26 January, 2012

Serkos's Kebab @ Glyfada

This is one of the restaurants I have wanted to go for years and last weekend finally I found an occasion to pay a visit.

Serkos kai ta Tessera Asteria (Serkos and the Four Stars).

Serkos kai Tessera Asteria

What first caused my desire was that it calls itself an Armenian restaurant. I am very curious about the cuisine of unknown countries. But then I learnt that the Armenian cuisine - at least the one that served in Greece - is very close to Turkish cuisine and my curiosity weakened. On the second phase, this place was recommended by someone I know as one of the best kebab restaurants in Athens, so my desire continued.

It did not look particularly great from outside, and also inside is an average taverna standard with some Armenian decorations.



Although we did not have reservation, could find a table without problem, BECAUSE it was almost 4 o'clock. My experience told me that even at the busiest restaurants, we can find a table if it is 4 o'clock and indeed that was why I did not worry about reserving a table. But if you want to eat at normal meal hours, reservation is very much recommended, as it is not a big restaurant, especially in winter when it is too cold to eat al fresco.

There were a couple of large groups and most of the people looked frequent visitors.



The appetizers were brought to us on a large serving plate and we could choose whatever we liked. You have to be careful when you pick them up, as price is rather high (I will tell you later).

Then, the waiter asked up what main dish we wanted without telling us what they have. Having asked by GH, he orally listed the choices. But I requested the menu and I did well, as the menu describes each dishes.

The huge brown ball is their bread. This is an obligatory order and was pretty good.



GH picked up dormades yalantzi. The vine leaves were fragrant and the rice was nicely minty. Curiously the rice was sweet, as if it was sugared (maybe it was actually). We liked them. 5.50 Euro. OK. Not cheap, but many tavernas charge as much.

I picked up aubergine with tomato sauce. Aubergine had caramelized sweetness. OK, they were tasty, but 5 Euro for 4 slices of aubergine? 1.25 Euro for a slice?

Then GH complained (to me, not to the restaurant) that he had to have tzatziki to be able to eat that bread. I though the bread was nice enough on its own, but he did it in his own way.



Good tzatziki, 4 Euro. Tasted fresh.

This is GH's cheese kebab.



Very good kebab, although I would prefered without cheese (but who cares, as it was not my choice). 12 Euro (tzatziki on the plate was not included).

I ordered chicken sis kebab (10 Euro).



This was superb. The chicken breast can easily overcooked and dry, but these morsels were still moist and so soft. I was very happy.

Although we were full, we could not resist from ordering a kunefe when we saw it on other tables.



Kunefe is freshly baked kataifi with yellow cheese filling. This one was not too sweet and we could almost finish it to our surprise. Unfortunately GH did not like the ice cream as it was mastiha flavoured (he refused to eat even the part of kunefe 'contaminated' by mastiha!). Degenerated Greek he is.

I think the kunefe costs 5.50 Euro, but they did not charge us.

With a half liter of red wine and a big bottle of water, the bill came to 43.50 Euro. They did not give us the receipt, but we could not demand as they offered the dessert. It was an embarrassing situation.

If we paid for the dessert and paid the normal bill, the meal would have cost us 50 Euro together with tip. Expensive? Yes, a bit, but if you know that you won't get disappointed, probably you won't care. My belief is that 30 Euro disappointing meal is more expensive than 50 Euro satisfying meal, as far as you can afford it.

Serkos kai ta Tessera Asteria
Zepou & Xenofontos 28, Glyfada
Tel: 210 9649 553
Fax: 210 963 4920

Σέρκος και τα Τέσσερα Αστέρια
Zέπου και Ξενοφώντος , Γλυφάδα
Τηλ: 210 9649 553
Fax: 210 963 4920

http://www.serkos-glyfada.com/

22 January, 2012

Grigoris Offer

Yesterday at Grigoris near Piraeus Dimotiko Theatro.
Currently Grigoris is offering coffee for 1.30 euro. As consequence 2 cappuccino and a special croissant in the photo cost me less than 5 Euro.
Drinking it, we said to each other that in a cafeteria next door just one cappuccino cost as much and the coffee is not as good (Grigoris makes good coffee in general).

