26 April, 2013

Antonia @ Tzitzifies

About Antonia first spoke to me a taxi-driver who is also a good friend. He said it was a fabulous taverna and I had to try. And later I read good reviews on the web. So I went one Wednesday night with GH.

From what I read I expected the place to be more humble. So it was a nice surprise when we found this large place with a nice environment. I was relieved, because GH sometimes refuses to enter, when the restaurants I want to go look to shabby.

I could not count how many tables there were. The smokers were on the other side, and the non-smokers were on the side where we were seated.

The menu is not short, but the choice is rather limited, because they do not have grill. Most of the people seemed to order fried calamari, fried prawns (large ones for 35 Euro per kilo), fried small & fresh cod, and/or steamed mussels. They have also usual small fish to fry, like barbounia, koutsoura, and gopes.

To start, we ordered mixed salad and tyrokafteri (Cheese & chili dip).

The salad was lovely and huge for 5.50 Euro. It was filling, for it included black-eyed peas and boiled potatoes.

Of course GH ordered fried potatoes.

I am sure they were hand-cut and freshly fried, but they did not taste quite well, probably because the potatoes were not of the right kind.

As main course, we had fried calamari (frozen) for 7.50 Euro.

Unfortunately I did not like them. Not because they did not cook well, but I found them tasteless. GH, instead, said they were fine.

We had also 4 large prawns (14 Euro in total).

As I did not want 3 deep-fried dishes, I had them boiled (I would have preferred grilled, but, as I said, there was not grill). I found them slightly over-cooked and not quite flavorful. They would have better as saganaki or garidomakaronada (or deep-fried, as the other people were eating).

At the end, we were offered semolina halvas, which was just average (not that I am complaining).

The total bill was 36.20 Euro which is quite reasonable. In fact, in Antonia, all the fish/seafood are sold at 35 Euro per kilo at the most (there are no luxury fish), which I believe is quite a bargain in comparison to many fish tavernas in Athens.

For a relaxing meat with friends or family, this seems an ideal place; you will enjoy the food without worrying too much of the bill. I won't, however, come all the way here for the best meal.

Antonia - Αντωνία
Isminis 36, Tzitzifies, Kallithea, Athens
Ισμήνης 36, Τζιτζιφιές, Καλλιθέα, Αθήνα
Tel. 210 9404508

23 April, 2013

Anahita Persian Restaurant @ Halandri

After a rather unsatisfying experience at Pars Persian restaurant in Halandri, we definitely had to try the other Persian in the same neighbourhood, Anahita.

This has been the only Persian in Athens for a long time before the opening of Pars and thus is better known.

We went there with 3 other friends and I did not take as many photos as I usually do, but I think I can give you some idea about this place.

We arrived there at 7:30 on a Wednesday. It is standing in a quiet residential area and you won't find it just by chance, while Pars is visible from a much trafficked main car road. From outside, it looks more modest than Pars.

As you can imagine, there was no one else in the restaurant and we were greeted by the owner-chef whose Greek was not perfect. We did not ask her nationality, but she isn't definitely Greek.

We liked the dining area much better than at Pars where it was dark and looked somehow like under-construction. Anahita has more home-like feel.

The folkloric decorations are limited and it is not kitsch. Besides, the restaurant has a strict non-smoking policy. I heard that owner chef lady explaining on the phone to somebody that she would never allow anyone to smoke inside the building. Good (as GB and I do not smoke).

The menu is pretty much the same as the one of Pars. There is no way that it was a coincidence (you can see both menus on their websites). These two must have some connection. I have an impression that the prices of main courses are bit lower at Pars, but as Anahita offers various discounts (coupons, Diners card, Athinorama card, etc), many people, including us, manage to get better price at Anahita.

As starters we ordered one lachmajun (4 pieces), 1 yogurt and spinach mixture, and 1 yogurt and smokey aubergine mixture, 1 salad and bread. They were all fine. Yogurt dips cost only 3.50 Euro, but salad without any meat or fish cost 7 Euro. I have to mention also that the presentation of salad was quite similar also at Pars.

GH ordered lamb kebab with rice (11 Euro).

Now that I look back, he ate exactly the same thing at Pars. The presentation is again exactly the same.

I ordered Saffron rice served with lamb and yellow split peas stew.

Rice was fine as expected and also the meat was good, but the stew had a bit unpleasant smell, probably coming from the oil with which potatoes were flied.

