Love-childs. I know it’s about high time I write about the superior foods of Athens. I just didn’t have my card reader to download fresh pics but alas I have found one so let us view and taste these foods through our beautiful eyes…
I was walking through the winding, hilly, small streets of Plaka which is an area directly under the Acropolis and reminiscent of when Athens may have been hundreds of years ago (albeit now with a lot of tourist shops and similarly annoying people) when I felt a sudden pang of hunger and upon the advice of an elder (some call him Dad), I took to Tzitzigas kai Mermigas (The Ant and the Cicada, from Aesop’s Fable. natch). The restaurant is bright and airy with several Grecian products lining the walls (olive oil, olives, dried beans, ouzo, people who curse and cigarettes – kidding!). I sat down outside as it was a warm day and ordered Greek Salad, Mint meatballs and Tzaziki (imaged above). As you can imagine, the food here is to die. Why and what is it about the Mediterranean that makes produce so finger-lickin’ good? Surely it’s not only the combo of the sun, soil and air but a little bit of God’s love shining down too? Needless to say the salad was just oh-so fresh and tomatoes tasted like tomatoes and cuckes- like cuckes. Shocker.
Next on the menu was doing my absolute fave – dipping good bread in the remaining juice of the dishes on my table…this is what I call the “love” of each dish. Each dish gives something right? It gives good tastes, or bad ones, or strange ones that you have never tried before…when a dish is good or great, the love that remains is a combination of all the flavors in that dish. All you need a a great morsel of bread to soak it up with and there you go, the love! Which brings me to how great the bread is here! Damnit! I just want to look up at the sky and curse the high heavens…WHY can’t they make bread this good in NYC? hmmmmmmm???? I am convinced it’s b/c people don’t care about bread in New York. It’s like a mound of future fat and carb loading to them. Evil warriors!
Ok, let me not get off the topic of the relaxing and simple meal. Where was I…right. The tzaziki was nothing I have not had before because I make tzaziki and I make it really well. Nonetheless it was a delight to have such a well made cooling dip on a warm day. Traditionally, most yogurt dips were made to cool down the heat of spicy foods and to break the heaviness of meaty dishes. These days, it’s prudent to eat yogurt dips as they are healthy and refreshing plus offer a dense, whole and hearty treat.
Finally, we bring ourselves to the conclusion of the meal (after nondescript but yummy meatballs), which ended as it had stared, with olives. beautiful, lush, briny, chewy, olives. Need I say more?