30 January, 2010

Simply Burgers @ Sygrou Avenue

Visited a Simply Burgers joint on Syngrou Avenue last Saturday, because a couple who was with us said it was very good and ate frequently at its joints.

I don't have photo of the shop, so I took a picture of the menu that I found under the door of our flat.

Simply Burger Hamburger

It is half-self service style and you need to go to counter to place the order, while water and food are brought to tables by service staff.

Hubby ordered The Godfather (€ 8.35), as was recommended by the couple.

It is a hamburger with grilled bacon, double cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Hubby said he liked it, but I didn't. I ate the meat and found it totally tasteless. MacDonald's beef patty has more beefy flavour, in my opinion. But here tastelessness of the beef is covered up by Simply Burger Sauce (don't ask me what it was), greasy bacon and melted cheese. Side of fried potato had flavour-enhancer flavour of crisps; I like it with crisps, but not with chips.

The my order, however, wasn't bad. Chicken quesadilla (€5.95).

Grilled Arabic pita (according to the menu, but should it be tortilla?) sandwich with cheese and chicken.

Pita was crispy and cheese was gooey. It is not a gourmet food, but a nice fastfood.

One of the guys who was with us ordered Caesar's salad and let me taste it. Again, I found it tasteless; how they managed to deprive iceberg lettuce of taste was beyond me.

In next days, I asked 3 of my friends if they like Simply Burgers. They all responded that they prefer Macdonald's or Goody's for different reasons.

I won't go back to Simply Burgers if I can choose, but if I should, I will stick to quesadillas.


Related Link
Restaurants in Athens

25 January, 2010

Flisvos Marina

This Saturday afternoon, we want to Flisvos Marina.

Flisvos Marina is a newly developped area by the sea near Faliro. As the name suggests, it is a marina of yachts and cruisers...

Floisvos Marina
(the hill in the background is Kastela Hill of Piraeus)

And also it is also an entertainment area with many restaurants, cafés, shops and a wide and pleasant promenade. It gets really busy in hot summer evenings.

Flisvos Marina

This is the building in which T.G.I. Friday's is of the tenants. I remember that in England T.G.I. was a sort of family restaurants, but here in Greece it seems to be treated as a hot spot for young people.

We found a temporary ice rink. It costs €10 for an hour including shoes rental fee.

The easiest way to go probably is to use tram and get off at Trocadero. There is a car park, but can be very busy in weekend evenings.

24 January, 2010

Trata @ Gefyla, Monemvasia

When we visited Monemvasia in January 2010, we stopped at a fish restaurant called Trata in Gefyla village, which is situated on the opposite of Monemvasia. You will find it just before crossing the bridge to Monemvasia, on your left side. Gefyla means bridge in modern Greek, by the way.


Before deciding where to eat, we asked two local people for advices. One said this one and another one called Scorpios, again in Gefyla, and the other one mentioned this. OK. It is not a statistical data, but I would suppose it has a good fame among the locals.

We were greated by the cheerful bearded owner. In general, the service was fine.

The menu wasn't very long. All usual suspects in Greek fish restaurants, and some dishes were not available. It happens all the time in restaurants in Greek countryside. No Greek would be disappointed by this.

First to come was a huge mountain of Tyrokafteri.


Hubby wanted Melitzanosalata, but it wasn't available. Our waiter suggested it to him and he ordered it as he does not know how to say "no".

It wasn't bad, but neither good. It was just a mixture of feta and red pepper. I want tyrokafteri to be smoother, not mashy.

Then Horta (boiled green). I wanted wild green, but it again was not available. This is just a normal green.


Odd thing was that it contained two sorts of greens, separatedly. I have never seen horta served like this. I sensed a little staleness in it. The horta was much better at Katagounas in Gerolimenas.

And Saïtiá.


Saïtiá is a regional delicacy: grilled spinach and cheese (feta) pie. Personally I was not enthused by it, because I don't like pies in general. Objectively I think it was well prepared and healthier alternative to oven-baked or fried pies.

Main dishes were garidomakaronada and fried marides.


Fish was fresh and tasty and the portion was very generous. I won't desire anything more than fried marides.

Garidomakaronada, however, was not total success. The king prawns were beautiful: very fresh and not over-cooked. On the other hand, there was some staleness in spaghetti. I thought that the oil was getting old.

