Saturday, July 13, 2013

More Than Just Feta: My Take On Greek Food

My appreciation for Greek food is limited to my Cyma experience.

Cyma's menu. Circa 2008.

After dumping our stuff in Athens Backpackers, we dragged our hungry selves into finding this taverna near the Acropolis. We missed it at first, but guided by some nice locals, we were able to find To Kati Allo (spelled in Greek as “To Kati Aλλo”). It is a family-owned taverna just a stone throw away from Acropolis and Athens Backpackers.

We ordered some meat and potatoes, stuffed peppers and moussaka!  Total bill was €23 for both of us (€ 11.50 each). A pretty good deal! We decided to go back here the next day, and the day before we fly to Barcelona.

Bread as appetizer
Meat and potatoes

Stuffed peppers. Stuffed with flavored rice. Yummeh!
We had the pleasure of chatting with the owners of this Taverna. We learned that this Taverna is a recommended restaurant in Rick Steve’s books. The menu is not extensive. They change it up everyday. They menu is written in a chalkboard in front. The wife of Kostas (the owner) chatted up with us as she was cleaning our table. Greece was suffering an economic crisis and they were very lucky to have the restaurant. It helped that Rick Steves  included To Kati Allo in his list of recommended restaurants.

The meal

Clean plates

Occasionally, I fell for a tourist trap type of food. Like this strawberry lemonade slushie after touring the Acropolis which is a rip-off at € 4.50.

While doing our laundry in Athens Studios, we decided to order some Fish and Chips at Athens Backpackers € 3.50. The serving was good enough for two people. Huge!

White Hat? Not. This uber-delicious Greek yogurt cup came from Fresko Yogurt Bar. For €2.60.


We wandered more around the side streets while waiting for our laundry. We needed to run the clothes twice in the dryer because they didn’t completely dry during the first run. We found this small yogurt and chocolate shop while they were closing. They invited us for a free taste. It was soooo darn delicious. We each bought a cone. Our palates were satisfied for €1.00. Sorry, no photo. 

For our swanky dinner, we made reservations in Strofi. This is located near the Acropolis as well. Marj is in charge for doing the researching for these things and my role is to email and read maps. I emailed them a day before our dinner. We didn’t get a table in the terrace but we had a window view on the first floor.
Salad and something
Taking photos of the food is a priority
The bill: € 49.00 for both of us.  Not bad for a swanky authentic Greek dinner. And we had wine!

Acropolis at night. With steel frames and crane.

The restaurants in Syntagma Square are too touristy for my liking. However, we gotta eat somewhere. We settled on this restaurant with all these photos in their walls. Seems prominent and popular.

We ordered gyros. We didn’t know that gyros are served on a plate. I thought the standard practice was just to wrap it. Well, the people at the take-out counter had their wrapped gyros.
Bread, a block of cheese, and gyro.
I think the owner/ manager found us cute. Hehehehehe! We got a free serving of Greek yogurt. “On the house” – he said with a smile! Winner ang charms naming!

Overall, I had a pleasant experience trying out Greek food. Well, I wasn't fully responsible on the research as well. Teeeheee. Food was cheaper than other European cities. We chanced upon mom-and-pop run restaurants and food stalls in our area, so we had a nice chat with the locals there.

That was just Greek food in Athens. Stay tuned for my food report in Santorini! ;)

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