29 October, 2011

Karsi @ Piraeus

[P.S. I found this place closed down recently: 19 October 2013]

I heard that there was this mezedopoleio in Piraeus which was really nice and this week I finally had a chance to try it.


It looks nice and cozy from outside.


Interior is modern retro-style which is in fashion. There were some old pictures of Piraeus on the wall.

On seating, we were offered a small bottle of tsipouro, red pepper filled with cheese mousse, and bread.

The menu read interesting with some unusual combinations (as you will see a few of the examples below). There were many items, but as it came to order, we were told 2 of the 4 items we wanted were "finished", so I don't know how much real is this menu.

One of the starters was Taboule.


It was OK, but it I sensed a hit of staleness. Maybe the bulgur was not cooked on the same day.

Another starter: fried feta with tomato and hot chili.

Feta Saganaki

Again, it was OK except for that the chili was not hot at all.

A main dish: fried pork (tigania) with orange and thyme.


Portion was generous but I did not like it. It smelled too much and I got an impression that it was not adequate cut for tigania. Even with orange and thyme, it did not smell good and the texture was wrong.

Another main dish: grilled pork fillet (psaronefri) with mustard & basil.

The mixture of mustard and basil was nice, but the meat was deadly dry and hard.

We ordered additionally a tomato & cucumber salad and the final bill came to 36.30 Euro (the below receipt does not include the salad which was 2 Euro).


I definitely prefer Geia Mas in the same neighbourhood, although, to tell you the truth, we have never returned since they served us a rotten lemon.

Akti Themistokleous 40
Freattyda, Piraeus
Tel. 210-45 10 400

Ακτή Θεμιστοκλέους 40
Φρεαττύδα, Πειραιάς
Τηλ. 210 45 10 400

27 October, 2011

Turkish Restaurant Aladdin @ Faliro

Last weekend, we visited a Turkish restaurant in Faliro, on Zisimopoulou street. It is called Aladdin.

The name and the decoration is a bit 'Arabic', but I don't think it is no more than Turkish. The menu items are in Turkish and dishes are what we find in Turkey.

When we arrived Sunday afternoon at around 2, the restaurant was full (the photo above was shot toward the corner where there was not much people on purpose; so do not be misled). As the other restaurants along Zisimopoulou we saw were quiet, we guessed that it was a very popular place. So reservation is recommended on weekends, especially you are visiting in a group.

The service was slow, because of so much people and lack of service staff. The staff kept on forgetting things (forgetting water, forgetting a fork, forgetting to collect money...).

The fresh pita bread was obligatory order. These pitas were very nice. In general I prefer bread, but I welcome something different from time to time.

The starters (about 10 kinds) were offered on a large serving tray and the guests can choose whatever they want.

Hubby wanted aubergine rolls, but he was told that it was gone (later I discovered it was being served at another table), so I took only Ezme, a paste like salad, mixture of tomato, chili paste, onion and herbs.

And after a very long break (due to slow service), our main dishes arrived. I ordered Adana Kebab (kebab with chili). The meat was served with bulgur pilaf, fried potatoes, onion salad and grilled tomato.

The meat came sizzling hot and was very juicy (mostly fat, but who cares?). Heavenly. I loved it.

Hubby ordered a kebab called Ali Nazik.

This was a dish I have never seen. The meat was morsels of chicken and slices of doner. They were put on the bed of smokey aubergine and yogurt mash and on top was tomato sauce. Hubby liked it very much, although I preferred my Adana kebab. It would have been better if it had some garnishes. Maybe we have to tell them to bring some salad at the same time with the meat, as the salad usually seemed to be served only as starter.

So in general we liked to food very much, but disliked the service. Probably we should avoid going there on weekends.

Bill, please!

Bread x 2 = 1.20 Euro
Ezme 4.50 Euro
Adana Kebab 9.10 Euro
Ali Nazik Kebab 9.90 Euro
Bottle of Water 1.80 Euro
Kaizer Beer 2.80 Euro

Total 29.30 Euro

Ag. Triados 1 & Zisimopoulou
Palaio Faliro, Athens
Tel. 210 985 0330

25 October, 2011

Portokalopita @ Izmirli Aile, Piraeus

The Athenians' life has been much disturbed by intermittent strikes of public transports and I had to walk many kilometers to walk home from work (not that walked all along, but about 6 km a time).

During one of these walks, I found this Turkish named place in Piraeus. It is called Izmirli Aile.

According to Google Translate Aile means family, so it is probably Izmir's family.

It says it has been since 1922, i.e. a year before the official Population Exchange, but already many of the Orthodox residents in Asia Minor were leaving their home. I am guessing the first owner of this shop was one of them. But the use of Turkish is actually unusual.