In general food here was hit and miss. Probably we should have stuck strictly to fish.

23 January, 2010

Some remains from the Christmas period

I have been away from the blog, as my time for blogging was dedicated to write something about our recent Laconia trip. And that is why I still have these photos from Christmas period. I know it is over. I even started to dismount our Christmas tree (by the way, I think it is quite common in Greece to keep the tree at least until Epifania, but it is long gone too).

This is the Vassilopita Hubby bought for our house.

As the readers of this blog already know, Greeks cut their sweet bread called vassilopita on New Year's day. The bread contain a coin, and if you get a piece containing the coin, you have luck this year. Similar custom exists all over Europe. French Galette des rois probably the most famous example.

The one in the photo isn't, I think, traditional vassilopita. I think it should more like bread, but this one is more like cake. Heavy cake with lots of crashed almonds. It is maybe because Hubby bought it from a patisserie shop called Papagalino (a franchise brand in Greece), not from bakery or supermarket.

I won the coin this time. I had already won another one at In-Law's house. I should be very lucky this year, although I have not observed any sign of it. :)


When I returned home from Japan, I was greeted by this freakin' object.

A severed head of Agios Vassilios, i.e. Santa Claus for non-Greeks.

Evidently it sings, too!

I interrogated Hubby how he got hold of this. He confessed that it was gift from his Mom. Not that she bought it for him, but she had it and did not know what to do.

Good way to dispose of objects you don't want!

14 January, 2010

Turkish Airlines Inflight Meal 3 (Narita-Instanbul-Athens)

The meals I had during the Turkish Airlines flight Tokyo-Instanbul-Athens on 1st January 2010. Last in the series. :)

The airplane took off from Tokyo at 14:30 in the afternoon. The meal, I think, was served sometime after 3 o'clock, so it was between lunch and dinner.

Different from the flight from Instanbul to Narita (Tokyo), we were not given printed menu and we were verbally asked by stewards if we wanted chicken or lasagna. I opted for the latter.

But, just at this point, the steward noticed that he did not have lasagna in his cart. He went to search for one in vain. He was about to give me chicken apologising, when he realised he still have one lasagna left in his cart. He proudly give it to me saying "I have just seen one there!" It was lucky for me, but he, over excited, he totally forgot that the woman next to me also asked for lasagna and gave her chicken without saying anything.


By the way, the thing they called lasagna was cannelloni. Although it wasn't lasagna, it was pretty good, the best set of the 4 meals I had this time.

Then before arriving at Istanbul, we had this plate. There was no choice.

Fish, spinatch and rice. I don't know what fish it was: smelly and no taste. Spinach soaked up the fishy smell and undersalted as well. White steamed rice did not help either. It should have been a Japanese meal (as is evident by the steamed white rice) prepared in Japan; I have no idea how could it go so wrong. This one, the worst of the four meals.

There was something wrong with the way they serve coffee and tea. In my experience, the coffee and tea are served at the last of the meal, usually while we were still eating. In the case of Turkish, they serve it at the same time as they remove the trays. Besides, they remove the trays without asking us if we want coffee or not. The result is that when we want coffee, we don't have cup any more. I managed to get coffee on explicit request, but I wasn't offered either sugar or milk. It wasn't problem for me, as I drink it black, but I, again in my past experience, was always asked if I want it or not, or they (milk and sugar) were already on the tray. It looked very weird to me.

And this is the light meal we were served from Istanbul to Athens. It looks like a breakfast, but we ate it late in the evening.

Caesar's salad and feta sandwich. I don't remember as I hardly ate it. I tried to eat the salad, but the dressing was too oily and I lost my appetite.

Turkish's meals looked better than the ones offered by northern European airlines, but I cannot say that they tasted better. Besides, the way they served it was rather unconventional and I prefer the conventional way.

08 January, 2010

Peloponnese in January

Yesterday we came back from three-day visit to Lakonia, Peloponnese.

We went to Monemvasia,


the Mani Peninsula,


Mystras, and so on.


The weather wasn't excellent, but was reasonably good for January. The major difficulty, however, was Hubby's stomach; he has been suffering since Sunday and it continued during the trip.

I will write about the trip sometime soon.

