Friday, June 29, 2012

Great Guacamole!


I love guacamole! This one at Dos Caminos is particularly good because it's freshly made and delicious. You can customize it - make it plain, mild, or spicy. No need for chips here, empty carbs I say, I just eat it with a fork, no problem. I'm also convinced that avocado is healthy and even good for you so I have no problem finishing this yummy bowl. Order a margarita as well, I like the original and mango flavor,  for a perfect mid-summer day treat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Greece

An unforgettable trip to beautiful Greece will explain my long absence. Now I'm back with delicious memories and pictures of amazing food. Visited too many tavérnas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I decided to make a compilation of food that I liked instead of reviewing each restaurant. As a general rule, my advise is to stay away from restaurants that have pictures of food on the menu. Those are usually tourist traps and the food tends to be a bit slap-dash. If you want real food go to side streets and look for smaller places. Be a little skeptical of recommendations from locals though since they tend to conveniently send you to their cousins or brothers place, which most likely is not the best food in town.
 



Every restaurant starts you off with a basket of bread. Be aware that even though you didn't order bread it will come to your table and it will appear on your bill. In general, bread in Greece is very ordinary. Possibly the reason is that there are so many tasty salads and spreads that fancy bread will distract from the flavor. Whatever the reason, it's very basic so judge for yourself.





A standard Meze plate is full of traditional Greek appetizers. There is spinach pie, dolmadakia (grapevine leaves stuffed with rice, veggies and sometimes meat), aubergine (eggplant salad/spread), hummus, tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber spread), kroketes (croquettes), sausage, and fried cheese. Everything is usually home-made and therefore delicious. 





Aubergine is eggplant, often comes as a spread that is usually eaten with bread, pitta, or really anything and with everything. Eggplant seems to be present in many dishes in Greece and they really know how to make it well. Definitely order it. 





Yes, it seems that they actually do call it Greek salad. Usually it's made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and feta cheese with olive oil. Each place has it's own twist on the recipe that's pretty much always fresh and delicious. It's very simple to make so I guess if a restaurant messes this up you should get up and leave immediately. 





A version of spanakopita, spinach filled pastry, is on every menu. Sometimes it's crispy and other times more doughy, it can be filled with plain cooked spinach or spinach with cream and garlic. Some are more bland then others so give it a try and see what you think. 




 
Saganaki? It's baked cheese and it's incredible. Melted delicate cheese with a thin crispy crust is covered with warm honey. Yummy. Eat it while it's hot though, when it cools it's still good but not the same. It's not on every menu so when you see it, get it.




 
Tzatziki is everywhere. Yogurt with cucumber and garlic is easy to make and easy to eat. Very light and refreshing and goes well with everything, from bread to meat. It's a great sidekick.





Suvlaki is a chicken or pork kebab and it's another "must try". They do this well in Greece, although sometimes it can be a little dry. Another dish well made.





Usually each restaurant has a daily special fish, depending on what came in that day. Most of the time it's a white fish that's grilled and sprinkled with olive oil. A good idea if you start feeling guilty about eating all those pastries and want to order something healthy instead.





Lamb was wonderful! It was a win at almost every place we've been. Very delicate and full of flavor. Also, there are many small places around town that have lamb gyros. Give it a try, they are usually very good, and don't forget to ask a local person how to properly pronounce "gyro". 





Squid was amazingly fresh and tasty. It's just grilled and sprinkled with olive oil. Perfectly plain, no fuss dish that is light and delicate.





Moussaka is absolutely one of my favorite Greek dishes. It's comparable to lasagna but it's much lighter because it's made with sautéed eggplant instead of layers of dough. The tomato sauce goes perfectly with soft eggplant and shredded meat. There is a custard on top that's very subtle and airy, it adds great texture and flavor. Amazing creation, in my opinion!





Espresso Freddo was my drink of choice. Even tough usually there is two shots of espresso, it doesn't taste very strong. One of my favorite parts is the frothed foam. When you stir your coffee the foam incorporates into the drink and if you let it sit for a bit it separates. Both ways are fun to drink but I did enjoy stirring and seeing the foam bubbles rise to the top. An interactive drink, how cool is that!?





You can't leave Greece without trying their yogurt with honey and almonds or walnuts. Frozen or plain, order it for dessert or even for lunch. It tastes so much better than Greek yogurt we buy here. It's much fresher and lighter and way more delicious.



Restaurant Recommendations

Athens
Taverna Elaia
Old Ithaki

Mykonos
Capris of Mykonos
Scarpa Bar - order frozen drink called Woo Woo and watch the sunset

Santorini
Nectar & Ambrosia
Kyprida

Crete
Tamam Restaurant