27 November, 2010

Food in Arta

Continue about Arta...

This is a view of a commercial street in Arta from our hotel room. We stayed at a hotel called Amvrakia I think.

There are only 2 hotels in Arta town and this is the cheaper one. We paid 45 Euros per night for a double room inclusive of breakfast (standard Greek, i.e. basically continental).

Driving past Arta's countryside, we saw a lot of cattle. They should have good meat.

And I regret that we did not have chance to eat meat while we are in Arta.

Although Arta itself is not on the sea, it is fairly close from Ambracian Gulf and, evidently, the population eats lot of fish. We saw as many fishmongers as butchers.

I am delighted to see eel, another of the things I regret not to have eaten. But we managed to eat the other fish in the photo, Gouvia. Unfamiliar fish in Athens.

We ate it in a fish restaurant in Kolonisia, which is a sort of island, but not really.


Gouvia were white meat fish with sweetish flavour which we liked very much. Just the look is not very attractive as the meat has many black vein.

We would like to go back when we visit Arta next time.

Psarotaverna I Myrtaria
Ψαροταβέρνα Η Μυρταριά
Κορωνησία Άρτας
Τηλ. 26810 23021

20 November, 2010

Garidomakaronada @ Amphilochia

On the way to Arta, we stopped at Amphilochia for a late lunch.

As the town is on the Ambrachian Gulf, our choice was necessarily focused on fish restaurants. Not knowing any place, we just entered in a restaurant which had more people inside (to be honest, it wasn't so much people, as it was really late lunch even by Greek standard).

We ordered 4 dishes. First to arrive were, as always, cold plates: horta and melizanosalata.

Both rather average. Not bad though.

(Unfortunately) the highlight of the meal was fried potatoes.

Freshly cooked and the potatoes had potato-taste.

The main dish was King Prawn Spaghetti (Garidomakaronada).

Usually, garidomakaronada comes in two portions, but this one was rather meagre for two. The spaghetti was plainly over-cooked (cooked twice, I guess). The most unforgettable thing was that the prawns were old and not cleaned of guts so that they were smelly and contained sand. Even in Greece, I don't see often such a badly cooked dish. 18 Euros was clearly overpricing

The service was very good and the service staff (I think they were owners) was genuinely nice, but I won't go back.

60 Adr. Stratou Street
Tel. +30 26420 22213

18 November, 2010

Rio-Andirrio Ferry Trip

Since 2004, the year of Athens Olympic Games, the Streit of Rio-Andirrio can be crossed through bridge.

However, it is still possible to cross it by ferry, just as in the past.

During a recent weekend trip, we used a ferry to cross the streit, after visiting the Fortress of Rio, also known as the Castle of the Morea.

The ferry is more for vehicles than for humans. We paid 6.50 Euros, about the half of the bridge toll.

The trip lasted about quarter of an hour, but summing up the time to load the cars and the time to get off from the boat, it took like three quarters of an hour.

Rio-Andirrio Bridge is a beauty, but the ferry trip is also pleasant, if you are not in a hurry and the weather is good.

06 November, 2010

Yuzo @ Glyfada

One day, walking around Glyfada, we found this Japanese restaurant called Yuzo.

It is a very small shop specialised in sushi. It had very good reviews on Tripadvisor and food4you, though they are a couple of years old, I thought it was worth a try.

It was wrong. :D

Yesterday, we went back to the restaurant. Walking inside, we saw a young Greek waitress, an East-Asian cook (who turned out to be Chinese) and an owner who should be of Middle Eastern origin (his name being Karim).

On the table there were two menus, one normal one with hard cover and another one looked like take-away menu, so I ordered from the hard cover menu.

Here are a California roll, salmon roll and cucumber roll.

They arrived already deformed as the chef did not roll well. It is a bad sign as it means that he wasn't trained as sushi chef.

Then the rice was too wet and there was too much sugar and vinegar. Poor quality.

Ebi Fry (deep-fried king prawns in Panko crust) again were not what we eat in Japan.

And they came with Chinese sweet-chili dipping sauce.

But, until this point, things were not outside my expectation. It is difficult to find good or even average Japanese food in Greece.

The surprise came with the bill. It was 40 Euros and 3 of the 4 items we ordered were charged more than the prices indicated in the menu. As the result the bill was 6 Euros more than the total based on the menu prices.

So I called a waitress over for an explanation.

She said that the hard cover menu I saw was actually their old menu and the prices had gone up sice, showing us the paper menu.

However, 1 item was still more than 1 Euro more than is written on the 'new' menu and I did not understand her logic that we had to pay according to the 'new' menu while they had given me the old menu. I asked the waitress to call the owner and she looked quite relieved at my request.

The owner repeated the same explanation blaming the rise of prices on the rise of VAT (Value Added Tax) which went up from 8% to 9% and then to 11%.

But again I pointed out that the rise of price was about 10%-20%, while the VAT rise was 3%.

(Another thing he said was that the Ebi fly dish used to be 7 Euros because there were only 2 pieces and now it is 10 Euros because there are 3 pieces; but how could I know and verify this?)

The owner at this point was rather upset and said that he would waive the bill all together. It was, of course, only a gesture and in the end he took 35 Euros instead of 40 Euros he had demanded.

And he did not give us the receipt. He blames the tax rise, but I am not sure if he really pays the due amount of tax.

What I don't get is why the people who visit this place do not complain about this fraud (I don't call this a mistake because the owner was fully aware that the menu prices are lower than what he actually charges). The residents of Glyfada are so rich that don't barely notice it?

Who knows.

Tel: 210-8983675-6

03 November, 2010

Peloponnisos @ Parnitha

We visited Parnitha mountain with friends.

The idea was to have a coffee at the casino establishment on top of the mountain enjoying the view. Then we found out that the restaurant serves coffee in an area where there is no view whatsoever.

That is life. We just enjoyed coffee & chat. Without view.

On the way back, only Hubby & I stopped at one of many psistaries lining the road leading up to Parnitha. There are much more restaurants than on the Vari-Kolopi street. Not have any idea which one should be good, we just stopped at the one that looked relatively busy (it was not meal time and no restaurant was really busy).



Curiously, the restaurant did not have paper menu and the items on offer were communicated verbally to us by a waiter. It is a common practice in restaurants in countryside, but it is rare to find this practice in a place where a lot of tourists/visitors. In this sort of restaurant, you don't usually know how much each dish is if you don't ask the waiter explicitly.

Peloponnisos salad (mixed salad with balsamic vinegar), fried potato and tzatziki.

Later we found out salad was 8 Euros (!), tzatziki was 3, and potatoes were 2.50. The salad came in a generous portion, but I did not think it was worth 8 Euros.

Saganali of Talagani cheese, 4 Euros.

We have never seen this cheese before and we liked it very much. Consistency was close to haloumi cheese, but not at all salty and had a very strong milky taste.

Kokoretzi (7 Euros).

I ordered this because I wanted to try and the waiter told me that he could bring me a small portion.

Actually it came in a normal portion and the price was also full.

It was just OK.

Grilled pork chop (8.50 Euros).

Again the meat was very average and the potatoes were so salty that we could not eat.

With a coke and bread, the total bill came to 36.50. Probably OK for the amount we ordered (6 dishes), but we thought that the quality of food was poor for what I paid.

I had an impression that this is just a tourist trap; once trapped, we should learn to avoid.

And a photo of a lovely cat just outside the restaurant.

19 km leof. Parnithas
Tel. 210-2463318