Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mediterranean affair and its food

Visiting Greece and its wonderful islands was something we wanted to do but its food was no lesser than its sights... Towering over the city of Athens is The Acropolis and hidden in a street corner, we had wonderfully grilled pork chops at a taverna called Telis, at the corner of Epikourou and Evripidou street. As with all Greek grill places, the pieces of meat were grilled to perfection over hot charcoal, remaining succulent and juicy with a nice hint of the coal accompanied with a load of fries. We also ordered a plate of greek salad, where for the 1st time, we were greeted with a generous slab of feta cheese served on top of the salad, drizzled with olive oil and a good sprinkling of herbs. Together we washed it all down with a carafe of house wine. Not to be missed if you are in Athens...

If you like coffee, give the Frappe a go, this is the favourite of the greeks apart from greek coffee. Here, the Nescafe is blended with water till foamy then ice added to make it a cold and refreshing drink. Be warned, the greeks have theirs with lots of sugar. This is a cheaper and good alternative to an espresso or cappuccino.

While making your way to Plaka, stop by Thanasis Restaurant for a hearty serving of Kebabs or Souvlaki. This establishment is a local icon located along Mitropoleos Street at the end closes to Monastiraki station. The chicken souvlaki is grilled to perfection, juicy and well seasoned served with an abundant of fries.

If you like kebabs, try the beef kebabs, its done like an indian shish kebab, minced beef around a skewer and grilled over charcoal.

Order the full portion if you are a big eater, 4 kebabs together with fries and pita, its sure to fill you up... Order some Tzatziki or spicy cheese dip to go with your meal.

While enjoying the sights and shopping around Plaka, make a beeline for a taverna called Peristeri, on Patroou street.

For a first timer like me in Greece, the friendly owner made me feel at ease and the food was good too. As with most taverna, you can choose the dishes from a display inside the shop. We had pork in red wine sauce and potatoes, grilled whole bream, roasted eggplants and a basket of bread that was welcome, we used it to soak up the gravy from the pork dish.

A bottle of super cold coke each rounded up the meal. Good local home-style cooked food.

Another good place to eat is Thespidos, to locate this place, walk along Kydathenaon street past Adrianou and climb the steps, its on your right side, at a quiet location that you forget you are actually in the city. Sit outside next to the ruins of ancient Athens, close to the Acropolis. The fried cod fish was suggested by the owner and it was wonderful. Fried to golden with the just the right amount of seasoning. The sausages were good too, slightly spicy with herb seasoning. The owner was surprisingly friendly and stood by the table to chat while we were there.
If snacking or having a pie is something for you, head on to this pie place called Ariston, close to Voulis street.

The range of pies available here is astounding and you will see the locals queuing to get their share. The filling was substantial and moisture just right that will not make the skin soggy. The pastry is wonderfully light and not oily too.

As tourist, you'll be spending most of your time in and around Plaka, Monastiraki and along Athinas street to Omonia Square. Tavernas are scattered all over and in the area of Psiri, where it's up and coming, you'll find Platia Iroon. A cosy place that serves nice grilled octopus, the tentacle is very tender and comes served with a salad.

Try the moussaka, where layer of lamb though too much for me is layered high just like the italian lasagna. The lamb pot is good and is well complemented with the boiled vegetables where its cooked till soft and a little soggy.

Try the Rakimilo, which is hot raki with honey. Nice drink for a cold autumn night.
To me, a must visit if you like lamb chops is a place called Taverna Tou Psiri, it's packed nearly every night with people going for the lamb chops and like any taverna, check out the dishes on display inside. The eggplants and salad are really good too. The lamb chops were so good, we had 2 servings and all washed down with a carafe of red wine. We were even offered fruits after our meal... Bonus.

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