This shop was supposed to be patisserie (zaharoplasteio), but it seemed to be functioning more as a cafeteria and when we visited Saturday morning, they did not have many home-made sweets (they did have more pastries they bought in).

One of the few their produce was this orange pie (portokalopita).

It was made with fyllo pastry and served with real (i.e. not vegetable) whipped cream.

It was a very nice Oriental cake.

Coffee was average, but very cheap by Piraeus standard - 2.80 Euro for a cappuccino.

I would surely come back to see if they have some other Oriental sweets, when I happen to be there.

Izmirli Aile
Tzamadou & Zosimadon 48, Piraeus
Tel. 210 411 8541

21 October, 2011

New @ Sytagma-Plaka

About two weeks ago, Hubby & I visited a new place on Filellinon Street called New.

I had an impression it was a cafeteria, but I was wrong. It was actually a restaurant/bar attached to a new hotel called, again, New. If you are an Athenian, you might understand if I say that it used to be Olympic Palace Hotel.

However, being a hotel lounge, there are also a few tables for coffee only customers. So, we were asked if we had an appointment with somebody.

We were given 3 or 4 menus. 1 is for food (and maybe there is another one for lunch), bar menu, and coffee/tea menu. Of course I checked the food menu, although we have just eaten lunch elsewhere and there was no way we could eat. The prices are of "restaurant" class. I would first try more accessible lunch menu, and only if I like it, I would try also the restaurant menu.

We ordered 1 filtered coffee and 1 cappuccino. Water was from a bottle.

For cappuccino, I could choose organic or Neapolitan (it had another name, but do not remember now). As the waitress said that the latter is stronger, I took this one. It had a surprisingly strong flavour. Definitely one of the best cappuccino I had I had in Greece.

Hubby had filtered coffee which came in a generous pot.

And together with coffee, we were offered migniardises, as if we were in a top-end restaurant (maybe we were).

Lavender Macaron. Smelled of lavender which reminded me of ... toilet deodorant. Sorry.

These metallic chocolates were really great. As I do not like chocolates in general, but eat only top quality ones, I can discern high quality chocolate pretty easily and I can tell you these were.

Decoration was a bit strange. These "woods" were made from parts from old furniture. I rather liked it.

Toilet was also elegant.

The cappuccino was 5 Euro and the filtered coffee was 4 Euro, and we were charge only 9 Euro. Nothing else.

This is the website of the hotel.

I would definitely come back to try the food at some point.

And now that I hear that some shops in Filellinon street were damaged by mobs during the recent violent episode on 19-20 October, I am somehow worried if anything happened to this nice place.


A black dog relaxing flatly.

Still testing

I am trying to set up mobile blogging, this time with photo.


OK. It was half a success. Half of the text was cut off. Evidently I should not have written below the photo.

Anyway, the above photo was taken at Kitchen Bar in Alimos. The menu smelled of human hand fat. I think it is unacceptable for a restaurant that charges 15 Euro for a dish.

posting test

posting test

15 October, 2011

Peccati Di Gola @ Glyfada

After more than a year, we went back to Peccati di Gola.

Glyfada is not particularly close to Piraeus, but we like it because 1) easy to park, 2) we can combine a walk and food, 3) there is a decent range of choice of restaurants.

Now that I work in Alimos and not any more in Kolonaki, probably we will find ourselves in Glyfada in Friday evenings more often than ever.

We visited this restaurant in May 2010 (I wrote about it here) and left with a good impression.

From outside, it did not look busy, but the manager (who should be one of the owners) said all the indoor tables were reserved (it was not warm enough for us to be seated outdoor). It seemed that this business was still going well. However, we got a table which was reserved from 23:00 on; it was still 20:30, so we had plenty of time.

A bottle of water was an obligatory order and Hubby ordered a Peroni beer.


Last time, we made a mistake of ordering mozzarella di buffala and prosciutto crudo (not due to the problem of the dish, but the portion was so large that we got full half away through the main dish) and this time we did not repeat it. This is Verdure alla Griglia.

Verdure alla Griglia

I like grilled vegetables so I liked it. It included lots of garlic and fresh thyme.

Hubby ordered Pizza 4 stagioni.


The pizza dough was much softer than usual ones we find in Greece. The cheese, again, is not regular yellow cheese that often used for pizze in Greece. The quality of the ingredients seemed above average. Hubby was happy with it.

I ordered Saltimbocca alla Romana instead.

I think that the Roman style saltimbocca should be made with veal, but this one was with pork. As veal is readily available in Greece, I am not sure what was the reason of this choice. To keep the price low probably is the most probably explanation. Anyway, it was satisfactorily good with strong sage (salvia) flavour.

A bit disappointing was to find as accompaniment the same grilled vegetables that we had for the starter. They - especially the waitress who I think was the other owner - should have give it a bit thought.

