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A short travel blog of Greece: Pelion, Meteora, and Athens


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I like bitter (fan of Seville orange marmalade) and like the combination with the crispy coated feta. Sometimes interesting is the best you can hope for ;)

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Posted (edited)

Breakfast. In a small cafe - pie shop.

We had coffee, a spanakopita and a bougatsa.

The spanakopita was delicious. Crunchy-crisp rustic phyllo. The filling is juicy, with flavorful spinach, hints of dill, mild creamy feta.

The bougatsa was not our favorite. The custard is nice, but the flavors were muted and controlled by the sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar on top. The puff pastry was mostly tender and flaky, and I would have prefer it to be crispier and more croissant ike.

Coffee in Greece is always good.

 

Charged and ready to drive towards Athens.

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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Posted (edited)

Piraeus. It has some bad rep, but we found it to be a quiet and pleasant city.

 

 

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Some serious SF vibes.

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It was quite a chilly evening, but something in the mood called for ice cream. A very recomended store proved worthy of the praises.

Dark chocolate ice cream was one of the few chocolate ice creams I ever enjoyed. I usually really dislike chocolate ice cream, and even "dark" ones are often too muted. This was bold.

The other was my favorite - Ekmek Kataifi - clotted cream with orange-blossom syrup soaked brioche-like bread.

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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"Bad rep' as in evil North Africans about like Marseilles?  Looks less rustic than your other spots but lovely. Interesting ice cream. Looking forward to more meals.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, heidih said:

"Bad rep' as in evil North Africans about like Marseilles?  Looks less rustic than your other spots but lovely. Interesting ice cream. Looking forward to more meals.

 

More like being a messy, rugged and unpleasant port city. There are many warning about pickpockets, etc.

Now there are also many write-ups that contradict those stereotypes. And we choose to trust the latters, as well as our own judgment - as every place has it's good and bads.

It's not rustic, but still authentic to itself.

 

 

Edited by shain (log)
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32 minutes ago, shain said:

 

More like full of being a messy, rugged and unpleasant port city. There are many warning about pickpockets, etc.

Now there are also many write-ups that contradict those stereotypes. And we choose to trust the latters, as well as our own judgment - as every place has it's good and bads.

It's not rustic, but still authentic to itself.

 

 

I guess I put it poorly - Marseilles also that kind of port town. I grew up near a port town (Port of Los Angeles) Oh those sailors, bars and cheap (fleabag) hotels ;)  Gentrified now.

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18 hours ago, shain said:

Dark chocolate ice cream was one of the few chocolate ice creams I ever enjoyed. I usually really dislike chocolate ice cream, and even "dark" ones are often too muted. This was bold.

The other was my favorite - Ekmek Kataifi - clotted cream with orange-blossom syrup soaked brioche-like bread.

 

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That combination of ice creams sounds like a match made in heaven!  

Regarding Piraeus, they've got so much passenger traffic moving through with the cruise ships (perhaps not so much right now) and ferries to the islands as well as across the Med, way more wandering pedestrians than many commercial ports that it's understandable that pickpockets are drawn to the area.  I've boarded and disembarked from cruise ships there several times and usually hustled through but the last time, we happened to have a driver who was from the city and took us around to some of the neighborhoods.  I agree it seemed a pleasant place to visit.

Thanks again for taking the time to share this trip with us!

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A beautiful late hour dinner in Piraeus. Ouzeria "Το υπερωκεάνιον".

 

House specialty chickpea salad with local salty cheese, probably goat milk going by taste - salty, grainy, a bit like ricotta. Dill, herbs, onion, lemon, garlic.

Grilled shrimp, simple and good.

Amazing mussels, huge and plump - with feta, ouzo, herbs, garlic, lemon. 🤯

Sea urchin, with plenty of rustic bread. Like butter that was dropped into ocean.

Ouzo! Helps to keep the appetite. Bucket of ice to chill it.

Some cold watermelon (complimentary) was the perfect finish.

