27 August, 2009

New Entry: Petra (Lesvos)

Just uploaded a page on Petra, Lesvos.

http://www.mesogeia.net/trip/lesvos/petra_en.html.

We stayed in a village called Anaxos near Petra. While Anaxos is a pourpose-made holiday village, Petra is more traditional and more living town. Nevertheless, interestingly, Petra in summer is quite touristic, while Anaxos remains more like a Greek village.

Cats in Petra

Each place of these has its own charm and advantages.

The photo above was shot in Petra.

26 August, 2009

Ambelofasoula-Αμπελοφάσουλα

One of the things I are in Lesvos and liked very much was Ambelofasoula.



The colour of the above photo is misleading, as it was taken in the night with a strange lighting, but it is actually olive green (by the way, I ate this in a restaurant in Agios Isidoros near Plomari in Lesvos. It is just below Mirsini Hotel. Regardless of its location, it is very local, good and value-for-money restaurant as all the neighbourhood restaurants should be; recommended!).

Ambelofasoula is beans, but of the kind that we eat shells, like runner beans, green beans, string beans or French beans (I think some of these are actually different names for the same thing).

In Greek, ambelo- something is something related to vine. In this case, the name should be an association with the vine ivy.

I found it in Laiki market the other day and decided to try.



It is a summer vegetable and I don't see it in other seasons. Now it costs about 1-3 euros a kilo.

It is about 20 to 30 cm long.



I boiled it, as I ate in Agios Isidoros, but comparing to the one I ate there, it was less succulent, tougher and had more fibre. Although it was good, I still miss the one I ate in Lesvos.

Afterwards, I cooked it in a Chinese way; fry it first, then stir-fry with minced pork, chili, soy sauce and Chinese/East Asian spices. It was one of Hubby's favourite Chinese dishes when we used to live in Birmingham UK. Now that I think, these ambelofasoula look like East Asian Snake Beans; maybe they are the same thing.

It turned out to be quite good. As I don't find French beans here, I can substitute it with ambelofasoula. Good to know.




*****************************

After some time, I went to Carrefour Marinopoulos. Here are some prices, just for my memory.

Nescafe 200gr + 100gr Greek coffee 5.24euros
Calgon (big package) 24.30euros
Lurpak Spread 500gr 4.85euros

24 August, 2009

Smoky Sky of Voula

We went to Voula yesterday afternoon and found this sky.



It was because of the smoke from wild fire buring Attic mountains.

Not only it looks smoky, it smelt so. And of the sea surface we could observe tiny ashes.


On the other hand, it was totally OK in Piraeus; this is the sky this morning.



I wish the wild fire shall be extinguished so soon as possible!

Prokomenes @ Glyfada, Greece

Yesterday we visited Prokomenes in Glyphada after a short bathing in Voula.

I found this place on the web version of Exodos (ref. http://www.exodos.gr/index.php?ctg=gourmet&sub=details&id=2468). For this reason, I did not know exactly where it was, even if I had a map in hand.

We must have looked lost and a young guy working for a restaurant and tried to show us a way. He was kind enough, but without really looking at the map we had, he indicated us the way to Biftekipoli (another name of odos Konstantinoupoleos, as there are many 'biftekia' restaurants alongside the road).

Well...

So I disregarded his advice and headed for the different direction and 3 min later we were in front of the place we were looking for.

The first letter looks like OMEGA, but it is actually PAI.



They classify themselves as 'mageireio', although the place is very modern and pretty. They do not have menu, so the customers go to the counter and choose what they like from already cooked foods (mostly stews or oven baked stuff). It is not a self-service, as they will serve you the plates.

When we were seated, they brought us bread and olives.



Both bread and olives were very nice.

Then, a waiter came to our table with about 8 small dishes and asked us if wanted any of these. So far as I remember the selection included fava, grilled peppers, feta, horta, tyrokafteri, lentil salad, and melizanosalata that we took.



This was actually made from grilled aubergine, but the texture wasn't quite right. It was mashy than slippery.

