13 April, 2014

Elladikon @ Piraeus


A Saturday afternoon, we went to the centre of Piraeus to pay a bill. Afterwards we decided to have a light lunch instead of usual coffee.

This is a relatively new grill restaurant just behind Kanari Square (if the name does not ring a bell, it is the square with a clock tower in Pasalimani area, near a big Carrefour Marinopoulos Supermarket). It does souvlaki, but it is in a slightly higher rank than "souvlatzidiko". It has a nice, modern outlook which is in fashion in the recent some years.


The menu is long, but it is less because of the variety but of differentiation, as in other grill places. For example, a kebab can be served as a simple kebab, kebab in pita, as "portion - merida", or with yogurt. There are all the major players except for gyros. Yes. There is no gyros or donner.

There are also some starters and salads. If I understood well, they do not have tzatziki, which is a bit odd.

We ordered a baked potato with yogurt and taboule salad. Both fine, if not exceptional. I advise you to order starters here, because it takes some time for the main dishes to arrive.


Why? It seems they grill meat on order. In souvlatzidika, they often have meat half or fully cooked to be able to serve the clientele quickly. Souvlaki is a fast food and, especially when you take it away or are waiting for delivery, serving it quickly is important service.

Anyway, here is a portion (merida) of pork souvlaki. There are all the usual components, except for tzatziki. The white sauce in the down left corner is yogurt without any addition.


The meat was juicy and abundant. It was under-salted and I needed to add some salt at the table. This is unusual, too. If you are looking for a junk food, it might be a negative element, but it is positive if you care about your health. And I have to mention that the potatoes were fresh (i.e. not frozen potatoes).

With a glass of beer, the bill came to 18.20 Euro, which is reasonable.


And we were offered a free dessert. This is another element that distinguishes this place from usual souvlaki shops. In souvlaki places, you do not usually get free dessert. 


We would be happy to return to try other dishes.

Elladikon - Ελλαδικόν
Sotiros Dios 50, Pasalimani, Piraeus, Greece
Σωτήρος Διός 50, Πασαλιμάνι, Πειραιάς
Tel. (+30) 210 4177012

12 April, 2014

Vrachia tis Piraikis @ Piraeus


I live in an area of Piraeus where there are tens of restaurants within walking distance. Many of them are quite good and even destination restaurants for many. But because they are so close and we do not get the sense of eating out, we do not visit them as often as we should.

Vrachia tis Piraikis is one of them and of the most popular choices in the area. It is not a super excellent fish restaurant, but it offers very affordable fish/seafood and the kitchen is reliable. We have been here 3 times and we have never been disappointed.

The decor is very basic and simple. When there is sun light, you have a view to the sea, but not in the evening.


To start, we had melitzanosalata (3 Euro) and horta (my receipt says that it was stamnagathi and cost 5 Euro, but I think it was radicchio or something). Both OK.


Fried calamari were pretty good. They are frozen (not fresh), but personally I do not mind. 5 Euro.


Steamed mussels were very good and came plenty. You won't believe it cost only 6 Euro.


We had also freshly fried potatoes for 2.50 Euro (GH's order, of course) and we were stuffed.


They offered a dessert (chocolate covered walnut cake) on the house. I think they could have offered us 1 piece each, but GH was so full and he politely declined. That is why there are two forks for 1 cake in the photo.


With half a kilo of white wine (2.50), the bill came to 24 Euro.

This is not a gourmet restaurant, but it is a perfect place where you can enjoy seafood/fish without worrying how much money you have in your wallet and also for groups in which there are often someone who does not want spend much on food.

But the place is small. Especially if you come in group, from far and/or toward weekend, reservation is highly recommended. I often see people queuing up or turned down here Sunday lunch time.

TA VRAHIA TIS PIRAIKIS (Τα Βράχια της Πειραϊκής)
Akti Themistokleous 300, Piraeus
Ακτή Θεμιστοκλέους 300
Tel. 210-45.38.461


06 April, 2014

Romanian Restaurant Dorna @ Agios Eleftherios


I have a couple of good Romanian friends. So when I heard that there is a Romanian restaurant in Athens, it came to my mind to organize a meal with them there. Unfortunately something unforeseeable happened and only one friend came, but GH and I managed to explore the world of Romanian cuisine.

