Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Authentic Greek Food - A memorable meal in Athens

After spending the morning taking a bus and walking a tour through Athens which included a visit to the Parthenon we were ready to eat. I had been waiting all morning to get to the Plaka so we could find some authentic Greek food.
The idea behind our cruise started with my passion for Greek food. Probably three years ago or so, I decided I wanted to go to Greece. After doing some research I knew I wanted to visit all of the amazing islands Greece had to offer. Diving deeper into my research, I determined Turkey and Croatia would be pretty amazing to visit too and from there we were hooked on a Mediterranean cruise. It was surreal to finally be a world away in Athens and ready to enjoy real Greek food!
Nothing goes better on a hot, humid day with Greek food than a nice ice cold Greek beer; Mythos in this instance.
And of course Ouzo! Not necessarily a favorite of mine, but something Emi's Dad has always enjoyed and introduced over the years to Emi and myself. Think harsh, Jagermeister. Jager is probably sweeter, where ouzo has a tongue numbing aftertaste and that strong licorice flavor. Not a favorite of mine, but when in Greece you have to drink ouzo.

The best way to enjoy ouzo is with a few ice cubes and a little water to dilute it. The ice and water turns the ouzo a milky color.
We started the meal with a loaf of bread, olives, and a cod roe butter. The butter was a little fishy as expected, but the olives and house olive oil made up for this first taste of the meal. A common theme throughout our trip was how amazing the olive oil was everywhere we went.
Smoked babaganoush or eggplant dip, which we enjoyed with our bread. This smoked, olive oil infused, tender eggplant concoction was amazing.
The best dolmathes I've ever enjoyed. These warm grape leaves were stuffed with rice and ground meat and covered in a thick lemon sauce. Very tender and also a little tangy and salty.
A true "Greek" salad, with sweet juicy tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and red onion. Similar to Kotor the fresh Greek feta was soft and not too salty, but still very flavorful.
Our chicken souvlaki with fries. Everything came with fries in Athens. The chicken was a little crispy and even though I'm not a huge fan of chicken breast was still very good. I was disappointed they didn't have gyros on the menu, but this was a classy joint, so I had to wait till later to check that off my list.
Our waiter prepping our giant grilled squid.
He squeezed fresh lemon juice over the squid, which made a great sauce when combined and mixed with the natural juices from the grilled squird. Tender and delicious. Not as good as the grilled octopus we enjoyed in Kotor, but still very tasty.
Happy couple after a great meal. My favorite memory of Athens was this meal. I couldn't get over the fact that we were finally in Greece eating authentic Greek food! Amazing and made me realize how fortunate we are to be able to fulfill our crazy wishes and dreams.
- Kyle


  1. We are at the "less than one week" countdown over here! Keep the posts coming so I can see any many as possible before we leave!