Monday, August 20, 2007

BrookLEn in Greece: an overview

Well, I finally made an honest woman out of LBT after all these blog-ed years, and after an amazing wedding, we jetted off to Greece for the views, the sun, and of course, the big eats. Late July in Greece is high-tourist season, but fortunately, LBT has some old friends living in Athens who helped to guide us on either end of our 'honey-trip', with some trial-and-error on the way.

Our first lesson of Greek food: aim for the middle. We tried some high-end eating (1800 in Santorini was the best test; great views, tasty but forgettable dishes), but the more outstanding and memorable meals were tavernas in the middle of our price range. To start, our Athens hosts, Kim and Maro, took us to Bakaliko, which has several locations in the outskirts of the city. Starting with a most impressive olive tasting, we had a 'special' lasagna: fettuccine congealed with bechamel and meat. Kim also had risotto-stuffed pepper and tomato which might have been the most delicate dish we had in the country.

Next lesson: Try the fish. On Santorini, we scored with a recommendation from a boat captain, who suggested we go to "the last taverna on the pier", a little place called Taverna Dimitri. There, we experienced seismically good swordfish and orata (sea bream), so good we only got pictures before the grill. Paradisos Taverna on Santorini offered us "little fish", or whatever the Greek fisher-dad caught that day. Probably sardines, they tasted robust, oily, and delicious.

Last lesson: Go with the flow. No Greek word is ever spelled in English the same way twice, and no eating experience ever goes like you'd expect. Our hosts took us for a final taverna meal to a place as what I can only guess is called Oxapa. Maro ordered a flurry of food for us, and though much of it was fried, all was taken in with glee and abandon; sausages, fried zucchini, tzatziki, feta salads, with great Greek wine (our favorite label was Sigalas)... one last blurry meal for a speedy honeymoon trip.

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