I Gonia Tou Babi (a.k.a. To Agrinio)
Address – Area: 18 Sinopis St., [Ampelokipi neighborhood], Athens,
Date: 2011-06-06, 2010-09-13 and once more
Cuisine: Greek grill-house (psistaria)
Overall Opinion: Neutral / positive.
Methods of payment: cash
Working hours: Mon-Thu:10:30-18:00, Fri:10:30-24:00, Sat:18:00-24:00
Accessibility: One short stair to get in. Fairly narrow entrance, corridor and W/C, probably non-accessible to regular wheel-chairs.
Our Order (2011-06)
2 beef patties (biftekia)
2 pork souvlaki
1 french fries
Kontosouvli for 2 (grilled, shredded pork)
2 bottles (500ml) of Kaiser beer
1 Greek salad
Presentation / Ambience: A rustic, shack-like structure, in a side street, 3 blocks from the intersection of Mesogeion & Vassilis Sofias Avenues and very close to the Athens Tower. You cross the narrow corridor in front of the grill and cashier and enter a medium-sized hall, with varnished wood plank walls and traditional, smallish, wooden tables (10-15 of them) and chairs. A few old, framed posters are hanging from the wall, with pictures from the western town of Agrinio and its surrounding area (e.g. Rio-Antirio Bridge). Large windows let the light come in and let you check out outside traffic. I’ve only had lunch here fairly early (for Greek standards) and on weekdays, so the place was never packed with people, but neither was it empty.
Your food is not served in plates (except for the salad) but in a large, cooking sheet, spread out on the table in front of you with all the goodies in it. There are menus on the table (but in Greek!) so you may just ask the waiter for what’s available and /or just order a "variety" plater (a little bit of this and that…). That’s what we did all three times. Overall, it’s a very relaxed, informal atmosphere.
Food / Drinks: Simple, well grilled meat, served fairly warm at a reasonable (though not cheap) price. We especially like the kontosouvli (tender, well-grilled, correctly -very lightly- spiced). I also remember ordering kebob meat in a different occasion that we also liked. However, be warned that this place offers a very limited choice of goods. Do not expect a “full-scale restaurant”. This is its main advantage but may also put off some people.
Only basic beer (Kaiser, Fix, Amstel, Heineken,...) and soda choices.
Service: Very simple, very fast. However, some people may be put off by the rustic / primitive way of serving, without plates. On the contrary, my pals and I find it part of the attraction. Our order was brought to our table almost immediately.
Location / Getting there: Three blocks from 2 Mesogeion Ave. / One block from 137 Michalakopoulou Ave.
Buses and trolleys no. 3, 10, 550, X14 run along Vasilissis Sofias Ave. Get off at Ippokrateio Bus Stop or Athinaion Bus Stop and walk to the corner of Vassilisis Sofias and Mesogeion. At 2, Mesogeion Ave. turn right, into Sinopis St. and walk past the more preppy bars and grills for 3 blocks. You will see the one-storey, white painted structure housing this grill on your right hand side.
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