04 January, 2010

Turkish Airlines Inflight Meal 2 (Istanbul-Tokyo)

We were supposed to leave for Peloponnese in the morning, but at the last moment, it was postponed. As soon as we got into the car, Hubby's dad called him to tell that his mom felt ill. She recovered soon after we arrived her home but decided to go to hospital just for check and Hubby decided to go with her and his Dad. I remained here, as they left by taxi and there was not room for me (my in-laws are both pretty bulky) and I would be anyway useless in the hospital. I don't know if we can leave today at all. If we cannot, we will lose the hotel charge and rent-a-car charge for today, this in addition to the money Hubby has to pay for the taxi and for the hospital. Not a lucky day for us.

While waiting for Hubby now knowing what to happen later, if we leave or not, I write this blog. :)

Now, the flight from Istanbul to Narita (Tokyo).

The airplane was pretty large and each seat has its own screen. And the seat number appeared on it so that even the most careless passenger cannot miss his/her seat.

This is the blanket.

I liked the traditional Turkish pattern representing pomegranate. Besides blanket, we were given a pair of slippers and a poach containing a tooth-brush, an eye-mask, a pair of socks etc. Blanket wasn't for give-away, of course, but everything else was.

Now the dinner. Before the meal we were handed printed menu. I chose beef kofte, bulgur and grilled vegetables.

It was neither good nor bad. Just edible. Chocolate mouse was similar to what I had during Athens-Istanbul flight, so I did not eat it.

This is breakfast (no choice).

The cheese omelet was awful, but spinach pie was excellent. It wasn't crispy, flakey pie, but moist and soft, more like a lasagna sheet pie. I remember to have eaten a similar thing in a Turkish pastry shop in Athens.

Yogurt muesli was also a big hit with me (this might be up to my personal preference).

To be continued...

Trip to Peloponnese

We are leaving for Peloponnese for some days. Our plan is to visit Sparta, Mistras, and maybe Monemvasia if the weather permits. I will continue posting when I will be back.

03 January, 2010

Turkish Airlines Inflight Meal 1 (Athens-Istanbul)

I went back to Japan by Turkish Airlines for the first time. For the occasion, I took some photos of in flight meals.

This is what I was served during the flight from Athens to Istanbul.

There were mozzarella and tomato salad, chicken ham sandwich, crackers, and chocolate mousse. Considering it was just over an hour flight, the meal was pretty rich.

The salad was fine, but the dressing was too oily (as it is in a small bag, you can avoid it at all and sprinkle only some salt which comes in an another bag). Chicken ham was thick-cut and I felt almost like eating chicken ham steak. I found chocolate mousse negligible, but I generally do not like chocolate, so you should not trust me on this one.

On the dinner plate, I found this notice.

No pork meat is used for this meal. The stewardesses were not wearing head-scarf and the stewards were not wearing mustache, but this notice made me realize that Turkey is a largely Muslim country.

Happy New Year/ Xronia Polla!

Happy New Year! Χρονιά πολλά!

It has been a few weeks since my last post. I have been to Japan and did not have nothing to post this blog which is supposed to concern Greece.

This is a Christmas tree. Not just an ordinary tree, but a Japanese Christmas tree! :) To be precise, I took the photo in Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi. Japan is hardly a Christian country (although there is a non-negligible number of Christians), but people celebrate it anyway.

Christmas was introduced to Japan as a non-religious festival: an occasion to give gifts to children and to drink and eat. A Japanese famous folk dance song goes: to dance is silly and to watch people dancing is silly, too. If it is the same silliness, why don't we just dance?

Of course I went to Akihabara, also known as Electric Street in English speaking world (although it is really a town, not just a street).

I was rather shocked to see the changes in Akihabara. There are so many closed shutters and many non-electric related shops. Japan is suffering a 10-year-long economic and social crisis and it shows in Akihabara in a most striking manner. Besides it has been suffering in sales for a long time, on 4 June 2008 an unemployed man massacred 7 and wounded 10 in an indiscriminate attack. Since then, the youth who used to gather abandoned this town.

By the way, I bought a new digital camera. I hope I can take better pictures with it.

Then I left there on 1 January, after a parting new year meal with my family. These are Japanese festive sweets (based on bean paste).

I have not yet recovered from jet lag and that is why I am writing this post at 4 o'clock in the morning. Nevertheless, we are leaving for a small tour in Peloponnese tomorrow. And then I will have many things to post.