Νους υγιής εν σώματι υγιεί – mens sana in corpore sano. Even though we are in Greece, reciting ancient Greek proverbs is only marginally (?) less trite than doing the same with Latin elsewhere. Still, sometimes these irresistible sayings can just hit the spot, and so do Mentaleaty’s Asian dishes.
What sets this restaurant apart is that it’s a project by Athina Elpis, a social co-operative enterprise that supports people with mental health issues in different ways. In this case, their support comes in the form of a hospitable and accepting working environment. Their stated mission is for customers to be unable to tell which employee or partner is a mental patient. It’s a goal which, I must admit, they’re accomplishing beautifully indeed.
Their Asian fare is relatively standard and my high hopes of finding some new dish unavailable in other Asian restaurants were quickly shot down, especially since their vegetarian selection is rather limited. Still, what we did get was tasty, plentiful, wholesome and modestly priced.
Metaxourgeio certainly comes with no lack of unique, hip and quality locales for lunch or dinner; few places, however, can rightfully claim to be contributing to the well-being of the bodies of Athenians as well as our minds quite as literally as Mentaleaty can.