The other people ordered rice based dishes, all served with baked chicken (11 Euro). They were quite happy with their choices.

With 1 bottle of beer and 1 coke, the bill came to 80 Euro, from which 30% was deducted because I have Athinorama card. 16 Euro per person probably was not bad and 12 Euro p.p. was even better.

By the time we left, the restaurant was 80% full and at least half of them have some kind of discount (many were speaking about coupons). Considering it was a Wednesday evening, I can say that it was doing a good business.

Fiscal receipt was provided without any explicit request.

We liked Anahita better than Pars, provided that we have a discount from the catalogue price.

Chrysostmou Smyrnis 3, Halandri, Athens, 15232
Χρ. Σμύρνης 3, Χαλάνδρι, Αθήνα, 15232
Tel. 210 68 91 222
Mob. 6936 8888 79


20 April, 2013

Mini Size @ Tavros


I passed Tavros so many times with ISAP line (a.k.a. Metro line 1 or Green Metro), but I never made a stop. So it was a pleasure to know the area visiting this small restaurant by the train (not ISAP) line.

It was a Wednesday night. Before the visit, I called the restaurant to make a reservation. Not because I thought I might not be able to find a table (it was a Wednesday and we tend to eat relatively early), but because to make sure that it was open. The man took my call was totally disinterested to take note as if he was sure that it was not necessary to reserve a table for me.

And indeed the place remained empty for all the two hours we stayed there from 20 to 22 o'clock.

The menu was rather long for such a small restaurant and there was no sign that it changed often. They have starters, salad, pasta, and main dishes. Main courses are mostly meat, and pork and chicken in particular. There were also 2 fish main courses, if I remember well.

The bread basket was rich...

as well as the free amuse-bouches. From the left, dip made of Philadelphia cheese (so explained by the waiter), veal keftedes, and kotopita (chicken pie).

Quite enjoyable, if not chef-d'oeuvre.

Salad of orange, lettuce, beets, sliced Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.

This dish was quite good. I don't believe the cheese was true Parmiggiano, but still OK. Not that I was convinced by the combination of beets and orange, but it was something worth trying. 6.40 Euro.

And a starter of aubergine roll of haroumi cheese, 5.40 Euro.

Aubergine was smokey and sweet. If it was served hot, and not lukewarm, it would have been better.

Then the main courses. We both ordered meat.

Here is pork fillet with leek, raisins, and pine nuts. 10.80 Euro.

This was delicious, but again it was served lukewarm. The side dish was jacket potato and sauteed vegetables.

The other main dish was chicken with asparagus, Parmesan and cherry tomatoes. 9.50 Euro.

The chicken was over-cooked and hard. The asparagus turned out to be only one white asparagus cut in two in lengthwise. I did not understand where Parmesan was. This dish was served with mashed potato flavored with ginger (powder), and the same sauteed vegetables used also on the other dish. The mashed potato had a strange texture, as it contained cornflour or somethingServed

There were too many unsuccessful experiments going on one dish. Again served lukewarm, I liked this dish the least.

The dessert was on the house.

The panna cotta was just average, but the other caramel cheese cake was excellent. I almost forgot about the unsuccessful chicken dish.

And I should not fail to mention that the house red wine was quite good.

The total bill came to 38.40 Euro. The pricing of main dishes looked too high, but, if you consider that we had free amuse-bouche and free dessert, 20 Euro per a head including wine was good value for money.

Overall I can say that I enjoyed the meal. Some of the elements were not successful, but I still enjoyed the experiments. I only wished the food to be served hot, when it should be.

Konstantinopoleos 26, Tavros, Athens
Κωνσταντινουπόλεως 26, Ταύρος, Αθήνα
Tel. 210-3424704

P.S. I remember that I wanted to write that for the whole time we stayed there, they had Kiss FM as background music. Do they do it all the time?

16 April, 2013

Peinirli of Drosia @ Themis

For some years, I have been hearing about that Peinirli in Drosia. I have been always curious about it, but I did not have a chance to try, until the other Sunday.

We made up our mind and, after some reading on the www, I made a reservation at this restaurant.

Themis. I found at least 3 Peinirli places in Drosia and this one seemed to have the best reviews. It has a private parking, which is convenient, but there is plenty of space to park outside as well.

The building is rustic and warm; I liked it. The most of the patrons looked are families and looked to be familiar to the place.

