17 October, 2012

What We Ate in Meteora Area - Skaros, Kalambaka

The last day in Kalambaka.

Breakfast at the hotel. For some reason, there was no fresh bread this morning, but we got a "tost (famous Greek cuisine - toasted sandwich with cheese and sometimes ham)". The breakfast at Galaxy Hotel was perfectly fine for this class of accommodation (the hotel has 2 stars).

We first visited Agios Nikolaos & Varlaam Monasteries that were closed the day before. We got overwhelmed by the number of visitors at the latter; there was several groups of Americans coming from Cruise boat. It is very difficult when it happens at any historical/ archaeological sites.

And we started an excursion for countryside.

Our destination was a Byzantine church in Dolianá, but the more important objective was a drive in the countryside.

We stopped at Kastaniá for a coffee. The place was called Pindos Hotel and Taverna. There were better looking places for coffees at another piazza, but there was a construction work going on and the noise was not bearable.

We wanted cake or something, but the only sweets they had was spoon sweets. These were spoon sweets made of walnuts.

I have never eaten spoon sweets of walnuts and I had an idea that it should be walnuts in syrup. As you see, it wasn't. Evidently the fruits are collected and treated while they are still young and the shell is not yet formed. Inside, I could recognize usual nuts. They were handmade and were excellent.

Here we had a chat with an elderly woman who should be one of the owners. We heard she speaking Vlahika, but she spoke also Greek. She said that nowadays the countryside is deserted and there are so few people living there. In older better days (i.e. before the crisis), people used to come from Kalambaka and other towns nearby, but now it stopped.

The road to Dolianá goes through mountains and forests. We did not actually go to see Doliana village, but we did visit the church which has 13 turrets.

And we had late lunch at a road-side taverna. She did not many things and dishes were cold to lukewarm.


Galotyri is like a mixture of yoghurt and feta and eaten in Thessaly and Magnesia. This one wasn't as good as the ones we ate in Pelion.

Fried keftedakia (meat balls) in tomato sauce.

Good, but were totally cold.

Fasolada (white bean soup).

OK, but lukewarm.

GH was very disappointed in the cold dishes, although I was less so, because they were at least palatable.

At the end, the lady-owner offered us spoon sweets made by herself (not that she gave us only two, but we ask her to give us only two, because we were already stuffed).

These were tomato and fig, both excellent. These handmade spoon sweets are much better than those sold in jars.

Then we went back to Kalambaka. As there still was light, we visited also the nunnery of Agioi Theodoroi just outside Kalambaka. It was built in Meteora monastery style and contemporaneous, but not at all touristic.

In the evening, we were not really hungry, but I really have to make a last effort to get to another restaurant I have wanted to revisit for a long time.

It is called Taverna O Skaros. But it is not taverna at all, it is a grill restaurant (psistaria). The major difference between psistaria and tavernas is that in the former there are only grilled meats as main dish, while in the latter you can get also casserole & oven dishes. If you are a vegetarian, don't go to psistaria.

It was Saturday night and there are quite many people eating.

Starters are tzatziki and cucumber-tomato salad. We got also bread and half kilo of red wine.

These were just OK, but it was not the point.

The point is this: grilled meat!

These are kontosouvli of pork and lamb. I wanted only lamb, because I knew it was good (for me it was a revisit), but GH wanted pork as a safer option. The lamb of Skaros is rally incredible, it is juicy, sweet and crispy. I have never eaten better lamb anywhere else in Greece.

The bill for all these were 22 Euro, and Mr. Kostas the owner wanted only 20 Euro.

It is not something I can eat everyday, but once I am in Kalambaka, it shall be a must-visit restaurant.

Ο Σκάρος - O Skaros
Odos Trikalon
(+30) 24320 24152

How to find it: Starting from Kalambaka town centre, walk down the main street (Kalambaka-Trikalon) toward Trikala direction. On the left side of the street, you will find Divani Meteora hotel. O Skaros is just away (20-30 metres maybe?) from the hotel, left side of the road.

In Kalambaka, if I had more time, I would have tried a taverna called Dionysos (in the photo below) in centre and one called Paramythi at the opposite end of Trikalon Street.

These two looked rather promising. Or I will try also Kastraki village in the evening.

I hope my record helps those who have plan to visit Kalambaka.

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