19 January, 2012

Vourliotina @ Kaissariani

It was cold last weekend and the weather wasn't good either. We had a plan to go to Kessariani Hill Sunday, but we gave up the idea and we just went to a taverna in Kaissariani called Vourliotina.

It is a small family-run taverna of 'politiki cuisine', not in Kaissariani Hill, but in walking distance from Hilton or Divani Caravel Hotel. I read very good reviews on web and decided to try.

It was smaller than expected.

Vourliotina

During the summer, they have tables outside, but the indoor space is very limited and there are less than 10 tables.

The decor is "Asia Minor" themed and quite cozy.



Bread came with olives, cheese dip tasted like kopanisti & yogurt, and olive oil + balsamic vinegar (I think).



This obligatory order cost 2 Euro x 2 persons = 4 Euros.

The mix salad was like this.



Mixture of lettuce, carrot, cabbage, red cabbage, spring onion and dill (and possibly something else) with sweet yogurt-ey dressing with pomegranate topping.

Not bad, but too sweet & too little salt for me. Just passable.

This is something called Vourliotina, ordered by Hubby. I tried to dissuade him, when I read it was a mixture of veal & pork, but he insisted.



The meat was VERY dry, like jerky. I don't know if it was intended or not. Even it was intended, I should say it was a very peculiar dish. I could eat it, but Hubby had difficulty due to the presence of many whole black peppers.

I was attracted by Isli Pilaf, but gave up the idea when I heard that it contained liver. I love liver, while Hubby hates it.

So I chose Manti instead.

Manti

This was a big mistake. The dough contained many hard inedible bits. I don't know how they managed to create solid dry wheat mass. Hubby suggested that maybe these were old. I thought maybe these were frozen badly for a long time. Who knows. Bad execution.

At the end of meal there was free offer of dessert and liqueur. The sweets were pannacotta like mass with lots of mastiha and rose jam and almond & semolina cake with mastiha cream.



The bill arrived in a present box (It is funny, but not of good taste, I am afraid).



The bill came to 36.20 Euro. If the food had been OK, it would have been OK, but I don't think that the food was even on "OK" level.

It is a sympathetic family taverna in old neighbourhood. How could the food so bad was beyond my guess. Was it just a bad day?

Vourliotina
At the corner of Hymittou and Vassileos Alexandrou 10
Kaisariani, Athens
Tel. 210 72.91.545

Βουρλιωτίνα
Υμητού κ΄ Β. Αλεξάνδρου 10
Καισαριανή, Αθήνα
Τηλ.: 210 72.91.545

http://www.vourliotina.gr/intro.swf



And we had a coffee at Utopia.



Nice ambiance, but our Nespresso machine makes better espresso. :D

15 January, 2012

Samian Wine

We found a bottle of Psiles Korfes (Ψηλές κορφές) in a larger Sklavenitis Supermarket.

Ψηλές κορφές

It is one of the famous wines from the island of Samos in the East Aegean. I have noticed that many of the Samian wines have muscat taste (it is probably because it is the main variety of the vine on the island) and this one is not an exception.

If you like muscat flavour, do try it.

Kebab @ Elia, Korydallos

We went to Korydallos for the first time.

No, it was not to visit someone who is in the famous Korydallos prison, but to see restaurants which is my hobby (and, yes, "restaurant watching" is my hobby, although my GH does not understand me).

I actually wanted to eat at Edem http://www.edem.com.gr/, but it was hired for a private function (I guessed it was a baptism party) and we had to look for another. I had another politiki restaurant in mind, but the name was too difficult and could not search with my mobile (maybe you understand what I mean by "difficult name", as it is very famous one with a branch in Gkazi).

That was how we ended up in Elia (if you are interested, it is next to the the Cretan restaurant Pasifai which was closed when we visited.



We thought it was a taverna, but it turned out to be a psistaria (grill). Delivery-take out outlet (below with some tables (above) in palateia (World Peace Square).




In psistaria, there is not much choice than to order meat and that was what we did.

This is kebab portion with pita.




And this is seftalia portion with pita.

Mmmm. Ok. They look like exactly the same because of the sauce on top.



