I love Politiki kouzina (n.b. Politikos, Politiki, Politiko etc here all mean Constantinopoletan), but the Politika restaurants that I knew were not very convenient to me in one way or another. That was why we went to explore the one called Barbalexis that I found on the website www.ask4food.gr.
This website is an excellent source of information for restaurants in Athens. I consult it very often, although it is too daunting for me to contribute anything in Greek.
Anyway, Barbalexis is in Agios Ioannis Rendis, between Piraeus and Athens and it is less than 10 km from us. It was easy to park roadside in Sunday afternoon. Another "plus".
On arrival, I discovered the place was not called Barbalexis, but Barba Alexis 2. And later we learnt that it is the second shop of Barba Alexis in Nea Philadelphia. So, the one in Renti is Uncle Alexis the Second.
The restaurant was tucked away from the road Fleming and facing to a large park that looked to be a conversion from an old olive oil factory. Before I saw the restaurant, I was afraid that it might be an old dirty kebab hut and GH would not like it (he is an "atmosphere eater" who does not eat well if he does not like the environment, while I remain totally impassive and understand only the food), but there was no reason for me to worry; it was a totally cosy and clean taverna. Not a huge place, so if you are visiting during the busy hours like Sunday lunch time, you may be fare better reserving a table.
The menu is adequately long; there are starters, mezedes, salads, meat and seafood. You can read it in the website that I post below. Not being hungry, we picked up only 3 plates.
Warm pita was handmade and freshly baked. It was enormous for 2 people and we managed to eat only a half.
From the starters, we chose one called Ali Nazik. I have seen Ali Nazik kebab (in Aladdin in P. Faliro, if I remember well), but never as a meze.
The white part is a mixture of yoghurt, aubergine and dill, and on top of that there is a bit of meat sauce. It was a heavenly combination and I liked it a lot.
And as another starter, or meze, we ordered Xeirovomvides (hand grenades) which are better known to many as Icli Kofte or Kibbeh, although these did not have classical kibbeh shape.
They are bulgur croquettes filled with minced meat. Freshly fried and very hot. These immediately won over GH.
Be warned that they are very filling, even though the quantity of mince inside is not much.
As usual we ordered only 1 main dish between us. This is Kousbasi, practically chili marinaded pork souvlakia.
Again, it was to my taste. The pork contained an adequate quantity of fat and was still pink in the inside. As far as I know, the Greeks tend to like their pork souvlaki very lean and grilled to dry, so I won't swear that you shall love it if you are Greek.
At the end, we were offered a piece of Kazan Dipi (we were so full that we request the waitress to bring us only 1 piece, and not 2).
It wasn't the real Kazan Dipi with chicken breast, but it wasn't panna cotta either. At least it contained rice flour and was properly caramelized on one side.
With a bottle of beer, the bill was 23 Euro. We would go back definitely.
Barba Alexis 2
Fleming 48, Agios Ioannis Rendis
182 33, Athens
Τηλ. 210-483 5903
Μπάρμπα Αλέξης 2
Φέμινγκ 48, Αγιος Ιωάννης Ρέντης
Afterwards, we went to Le Chocolat in Thissio for coffee with a friend. And I found this offer. 2 plates with a drink for 15 Euro, everyday except Saturday.
If you like this sort of place, I guess it is a good offer.