 

The last picture taken not long before midnight, the Greek do indeed eat and drink into the night. Dinner service is often until 1-2 AM. Though during covid they are rrequired to close by 12.

 

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19 minutes ago, rotuts said:

The Deep Sea

 

not the sea shore

 

Yes. I would not like to try the latter.

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Breakfast.

A cheese filled pie with flaky pastry.

And a bougatsa (puff pastry) with custard and cinnamon. Decent, but phyllo pastry is still the best.

Cold cappuccino freddo.

 

 

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Cretian dinner.

 

Snails with olive oil, garlic, rosemary. Some vinegar.

Fava. Creamy and light.

Lemony stuffed vegetables with herbs.

Roast beef with roasted peppers

 

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26 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

@shain

Snails look great!

 

Thanks. They were.

We've only ordered them after the waiter promised that they will no be overcooked :P Rubbery snails are not fun.

 

Reminded me of this dish I had in Taiwan, which was delicious if only the snails were not so tough.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, shain said:

Rubbery snails are not fun.

 

Indeed. Snails have featured large in my life. French mother who was addicted to them and now, the city where I live in China is the country's snail central. Never rubbery! No restaurant or home cook would dare!

If you mention the city to almost anyone in China, they are going to answer "Snails!"

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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A quick grab on the way to our pre-flight covid tests. Were getting to the final stretch 🥺

Very delicious quick grab at that - 

 

A very crispy-crunchy phyllo pie with nice mushroom filling.

 

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A galatopita - apparently hard to get right, but this one was perfect. The bottom phyllo was crisp and buttery, and an eggy not too sweet custard.

 

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Cappuccino freddo. Not sure if I explained this one before. Cold coffee is the caffeinated drink of choice in Greek. The famous frappe was the classic such drink, but this days people appreciate better coffee (over the instant stuff). So they opt for espresso freddo - cold espresso frothed with ice; or with cappuccino freddo - the same espresso topped with cold frothed milk.

Most coffee shops will have a special bowl-less stand mixer (frother?) for this, but this place had a machine that poured thick frothed milk as if it was soft-serve. I need one :P

 

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Posted (edited)

A day of walking in the older parts Athens. It's a lovely and varied city, and with both covid and it being low season in affect, it was quiet and peaceful. Although we will later get to to the younger neighborhoods, which are much more lively.

A lot of greenery, rustic city gardens, sunbathing cats, historical sites and tavernas.

 

First few photos are the antics market. It's quite hue, and there are also many indoor shops selling higher quality antics and restored furniture.

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Edited by shain (log)
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Visiting some sores on our way to lunch.

Pictured are: A coffee and sweets store, selling all kinds of lukum, hard candies, cookies, baklava, halva, chocolates, many sweets with nuts, etc. A bakery. And a second hand book store.

 

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Posted (edited)

Lunch at an ouzeria in Athens. Turned out to be a bit of a working-men's eatery, so the food was basic but good (and very fairly priced IIRC).

Fried shrimps.

Rice with clams (too greasy, and a bit stingy). It had tomato, chili, oregano, dill, garlic and onion.

Fried calamari and potato balls. They have a bit of a mushy texture inside, but nice flavor and crisp exterior. And everything which is made of fried potatoes goes well with some lemon.

More fried balls - this time zucchini and some feta. Great flavor with herbs (mostly dill) and surprisingly fenugreek.

Plenty of local lager, refreshing and light.

Coffee, and complimentary semolina halva with cinnamon, maybe some orange.

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Is this Greek Halva?

 

Unless I'm mistaken, that is a cake made of semolina soaked in syrup which they call halva in Greece, but the ubiquitous pressed sesame that most people are familiar with is also available everywhere.

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24 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Is this Greek Halva?

 

3 minutes ago, Yiannos said:

Unless I'm mistaken, that is a cake made of semolina soaked in syrup which they call halva in Greece, but the ubiquitous pressed sesame that most people are familiar with is also available everywhere.

 

Yes, I found this similar looking recipe.

 

Spoiler, well get regular sesame halva for the next lunch.

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