Hubby had an expresso after the meal and the total came to 41 Euro. We were not offered limoncello as last time.

Not cheap, but considering that we paid the same for the imho inedible meal at La Pasteria, this is much better value. Probably this is what we should pay at Italian restaurants in Athens.

Service over all is just OK. The indoor space is limited and, tables being close to each other, we felt a bit uneasy especially when the waiters ran around us constantly.

Bill in Detail
Water 2 Euro
Peroni 500ml 4.50 Euro
Verdure alla Griglia 6 Euro
Saltimbocca alla Romana 13.50 Euro
Pizza alle quattro stagioni 12.50 Euro
Espresso 2.50 Euro

Total 41 Euro

13 October, 2011

Mourouzis Grill @ Kalyvia

In Athens we are in the middle of 48 hour strike of the public transport.

Dog and Tram Line

Tomorrow there won't be even taxi.

There is no one collect garbage, because, alledgedly, the dumping site is under occupation. At some points, the roads are completely closed by the garbage and there is no space to walk.

Archaeological sites and museums are closed for 2 days, because the guards are on strike. Next week the tax officers are on strike, when the state is desperately in need of tax collection.

Bloody situation to live in really.


Here is what we did on a Sunday about a month ago.

On our way back from the sea we stopped at Kalyvia, famous meat grilling place in Attiki. Vari is better know to the foreigners, but it is now in serious decline. It does not make much sense to go there, except for a week before the Lent. Kalyvia, instead, seems to be buzzling.

We stopped at a restaurant called Mourouzis. It occupies 3 or 4 buildings and there should be more than 1,000 seats.

The street was full of meat grilling smell.

It is not a place to look for sophisticated dishes, so we ordered some classic: fried potatoes, salad (greek salad without feta), tzatziki, and grilled bread (which was an obligatory order). As you see, the portion was enormous. Tzatziki would have been 4 portions in a touristy taverna in Plaka.

And meat!

We usually share 1 portion between us, but on that day Hubby insisted he was very hungry and wanted 2 dishes.

This is grilled veal T bone.

I never order veal steak, as it does not have meaty tastiness like matured beef. Hubby sometimes orders it and always gets disappointed. He never learns.

The meat was soft and nice, but still it was... veal.

We both liked better pork belly slices ("pancetta" in Greek).

We could not finish it and took half the meat away. Looking around us, most of the people do the same. Order huge amount of meat and take away what remains.

After the meal, we were offered some fruits.

Many people were eating yogurt (in an enormous portion again) served with bright colour spoon sweets.

The bill was a bit above 40 Euro. Not cheap, but the food was enough at least for 3 people, so if you come in a big group, the cost performance should be very good.

That is what we would like to do next time.

10 October, 2011

Galaktoboureko @ Megalopoli

This happened two weekends ago.

On the way to Bassae (Vassai) we stopped at Megalopoli for a rest. We looked for a good place for pies and I saw this at the central square of Megalopoli.


"Traditional Galaktoboureko of Megalopoli".

And I send to Hubby, "Honey, I think I should try this". He agreed only reluctantly, because he was looking for cheese pie and this was a sign of zacharoplasteio (patisserie).

When we went inside and he was even more disappointed to see a stale-looking cheese pies, but the savior appeared from behind the counter and told him that there are fresher ones in the oven.

Here is the traditional galaktoboureko of Megalopoli!


The Megalopolitan galaktoboureko had a very soft custard filling, almost like custard pudding. Had a nice eggy flavour and no unpleasant taste of undercooked semolina.


We loved it.

The cheese pie (tyropita koulou) also was "super" with a good quality feta cheese.


We left happy and content.

Kafe-Zacharoplasteio Astoria

09 October, 2011

Tyropita @ Pasiakos Driver-In

We went for a trip to Pelion this summer. I have roughly finished the Pelion section of Gate to Greece. I still need to enrich the text parts, but skeleton is there.

So I start writing about the food we had during the trip just for my record.

The first food we had during the vacation was at a drive-in located somewhere near Lamia. The Drive-Inn was called Pasiakos Oasis. I have a vague memory that I had been to a Drive-In called Pasiakos near Lamia, but it was closer to Lamia than this "Oasis Pasiakos".

It was quarter to 13:00 and it was a perfect snacking occasion, as we preferred to have lunch in Pelion. This drive-in had a variety of Greek dishes ready to be served (self-service style), but we had just a piece of cheese pie and two glass of frappé.


This is not a bakery tyropita, but so-called "tyropita fournou (oven baked cheese pie)", tyropita typically cooked at home. Made with fyllo pastry and crumbled feta cheese.

Greek Cheese Pie

It was rather cold and a touch under-done, but still it was a filling & tasty snack to get ourselves going for some hours more. If I remember well, it was about 3 Euro a piece.