The Prime Grill

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Dinner with my daughter, all of 17, is becoming increasingly more interesting. We actually set out for a new burger place in N. Psychiko, a northern suburb, but upon parking outside and looking in, we had little desire to go. Instead, we ended up across the street at the Prime Grill, on what has become a restaurant-heavy crossroads (Places include: Piperia, Far East, a good souvlaki place, the burger joint, within 100 meters of each other). I hadn’t been here in a few years and was glad to come back, for a decent steak and a pretty good burger.
     Prime Grill is one of many steak houses that opened in Athens when the country still felt like it was on an up-hill course, when meat, the de facto food of affluence, was on everyone’s mind! Greeks still lean toward the carnivorous, but maybe with slightly less frequency now that lentils have become part of the working-man’s weekly diet again.
     Prime Grill has a simple, accessible menu. We liked the sautéed mushrooms, which were light (translation: no cream!)  and flavored with tomato and tarragon. They were cut chunky and cooked al dente. Other appetizers included the increasingly talagani, the popular, mild cheese from Messinia in the Peloponnese, which is best served grilled; grilled haloumi and vegetables; keftedakia (meatballs), and pretty good Greek fries, a little heavy on the salt but crunchy.
     I really was in the mood for a burger, a good representation of which is not the easiest thing to find in Athens. I ordered the barbecue burger (other options were the texas double, a pizza burger with tomato and parmesan, and the New York, with cheese and bacon). The bbq burger had bacon, too, lots of it, which definitely helped give the meat the necessary fat to make it juicy. (I removed it before eating, conscious of my diet, heart, and middle-aged middle.) The sauce was commercial bbq sauce, but the whole thing was just fine. My 17-year-old, whose appetite is impressive, managed to savor every last bite of veal chops (brizolakia apo moscharaki), which were cooked as she likes them, medium. (No one in this food critic’s family dares eat a well-done steak!) We shared a spinach-arugula salad, which was a little limp and very wet from too much dressing. The house red was quite nice. I refused to buy the kid a beer, though!
     All in all, we had a pretty good meal here, low-key, medium priced, and totally competent. The service was friendly and accommodating.

Cuisine: burgers and grilled meat
Athens area: northern suburbs
Decor-Atmosphere: simple
Service: friendly and accommodating
Prices: 25-35 euro a person
Address: 46, Adrianiou str., Neo Psychiko, tel. 2106753934