This happened last Sunday, lunch time.

The restaurant is on Acharnon road and it takes only a couple of minutes walk from Agios Eleftherios Station of Ilektriko (Metro No. 1). It looks pretty good from outside.


It looks good also inside, but I do not have photos. The restaurant was totally empty all through our meal (about 2 to 5 in the afternoon), even if it was Sunday. Evidently it gets busy only after the music starts at 6 o'clock.

The menu was pretty long, but our Romanian friend already had a pretty good idea what we had to eat and we followed her advice.

At the beginning the owner offered us shots of so-called Romanian plum brandy and white pieces looked like cheese. These white bits were, in fact, pieces of smoked lard. Yellow paste was mustard. These items reminded me that it is pretty cold in winter in Romania.


Our Romanian friend said we should try Romanian wine. So we ordered a bottle of semi-sweet red one. According to the friend, the Romanians drink more semi-sweet (imigriko) than dry wine. Here most of the Romanian wines cost 9.90 Euro per bottle, if I remember well (to be honest, I did not pay much attention, as I am not quite a drinker). I did not particularly like it. The owner told us that they have Romanian beers in the summer (but not now in the winter).


Bread basket contained 2 types of bread, one was usual Greek one and the other was pita like flat bread. According to our Romanian friend, the flat bread is Romanian specialty and we stack to it. It (pita) was served warm and quite good.


As starters, we had "Russian" salad (front) and aubergine salad (rear). The "Russian" salad contained meat (I thought it was chicken, but the friend said it might be beef, so I am not sure). Again according to the friend, the Romanian "Russian" salad should contain loads of green peas, but this one did not. I liked it anyway. On the other hand, the aubergine salad was mayonnaise-y and I was not fond of it, while the friend said it was good. It was a matter of taste, I suppose.


This was picked up by the friend from the starter section, but it was so filling that it should really be a main course. The white stuff is a mixture of Romanian cottage cheese and sour cream and the yellow stuff is corn meal (like Italian polenta). The other Romanian friend of mine later told me that the Romanian people typically eat this as a main course after a soup at home. I liked this cream very much. Maybe the best thing for me among all the dishes we ate there. It was simple, but good.


Here is an assorted plate of Romanian pickles that we ordered instead of salad. I generally like pickles and these were not exception, but for GH who does not like pickles in general, it wasn't exception either.


And main courses. These are Romanian cabbage rolls. Stuffing was minced meat and served with polenta and sour cream. It had a particular sour flavor and I guessed that it was because cabbage was pickled.


This is Romanian style "tigania" (so we were explained by the owner), served with polenta, grated cheese and fried egg. The meat was pork and sausage. Although it was described "tigania", the meat wasn't flash fried, but stewed.


And here is Romanian kebab "mititei", served with fries and mustard.


All the meat main dishes were tasty enough, but I had an impression that the quality of meat was somehow, I don't know how to say, "compromised"? I mean, if I were to cook the same dishes, I would have used better quality meat.

Our Romanian friend insisted that we should try desserts as well, even if we were totally full at this point.

Here is Romanian crepe with jam.


And these are Romanian donuts served with creamed white cheese and jam.


I liked better the crepes.

With a bottle of water, the total bill seemed to come to 50 and a few Euro. I say "seemed" because our Romanian friend snatched the bill and did not want to show it to us. In the end, we managed to hand her in some money, but we do not know what cost how much exactly.

In any case, we exaggerated with orders and I guess one can easily get away with 15 Euro per a head. I would want to go back to try other dishes, especially soups that the Romanian eat a lot.

Dorna
Acharnon 408, Agios Eleutherios, 11143 Athens, Greece
Αχαρνών 408, Αγ. Ελευθέριος 11143, Αθήνα
Tel. (+30) 210 211 1104
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29 March, 2014

Godzilla Sushi Bar @ Marina Flisvos


Quick post about Godzilla Sushi Bar in Marina Floisvou.


