18 January, 2013

Oinopoleion @ Psyrri

Wednesday evening in Psyrri. Not many people around. Rather quiet, as you can imagine.

I read a series of good reviews about this place and decided visit, partly because I could claim 30% discount.


It is situated between Taverna tou Psyrri and Odos Aischylou Grill, and in front of Serbetia stou Psyrri. As you see, I have been to all the three places, but did not noticed much this one, because it is somehow burried by the large next-door neighbours. And probably and partly because it is only open in the evening except for weekends.

Only two other tables were occupied  at 9 o'clock and no one else entered after us while we were eating. It was written on the wall that there is live music from Thursday to Sunday and surely it is more lively on these occasions. Anyway, I am not saying it was depressing and the guy who looked like the owner was friendly and well-mannered.

The restaurant is called Oinopoleion (Wine-Seller), so we should have drunk wine, but poor GH who was to work afterwards had to compromise with beer (4.50 Euro).

The menu was relatively long and there were several interesting items. To tell the truth, I expected to find classic taverna food, but my expectation turned out to be not exactly true, if not wrong.

We ordered Taboule as salad (6 Euro).

It was a mixture of bulgur, chopped cucumber & tomatoes, fresh herbs, and what I thought was pesto.

And Aubergine Saganaki (6 Euro).

I think this dish is called Melitzanes sto Fourno in other tavernas. Except for aubergine, there were also slips of green peppers. The tomato sauce was somehow spicy and I loved it.

Here is Hot Pork Tiganiá (7.50 Euro).

I did not find it hot and the pork was smelly (not that it was stale, but some pork smell very strongly). This was the least likeable dish of the day.

Fried potatoes were chips (or crisps, if you are English) style and freshly fried.

I did not like them because they were very oily, but I am not a fan of fried potatoes, so you don't need to believe me. GH who ordered it loved them and finished all by himself, except for 4 or 5 slices I ate.

They had cannelloni as a dish of the day and we were tempted, but Pontos-style ravioli attracted us more. There were ones with minced meat and the others with white cheese Anthotyro. GH wanted the ones with meat (Pelimeni, 7.80 Euro).

I did not like the filling so much, but the pasta was super. Interesting dish, again.

At the end, we were offered semolina halvas, not too sweet, not too oily.

The total bill before the discount was 37.30 Euro (we paid 30% less and he gave us the fiscal receipt). Not particularly cheap without discount, but still at a reasonable level.

I think the food was competent and interesting, if not top-nosh. We'd come back to try other things.

Oinopoleion- Οινοπωλείον
Aishylou 12A, Psyrri
Αισχύλου 12Α, Ψυρρή
Athens 105 53
Tel. 213 0081461

12 January, 2013

Ashimopapo @ Petralona

Exploring Petralona No. 2: To Ashimopapo (Ugly Duck), mousikotaverna/ koutsouki.

I read good reviews about this place on Ask4food & Topadvisor websites and that was the reason I picked this up.

It was at 8 o'clock in Friday evening. There were only 2 tables were occupied. However, when we asked where we could be seated, the waiter told us that some tables were free, most of the tables being already reserved.

Evidently 8 o'clock was very early for this place and even the heater wasn't on. We suffered the cold until they started the heating at around 8:30.

The interior decoration was rather interesting reminding of old Athens. Evidently the taverna is around since '60s.

The menu is relatively short. Approximately 10 starters, 5 salads, 5 cheese, and 10 main dishes.

Tyrokafteri was 4 Euro.

Rather solid and peppery. Nice.

Horta (3.50 Euro) I think was chicory.

Fine, but the portion was smallish, at least for me.

Dolmadades (6.50 Euro) were filled with minced meat.

Good, although the vine leaves were a bit tough.

The main dishes cost all around 8.50 Euro. I think it is a bit expensive, seeing that in Athens so many restaurants lowered the price in recent months.

We ordered Country style pork (Exohiko), 8.50 Euro, served with rice and fried potatoes.

Again the portion is not particularly good, but the quantity of meat was enough to feed two of us who are not big meat-eaters.

Tasted good.

At the end we were offered semolina halvas (free).

With bread and a Epsa-Cola (they do not have Coca Cola), the total came to 25 Euro. In normal circumstance, we would ordered 1 more dish, so I would say the normal budget is 15 to 20 Euro per person.

The fiscal receipt was provided to us without any prompt.

Over all, it was a nice taverna, but nothing exceptional. Maybe we have to come at the hours there is music and more people to understand its charm.