This is Hubby's Soutzoukakia Smyrneika with potateos.



They were pretty good being soft and spicy.

I had veal cooked in lemon with rice (you can choose either potato or rice).



The meat was fine (this was a big hit with Hubby), but I did not like the rice which was too dry and hard; it is possible that it had passed quite a long time after being cooked.

At the last, we were given a complementary watermelon.



I noticed that the other tables were given watermelon and melon assortment. Maybe we can get melon as well, next time we will be there.

The final bill came to 26.50€ and here is the breakdown.

Bread and Olives 1€ x 2
Water 2€
Beer 330ml 2.50€
Melitzanosalata 4€
Veal dish 9€
Soutzoukia 8€
Watermelon (free)

Cooked dishes are not cheap, but in the end it came out reasonable because of low cover (bread) charge, drink price, and free watermelon.

The food in general has a politiki (Constantinopolitan) touch and fairly good. Environment and clean, fresh and cheerful. We would like to go back.

Prokomenes (Προκομένες)
7 Οδός Αλσους
Γλυφαδα 16675
Tel. 210-8985996

New Entries: Lesvos and Monastery of Saint Rafael

Slowly I started to write about our recent trip to Lesvos Island.

Lesvos Island

and

Saint Rafael Monastery

Saint Rafael is a most interesting place to take a peek into the modern Greek religious mentality. What happened in late Antiquity is still happening in 21st century Greece!

23 August, 2009

Waffle @ Flocafe

We went to Flocafé in Marina Zea, Piraeus.



Having already had an overload of coffee, we ordered a waffle.

It is sold in a package with ice cream, i.e., you cannot order waffle without ice cream. We had it with Vanilla and Caramel ice cream with whipped cream and vissino (sour cherry) sauce. There are other flavours of ice cream and sauces.



Flocafé waffle is square against the round variety that I have seen more often in Greece. It was quite good being crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy in the inside. I liked it better than the waffle of Costa Costa, just next to Flocafé.


Post Scriptum 7. Dec. 2009.

Yesterday, we ordered again the waffle at the same Flocafe (7.20 euros).



I forgot to order the sauce. It was my fault.

Apart from that, the waffle seemed be shrunk and thinner. Not as good as the one we ate before. Shame.

18 August, 2009

Second Visit to Gazohori

We revisited the mezedopoleio Gazohori in Gazi in early August and now uploaded some photos (click the photo below).



They seem to have increased the price slightly, although I don't figure out where. Maybe on bread (cover) charge and beer?

16 August, 2009

On the Sandals in Marina Zea

If you go to Marina Zea (Passalimani) in Piraeus, you often find sandals scattered on the seaside.

Passalimani

At first, I did not understand what they were.

Actually they belong to the people who are staying in cruisers and yachts.





As they don't want to ware shoes or sandals on their ships, they just leave them on the public road.

I find this a rather unsavoury habit, especially for those rich people who can afford to buy or rent huge yachts and cruisers to do.

What do you think?

15 August, 2009

James Joyce Pub and Restaurant in Monastiraki-Thissio

(This happened a few days before we left for Lesvos).

Hubby is on vacation for the two first weeks of August and we had time to go around Athens as well.

We stopped at an Irish pub-restaurant James Joyce in Monastiraki-Thissio area.



Inside, it is exactly like a pub we used to see in England. (OK, this is an Irish pub, but we don't have any idea how are the pubs in Ireland). It is spacious and cool (air-conditionned). Interestingly our waiter did not know Greek at all. When we visited there were not many other patrons, but it looked some were Greek and some English-speaking foreign.




They have obviously British and Irish beers, 4-5 euros a pint. Hubby had a Carlesburg and I had a diet coke.




And we shared a dish of club sandwich, with egg, bacon, lettuce, cheese etc, served with handmade chips and crisps. 8 euros or something.



And we shared a dessert: honey parfait with blackberries.