Godzilla Sushi Bar was used to be in Psyrri and some time ago it relocated to Marina Flisvos, in Palaio Faliro. The location is a bit strange. It is just next to Mare Marina club/restaurant and it shares the same entrance. I.e. To enter Mare Marina from the south side (I think there is another entrance at the other end), you have to go through Godzilla.

It is a very small restaurant, with a dozen of tables. There is a sushi counter with 2 young Asian sushi chefs, but all the other food seems to be cooked in the kitchen of Mare Marina.

We went with a 29 Euro coupon, so I do knot know the real price, but I am sure that it is on the expensive side due to the location.

The first course was miso soup which was probably the worst I have ever had. They added too much water and it tasted barely miso. To compensate the lack of taste, they added a drop of sesame seed oil. It was entirely wrong.


The second course was Gyoza. Japanese people won't eat gyoza and sushi at the same time, but it does not matter. Problem was that the gyoza (dumplings with minced meat filling) was reheated in a strange manner that the lower part was lukewarm and the upper part was totally cold. I have no idea how they did this magic.


Godzilla salad did not contain any godzilla meat, but with chicken. Sour-sweet sesame dressing was pretty good.


And finally sushi. From the left, spicy tuna maki, salmon nigiri, and prawn and cucumber maki. And the sushi were fine. The spicy tuna maki was clearly the winner, although it was not spicy (it just had some mayonnaise). But again, all tasted all right. Correct sushi.


But the final vegetable noodles were again wrong. They used instant ramen noodles which were not for stir-frying. The noodles fell into short pieces.


GH had an Asahi beer for 6.50 Euro.

I satisfied my curiosity with 29 Euro (+6.50 Euro beer). If I ever come here again, I will eat only sushi and salad.

Godzilla Sushi Bar (by Mare Marina)
Marina Flisvos (Building 6), Palaio Faliro
Μαρίνα Φλοίσβου (Κτίριο 6), Παλαίο Φάληρο
Tel. 210 9822220


16 March, 2014

Palia Xanthi @ Tzitzifies


A couple of months ago, while we were walking in Tzitzifies, we came across a taverna called Palia Xanthi, which I have never heard of. Although it was an odd hour (around 6 o'clock in the afternoon, if I remember well), there were some people eating there and the food looked promising.

So we returned there last week.

The place is rather large. There was smell from the fireplace and kitchen. You'd better avoid coming here with nice clothes because the smell sticks (we regretted afterwards).


The menu contains usual starters, a variety of simple salads, a variety of fish mezedes and main dishes (but not big fish), and again usual grille meats. One thing that notably lacking was Mageirefta (stewed or oven baked food). No moussakas, no pastitsio, no meat cooked in tomato sauce, no stewed vegetables.

And I did not notice anything exotic either, except for Kavourmas. But I have no idea about the food in Xanthi and I might be wrong.

Here are grilled bread with oil and oregano, tyrosalata (which was tyrokafteri), and horta.


All of the above were pretty good with fresh green olive oil.

The fried potatoes came in a big portion, but the oil was slightly stale.


We wanted to order Midopilafo (rice cooked with mussels), but they did not have it. So we decided to try one meat dish. This is a portion of Keftedes (7 Euro).


They looked like biftekia, but the texture was not as meaty. It was like balls of mince treated with a pinch of soda, which gives a bouncy consistency to the meat. I know a Turkish recipe of such meat balls. They were not bad, but I don't think I want to order again.

The "Married Sardines" instead were our favorite of the night (6.50 Euro). These were fillets of sardines facing each other and slices of tomato in between.


A bit salty, but they made a good accompaniment to Vergina Weiss beer that we ordered.

The total bill came to 28 Euro, including a bottle of water (sort of obligatory order) and there was no free dessert or drink.


The price was fair, if not cheap. It seems that during the weekend they have live music. We should be trying one of these nights.

Palia Xanthi - Παλιά Ξάνθη
Pisistratou 87, Tzitzifies, Kallithea, Athens, Greece
Πεισιστράτου 87, Τζιτζιφιές, 17674, Αθήνα
Tel. 210 9403855

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