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Agistro dinner

Agistro starters:  hot feta dip and cabbage salad

When we stayed at the Hamam Hotel in Agistro, we were there for 6 nights and we ate at the same taverna for four of those nights.  I have no idea what it was called because I was too embarrassed to take a picture of the sign, but if anyone travels there it was the one attached to the only gas station.  We were pretty sure the staff and their family gossiped about us – sometimes it was just us in the restaurant and the owner and his little old mother and other varied relatives – very awkward  We ate at what was late for us (about 8) but it was still early for Greek diners, so twice we were the only ones eating.  Fortunately on our first night, which was Saturday, there were some other early dining tourists (Greek tourists), and we were able to see some of the food before we ordered.  None of the staff spoke English but I pointed at other tables and the owner’s son (who was our waiter) pointed out what they were on the bilingual menu.  We tried the souvlaki which was excellent and the cabbage salad.  We had that salad twice it was so good.  We also tried their homemade minted meatballs and homemade sausage.  The meatballs were amazing.  I would love to be able to make such moist and delicately spiced meatballs.  We think it was likely that the meat came from their own animals.  The menu was not very descriptive so sometimes it wasn’t quite clear obvious as to what was going to come out of the kitchen.  The “lettuce salad”  was literally just lettuce with olive oil and an excessive amount of salt, but they did a really good hot feta appetizer that had feta, mozzarella, tomatoes and banana peppers.  I think we had that one three times.

Minted meatballs

Minted meatballs, the empty feta dip dish and the icky lettuce salad.

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Kalambaka restaurant

We were two nights in Kalambaka and we ate at the same restaurant both nights.  It was recommended in my sister’s Lonely Planet guide book and we thought overall it was a good place.  None of the food pictures turned out because the lighting in the restaurant was just not conducive, but the ambiance in person was great (as shown above).  We tried the fried cheese which was good but tasted exactly like a Hawkins cheezie.  The cabbage salad was a bit off a let down after the one in Agistro but only because it was just raw cabbage with olive oil and I found it a bit too much raw cabbage all at once.  We also tried the pasta because the guide book said it was amazing.  We had the alfredo one night and the meat/tomato the other.  It was ok.  A bit bland.  On the second night we picked a fish pretty much at random and when it came it was these tiny 3-inch fish.  We didn’t know whether we were supposed to eat the whole thing or to fillet it.  The waiter’s English was not great and we thought that he said not to eat the head and bones, so we filleted them, but they were so little and it was really difficult.  The restaurant was quite small.  On the first night, we arrived right when they opened at seven and it was a good thing we did.  We had just ordered when a group came in and said “party of 12” including 4 children.  The owner painstakingly rearranged tables.  (The picture above shows what it looked like just before the rush.)  No sooner was the group all seated but another group came in with “party of 14”, at least half of which was children.  So that used up every table possible and some of the chairs from the patio had to be brought in.  We were fairly sure that the only staff was the owner out front and his wife in the back cooking – I don’t know how they managed.  On our second night it wasn’t so busy but there were some really loud Americans from Boston and lucky us we got to be privy to every detail of their conversation.

Gyros - more fries

Gyros – more fries

Yet again we experienced the joys of fries stuffed into our gyros.  This time though there was actually a vegetarian choice which was lucky considering the place had the word “chicken” in the restaurant name.  The veg option was a bean patty with sauteed onions and corn which was a refreshing change from pork.  (I did finally have the most amazing pita ever with no fries, but it was ordered by our Greek host from the woofing farm, so he knew the right place to go)

Cooking with fire

Cooking with fire

Beans

Best beans ever

On the farm we cooked a lot over an open fire.  Our go-to meal was salad with assorted fresh veggies, grilled bread with olive oil, garlic and oregano, and beans in tomato sauce that came from a tin.  The beans were so good.  I wanted to bring some home but I didn’t have room for a bunch of tins of beans.

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