time you reach the cashier and pay your food is ready and you grab your tray and head to one of the nearby tables.
I went the pita route, and had them assemble a pocket of “chicken yeero” — chopped chicken, helpfully presented on the menu in phonetic fashion for those of us who always wondered exactly how “gyro” is pronounced — with onions, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce. And, because the preparer behind the counter said it was “traditional,” she added a few french fries on top. I’m not sure that french fries are in fact traditional Greek fare, but the meat was good, the sauce added a pleasant zing, and adding a few fries meant that I got a reasonably limited exposure to french fries without have to deal with a mound of them. In short, the pita was good, and filling.
The New Mentee went for something called a Power Green Mix salad, which featured kale, romaine, spinach, chards, and cabbage, hummus, olives, some kind of non-meat substance that looked like meatballs, and God knows what else. There was a lot of leafy green stuff in that bowl, so I tried to avert my eyes and not give it too close an inspection. Clearly, the New Mentee needs mentoring in the food department! Nevertheless, I did observe that, after eating about half of the Power Green Mix, she walked back to the firm, clutching her carry-out bowl, with a demonstrably more powerful stride.
Elia obviously has a solid core of regulars; the Bus Riding Conservative came in when we were there and no doubt grabbed a Power Green Mix to consume at his desk. And the New Mentee was right — we were in and out in 45 minutes, easy. Elia Athenian Grill is a good option if you’re in downtown Columbus looking for something speedy . . . or a Power Green Mix.