A lot of people usually rely on the almighty gyro when it comes to ordering or even discussing Greek food. While this respect for the gyro is well deserved, it is not the only option in the immense pantheon of Greek gastronomy. Sometimes the unfamiliar Greek ingredients and names of the dishes deter people from straying away from their crutch-like dependence of the gyro. Dishes like saganaki, souvlaki, and mousaka may seem intimidating to order but are delicious and innocent after you try them. As you already know, the key in trying something new is going beyond your comfort zone. Easier said than done right? Successful Midwest Greek restaurants have become mainstays in their communities, not only because they have quality food, but partly because they make it easier for people to turn their backs on the gyro. The Parthenon Greek Grill and Taverna in Lincoln, Nebraska is one of those places. It allows people to augment their resume of Greek food with ease.
The Parthenon, located just northeast of 56th and Highway 2 in Lincoln, Nebraska, has a welcoming environment. It is clean and contains a few ancient Greek replica sculptures, columns, and pictures that give customers a reminder of which type of food they are going to be experiencing. The service is always very good, and the waitstaff is willing to help out customers in explaining the Greek dishes and names. This service is essential for a restaurant that specializes in a foreign cuisine. You will feel welcome when you dine at the Parthenon.
While the atmosphere and service are very respectable, the food is their strong-suit. To start off, the Parthenon caters to the westernized palates of its customers. They have developed a menu that has mostly Greek dishes but contains a few American choices (sometimes with a Greek twist) to please those who are not yet ready to take the leap of faith. The dinner menu even has a large selection of steaks and seafood. You cannot get any more "American" than that. The Parthenon's traditional Greek selections consist of staples like souvlaki, dolmathes, mousaka, and yes, gyros. Greek salads are an ideal option for you salad lovers. The horiatiki salad (village salad) is very similar to the Greek salads served throughout Greece (be sure you are a fan of feta cheese when ordering this gem). Now, if you have no clue of what a dish is or even how to pronounce it, just ask your server and they will help you.
The Parthenon has a gigantic selection of wine and beer including several Greek brands for you to enjoy while you dine. And do not forget about the appetizers because the Greeks are serious about their appetizers! Tzatziki, saganaki, and octopus are a few of the delicious options for a starter. Also, they have a very flavorful version of the traditional avgolemono soup that you should try. The Parthenon's appetizer menu is vast and is waiting for you when you first sit down. Do yourself a favor and focus on the appetizers and do not jump right into the entree portion of your meal. Take your time (if you have it), because it is the Greek way to dine. Dessert is something that you should not avoid either. They have an extensive variety of Greek sweets that will make your mouth water when you see them on display near the kitchen.
If you already have a love for Greek food, you will feel right at home at the Parthenon. For those of you that have never experienced any Greek cuisine beyond the gyro, you will be able to test the waters of Greek cooking at your own pace because the Parthenon Greek Grill and Taverna is Lincoln's gateway into the vast array of choices available in Greek cuisine.
MY RATING (out of 10):