The taverna has grilled meat dishes as well as peinirli, but, as you can imagine, 4 out of 5 people were eating Peinirli.

The price in general is expensive. Tzatziki is 4 Euro, Melitzanosalata 5 Euro and Peinirli are around 9 Euros. And portion size is just average.

Instead of bread, we were served with these pita bread.

I found it too tough to chew.

We ordered also cabbage salad (which was a mixed salad), melitzanosalata, and fried potatoes. The red wine was awful.

Here is Peinirli with minced meat and egg.

And Peinirli with pastourmas and egg.

On the menu, they were both 9, but for one of them, we were charged 9.20. I do not like when restaurants do this. Charging a price different from the one on the menu should is a fraud!

The taste wasn't bad, but, again, I found the dough to be too tough to enjoy.

We shared the table in 4, and the total bill was 58.40 Euro, including the obligatory order of bottled water, which you could have avoided paying, if you were a regular.

The other members of our group liked the peinirli more than I did, but, anyway, I don't think it is worth a trip from Piraeus (if you live closer, you can go and try to see if you like it).

I would rather go to Ionias in Ampelokipoi for a better peinirli.

Ikostis Pemptis Martiou 25, Drosia, Athens
25ης Μαρτίου 25, Δροσιά, Αθήνα
Tel. 2106229409

09 April, 2013

The Burger Joint @ Glyfada

After a Sunday stroll in Glyfada, we decided to eat a burger. As Burger Times was a huge disappointment, we headed this time for The Burger Joint.

The place is hidden away in a stoa (gallery) and we almost entered a souvlaki restaurant next door. This photo was taken from one of the outdoor tables of The Burger Joint and the part that had a lot of people is this souvlaki place of which name I do not remember at this moment.

The Burger Joint is at the end of this corridor, on the right side. We stayed outside, but there are also tables inside.

They have burgers and pizzas. I heard that also the pizzas were good, but we ordered burgers only this time.

On the table, there are ketchup, mustard, pepper and salt. Tub water was provided without any request.

I wanted to order a sort of steak sandwich, but they did not have it at that moment, so here is a cheese burger for me.

I was very impressed by the perfection in its genre. Maybe because I am not a huge fan of burger, I won't expect any better from a cheese burger. So it was perfect.

The waitress did not ask us how we liked the meat done and it came somewhere between well-done and medium, which was nice.

GH, who eats much more burgers than I do, ordered Umami burger, which is with goat cheese cream, mushroom and caramerized onion.

It was a very nice combination. If you have already gone through all the burgers and want to try something different, it is a good choice.

Only unfortunate thing was that neither of us liked the slim chips. They soaked up too much oil and we got bored of them easily.

With a bottle of coke, the total bill was 18 Euro (cheese burger was 7.50 Euro and Umami was 9 Euro). Expensive? Well it depends on how much you love burgers, I guess.

The Burger Joint
Fivis 17, Glyfada 16674
Φοίβης 17, Γλυφάδα, 16674
Tel. 210 8940260

We found that Paul (famous French, now international, bakery) is about to open nearby. Paul currently has at least another shop near Syntagma.

Walking toward our car, I saw this cat with Hitler mustache.

06 April, 2013

Pita tis Kapparis @ Petralona

One Friday evening in Petralona. We needed to eat something quickly and not too much. So we made a stop at Pita tis Kapparis, which is close to the well-known modern taberna Kappari.

The decor is like a modern souvlatzidiko.

The price to take out (delivery) and to eat in seem to be the same.

We ordered 3 pita with meat and 1 portion of fried potatoes.

Potato came in a large portion. I found them too oily and the texture was a bit strange (wrong kind of potato? boiled before frying?), but as potatoes of souvlaki shop, it was OK.

We ordered pita with pork gyros, chicken gyros with hot sauce, and kebab yaourtlou (2.20 Euro each). Default is without potatoes, so you have to request when you order (no extra charge).

The meat tasted to be of good quality and pitas were nicely fluffy. However, they were rather small and thus lacked in that plentifulness than we'd want from junk food.

Not the best souvlaki I can think of, but if you happen to be here and looking for fastfood, this place is a viable solution.

Pita tis Kapparis - Η πίτα της Κάππαρης
Dimofondos 99 & Dorieon, Petralona
Δημοφώντος 99 & Δωριέων, Πετράλωνα
Tel. 210 3423300