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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Eating in Athens

We thoroughly enjoyed dining in Athens. The area where we stayed offered a wide variety of Greek cuisine. Most of our dinners began with a Greek Salad such as these:
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I spent some time looking for the perfect Soutzoukakia. I never found any as good as I make at home but I kept looking. Perhaps the reason I was frustrated was that the authentic version doesn't have the thick tomato sauce that I use.
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Linda, meanwhile sought out the perfect Souvlaki.
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Somethings good things were easier to find like these Gyros sandwiches.
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The restaurants and cafes were interesting themselves. Our first afternoon downtown, we stopped into this place when I noticed the music. CCR was playing and John Fogarty was "Putting a Spell on Me." A few songs later, one of Screamin Jay Hawkins' versions of the same song began playing. I knew I was in the right place. Both blues and oldies followed. Linda ordered a hot chocolate. We came back a couple of days later and she had a cold chocolate.
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Sometimes it was easy to watch the cook at work as at this restaurant inside the meat market.
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Probably the most interesting restaurant was this one. You wouldn't find it without a guide book. It is located just east of the vegetable and egg market that was outside of our hotel. You might easily pass this entrance. The second photo shows Linda on her way out.
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Lunch is served "as the chef chooses" and "as the chef prefers." Garbanzo bean soup is a regular item. I'm not sure if those fish were "small fish" or sardines. I had seen both on menus at restaurants that have menus.
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The wine is not optional. It is served in an aluminum cup. The wine is drawn from one of the seventeen large casks. There are only seven tables. One table is rather large and was occupied by a group of Greek men, two with musical instruments and all with hearty voices. The other tables have room for four or five folks at each. You have no more choice of table-mates than you do of food. It was very enjoyable.

Here is a tip on Athenian dining. Don't order desert at dinner. Odds are good that something will be supplied gratis. A favorite for us was the free Chocolate Walnut Cake. I thought the evening that we were served a plate of yogurt and honey with two shots of Ouzo was a real highlight.
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