Unfortunately, the kebab was spongy and not to my liking. I prefer meatier and juicier kebabs to these spongy softie ones.

Seftalia was juicy & spicy, and in my opinion, much better.

kebab

We ordered also grilled peppers which appeared after the meat. Super.



With a bottle of beer, the bill was about 23 Euro if I remember well. The portion was very generous and filling, so it was all right as value-for-money. Just that I would not order kebab, if I revisit.

Elia Grill
Poseidonos 39 & Megalou Alexandrou
(Plateia Pangkosmikis Eirinis = Plateia Memou)
Korydallos, Athens
Tel. 210 4940101


ΕΛΙΑ ΨΗΤΟΠΩΛΕΙΑ
ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝΟΣ 39 & Μ.ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ (ΠΛΑΤΕΙΑ ΜΕΜΟΥ)
ΚΟΡΥΔΑΛΛΟΣ
210 4940101

08 January, 2012

Vamos Amigos @ Glyfada

Greece is in 3 day vacation (Epiphany, Saturday & Sunday) & people are enjoying the last segment of the Christmas-New Year holiday season.

Unfortunately, the weather is not good (except for those who went for skiing) and we gave up an idea of travelling.

Just not to be closed in the apartment, we went to Glyfada for a walk. It was cold and suddenly I started to crave for fast food, like a burger. I love Greek food, but as I eat Greek food all the time, it happenes sometimes to be wanting something else.

In Glyfada there is a good selection of fast food place and I picked up a Mexican one. If I call it a fast food place, it will be very annoyed, but it was evident that they had things like burger & hand food.

It is spacious inside and it was written that there was also a courtyard which I did not see.




The decor was of course 'Mexican' themed.

The staff was polite and friendly at the same time.

On the menu there were all the usual 'Mexican' or 'Tex Mex' dishes and there was a good selection of starters, burgers, grilled meat, pasta (?), and things like burrito & tacos.


Vamos Amigos

The starters are around 8 Euro and above and the mains from 10 and above. Not cheap, but to counterbalance the beer is 4 Euro & soft drink 2.20 Euro and there is no cover charge (no obligatory order of water or bread).

Hubby ordered a hamburger with mushroom, cheese and maybe something else, 10.60Euro.


Hamburger

Hubby liked it.

But I liked better my burger with chili con carne and cheese and afterwards he agreed as well saying the next time he will order this one instead.





The meat was over-done to my taste as usual (the Greeks like it well done; what can I do?), but had a nice flavour.

For the side, there was a choice among the rice, potatoes, and salad. I picked up rice. I had an impression that the rice was not freshly cooked and thought I should have ordered salad instead.

At the end, they offered a small glass of limoncello.




We wondered if it contained any alcohol at all. It was like a liquid sorbet. It should have contained Very little amount of alcohol, if it did at all. I am a good judge, as I usually do not drink and am very susceptible to it.

We paid 26 Euro + 2 Euro tip.

Not hugely impressed, but we left with a positive impression. It is not a sort of food I want to eat often (in the sense that I usually do not eat burger of hamburger), but when I want to, I might try again.

Vamos Amigos
Kyprou 65A, Glyfada
Tel. 210-898 3167
Fax. 210-894 3236

And I wanted to add, for those who interested, there are some vegetarian choices. It is quite noteworthy in Greece. And there are some kids plates and it might be good for families. For more, see the menu on their website.
http://www.amigos.gr/

On walking toward the car, we spotted a new Politiki restaurant called Muftak.



This is how it look like.


06 January, 2012

Museum & sites closed for 3 days

It was announced that the national archaeological site and museums shall be remain closed for these 3 day holidays. As most of them are closed on Mondays anyway, the workers will enjoy 4 day vacation.

It is because the state & the workers have not decided what to do for the holiday payment.

Why could not the State put it in the contract, for if it employs people for the museum, it knows from the start that they should work on Sundays? I know that my argument is over-simplistic, but all these inefficacy and nonchalance is painfully annoying.

Today all the shops are closed because it is holiday. While in Italy the opening timetable is fully liberalized to stimulate the economy and employment, here in Greece there is not even such a discussion.

How it is possible?

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