To Ashimopapo - Το Ασχημόπαπο
Ionon 61, Athens 118 54, Greece
Ιώνων 61, Άνω Πετράλωνα
Tel. 210-3463282

Speaking about Athenian restaurants lowering the price, I have just read that the Omilos Kastelorizo starts to offer fixed menu from 13 to 20 Euro at their restaurants (except for the obvious Kasterolizo, Orizontes Lykavitou and Omikron are in the same group) including a glass of wine. Info here. It is almost as much as we paid / would have paid at Ashimopapo without wine.

06 January, 2013

Cheap Seafood In Front of The Sea @ Piraeus

Over the Christmas and the New Year Day, the weather was not particularly good and above all unstable, but there were a few splendid days. It was one of these says that we went down to Peiraiki for a lunch in front of the sea.

We entered Vrahia tis Peiraikis where we had visited a couple of times. We live less than 5 min walk from our apartment. The thing is that when so close is a restaurant, we tend not go so often. For me, going to a restaurant is like taking a trip, it is not only about the food, but also about changing the place. When it is just 5 min walk from home, the destination loses this trip-effect.

Anyway, I wrote about it some time ago. Things have have not changed at all, except that the waiter/owner now has beard.

We started with beer, as it was so warm.

The bread came grilled. I have an impression that tzatziki an accompaniment more for meat, but GH often wants it at fish taverna.

And cucumber & tomato salad for me who do not eat much feta.

Fried potatoes came a bit burnt. Otherwise, hand-cut & freshly fried, nice potatoes.

We meant to order fried squids, but at the last moment we changed our mind and ordered fried cod with garlic sauce.

It was nice, but disappointingly small for 7 Euro price tag. Skordalia was quite good with bits of walnuts.

What is attractive about this fish taverna is the cost-effectiveness; we get enough & decent - if not special - food for 10 Euro per a head. Of course, if you order expensive large fish, you pay more, but if you order modest dishes like fried calamari, small fish like smelt or anchovies, the cost should be 10-15 Euro p.p. And it is situated in front of the Peiraiki coastline.

If you coming here on peak days, it is better to book a table. It is often full, for example, Sunday lunch time.

TA VRAHIA TIS PIRAIKIS (Τα Βράχια της Πειραϊκής)

Akti Themistokleous 300, Piraeus
Ακτή Θεμιστοκλέους 300
Tel. 210-45.38.461

03 January, 2013

Mouzilo & Mezes @ Piraeus

Happy New Year, everyone! The year 2012 was pretty bad for Greece. Although nothing particularly bad happened to me or my family, the air was dark and depressing. I really wish 2013 is for the better, although so many difficulties are in front of us.

Husband and I had a pretty long vacation during this period, so we went to various places to eat, but not to anywhere noteworthy. In many cases it was snacking during the shopping trip. Nevertheless I will keep on taking note.

The below is one of these stoppings-by we made.


In Piraeus, new small mezedopoleia and tsipradika are springing up as mushrooms after the rain (does this expression makes sense in Greece?) Evidently many of them are cheap and good, so it is a welcome development.

Recently we tried one of them called Mouzilo kai Mezes which opened about a month ago (so I was told).

The shop is very small, but there is a larger space in the promenade in front. It was where we were seated. Waiter asked us if we wanted the stove turned on, but it was warm enough, so we declined. It was a nice gesture, when many restaurants and cafeterias keep the heater at the minimum to save money.

The menu is very short and prices are low. Most of the dishes are betweel 2.50 and 4.50 Euro.

We were surprised to find these small knife and folk. As if we were about to eat dessert or fruits.

The food were all meze size. Here are Dakos with Mitzithra (3.50 Euro) and Peppers Stuffed with Minced Meat (3.50 Euro). Both good.

The fried potatoes (2.50 Euro) and Pan-fried Chicken Gyros served with pita (4.50 Euro).

Again, both nicely cooked.

With half a litter of red wine, the total bill came to 17 Euro. The fiscal receipt was provided without being asked.

Because of the size of the dishes, if you want to feast on mountain of food, this is not an adequate place. On the other hand, if you are after a place to snack during the shopping in Piraeus centre, or to have a drink with some mezedes before going home, this tsipradiko seems to be a perfect choice.

Mouzilo & Mezes (Μουζίλο & Μεζές)
Kolokotroni 69
Tel. 210 4100040

I read the name "Μουζίλο & Μεζές", but it can actually be "Μουζήλο & Μεζές".

And come and see the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus, fully renovated after I don't remember how many years!