The second day in Thessaly.
Of course, we went to see monasteries. In and around the monasteries, there is no restaurant or taverna, so we bought a snack from Kalambaka.
I got a huge peinirli. I ate a half during the sightseeing and the other half in the evening.
On the first day, we visited Agios Stefanos, Agia Triada, Roussanou and Megalo Meteoro. As it was a Friday, Varlaam and Agios Nikolaos were closed.
After these 4 monasteries, we went down to Kastraki to look for a taverna called Gardenia. I had a tip-off from an acquaintance of mine and wanted to visit it for a long time.
The taverna is close to the central church of Kastraki.
I have not been to Kastraki before; it is a cosy village with lots of tavernas and hotels. If you prefer a quiet place to stay, Kastraki is a better bit than Kalambaka which is a big and busy centre of this area.
Gardenia was a small family-run taverna (of Plakias Family evidently), which also has some rooms. We arrived quite late in the afternoon and there were only 2 other tables occipied (one elderly foreign couple was staying at one of their rooms).
The menu was small and nothing particularly interesting: usual appetizers, usual oven or casserole cooked dishes, and usual grilled meat. Ah, wait, there were pork kebabs that sounded rather unusual, but we did not order that.
Bread (1 Euro) and beer (3 Euro).
Tzatziki (2.80 Euro).
The cucumber in tzatziki tasted like pickled. Not like stale, but just pickled. First it tasted strange, but eventually I liked it.
Excellent horta (3.50 Euro).
It was a horta of summer, Vlita.
And Gemista (stuffed tomato and pepper) (5.80 Euro). It was a vegetarian version and there was not meat.
The stuffed rice was cooked perfectly and it was enjoyable over-all.
And pork souvlaki (7 Euro).
Meat was huge and freshly grilled (I saw the man putting the raw meat on the grill, so it is certain). Not particularly impressive, but again, tasty.
At the end the owner treated us with ravani cake and ice cream.
The bill was 23.10 Euro. We left satisfied.
In general, the tavernas in Kastraki looked more promising than in Kalambaka (and probably cheaper).
Gardenia - Γαρδένια
Kastraki Centre (Find that church and look down the street in front; you will find it)
Tel.: (+30) 24320 22504