It was handmade and excellent. Unfortunate thing is that it costs eye-watering 6 euros (on the menu it was 5 euros, but we were charged 6 euros and our protest was not listened to at all).

Total bill was over 20 euros. OK price for this part of Athens. They serve also more serious meals (Irish-British dishes) and we will back to try some.

James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant
Astiggos 12, Monastiraki - Thiseio
Post Code: 105 55
Tel.: 210 32 35 055
Fax: 210 32 35 070
http://www.jjoyceirishpubathens.com/

Return from Lesvos

We returned from the 5-day vacation on Lesvos (Lesbos or Mitylene) island.

It was fantastic! We loved the island. It does not have UNESCO World Heritage site or any postcard-famous site, but there are so many interesting and beautiful places. We would love to return there again and again.

I will write about the island on Gate to Greece site, and here are some photos.

There are many miraculous saints and icons on the island, and here is one of them: Agios Rafail.



Rafail was a monk who was martyred by the hands of Ottoman Turks. There is a huge religious institution with many free accomodations. We kissed the holy relics (bones) and collected holy water.


This is Anaxos beach, near Petra, on the northern coast of the island.



Beaches are in general very quiet even in the middle of August, as we liked it.

Price of food is not much less than in Athens, but drinks are.



This beer cost 2.50euros, frappé 2 to 2.50 euros, Greek coffee from 1 to 1.70 euros.


We spent 5 days on the island and went around with a rent car, but we don't feel at all we saw it sufficiently. Cannot wait to go back.

04 August, 2009

White Aubergine

Saw white aubergines at a Laiki market and bought a few.

I have seen them several times over years, but this is the first time I bought them.

White Aubergine

It was written that these were "Santrini Aubergines". I don't know if it is the name of this variety or just they came from Santrini; I should have asked.

As you see, the inside is no different from ordinary aubergines.

I cooked gemista with these and they did not taste much different from ordinary ones, but I had an impression that these were less bitter. The colour of skin changed from white to brown which wasn't a particularly appetizing colour.

Does anyone know which is the best way to cook white aubergines?

03 August, 2009

Varkiza and Vouliagmeni

Having been away for some days and occupied with miscellaneous jobs, I did not have time to blog, but now I am back! :)

Yesterday, my bro-in-law took hubby and I to the beach. We were a group of 8 and went to somewhere below Varkiza for swimming. I remained out of water, as it was too sunny and I was sure to be burnt to death (I have sensitive skin and it has never been under the sun this summer). But Hubby enjoyed his first bath in this summer and it was excellent.

Afterward, we were taken to an Italian restaurant in Varkiza. It was called Vice Versa, if I remember well.

Hubby ate a Four Seasons pizza.



This wasn't bad, but home made pizza comes out better than this as I use better ingredients.

And I had tagliatelle with vegetable.



Tagliatelle were cooked well, but the combination of veggies and seasoning were uninspiring. Italians are genius in doing this kind of thing and it is where the Greeks fail. I ate half the plate and Hubby finished all. I stole two pieces of pizza from his plate.

With mineral water, it came to 25 euros (actually Hubby paid more as he had to pay also for his ever-needy other brother - they are 3 brothers). Not that the food was disgusting, but paying for sort of food that I can cook better is totally silly. But, you know, it wasn't me or Hubby who chose where to eat, sadly.


Hubby and I were already full, but the others were not satisfied and came to Waffle House in Vouliagmeni.



This is Waffle House. The have a lovely arrangement of colourful chairs. And, no, my photograph does not any justice to it. Sorry!



I tested pistachio ice cream.



One scoop costs 2 euros. It is a generous portion and very filling. But if my memory serves me well, I liked better pistachio ice cream of Pagotomania.

A friend of Bro-in-Law (the one who took us there) ordered something interesting and he let me take a photo of it.

Waffle

This is a waffle with nutella, 4 scoops of ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. He said it was excellent, but even he could not finish most of the waffle. I stole a mouthful, but it was well too sweet for me.

We went back around 8 and went streight to the bed, as we were very tired from the works of previous days.
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