A September 2005 trip
to Athens by jenandfrank
Quote: Visit this ancient city and become entranced with the incredible structures that surround you.
La Tayta - Adrianou Rd., 321-2347 Located outside of Ancient Agora, along a street packed with indoor-outdoor restaurants. A 1.50 Euro per person cover gets you a table and some seeded bread with olive paste. We were initially attracted to this restaurant because it was packed with locals who seemed to be having a great time. Try and grab an outside table, relax, and enjoy the show; this is a great place to people-watch. The crowd was mostly Europeans (no tourists) between the ages of 25 and 35, and it seemed to be a local hangout scene. We were there on a Sunday afternoon (around 1:30pm) and had to wait a few minutes for a table. The outdoor seating is completely covered with green umbrellas, so even if it rained, there was no way you'd get wet. Tables were plastic and the chairs were wicker. Comfortable enough. Everyone was smoking and the umbrellas made it so the smoke never left the area. Even though the street borders Agora, there are no views. You can see a train tunnel and tracks, but that was about it. Local peddlers do walk around the tables to sell junk and trinkets--it almost felt like we were on the beaches of Mexico for a brief moment. The menu was written in Greek and English and was quite large. The entire wait staff was male and moving at a frenzied pace, yet were still courteous and efficient. We had chicken souvlaki and the sampler platter, which included saganakai (fried cheese), keftethes (Greek meatballs), spanakopita (spinach pie), melitzana taghanti (fried eggplant), and Greek sausage. This sampler platter was exceptional and much larger than expected; it could have easily fed three people. A half-liter of Mythos beer was 3.50 Euro. Our bill was 30 Euro, which was average for what we had been paying in the touristy areas. It was agreat place to people-watch or hangout. It was right outside of the Sunday Flea market as well. Come as you are--no reservations. Recommended.Mamacas - Persofonis 41, Athens - 210-346-4984 or http://www.mamacas.gr/ Opened in 1998 and owned by two friends, Costas Iliopoulos and Vasilis Tsekouras. The name Mamacas (which is "mommy" in Greek) originated from the home-cooked meals the owners enjoyed growing up. Considered a modern taverna in the "hippest part of town," this restaurant was really a disappointment. Located amongst warehouses (Athens version of NYC's Meatpacking District) in a neoclassical building that was once a grocery store. Decorated with white-washed wood, white lantern lights, and canvas linens with two levels of seating plus an outdoor area. Admitingly, it is an attractive space, but it seems as if they are trying too hard. That being said, this place is considered popular with Greek models and pop stars. I just don't get it. The menu is super limited at six entrees: two versions of beef fillet, pork, chicken and turkey fillets, and turkey chops. The food was fine but totally overpriced. We settled on a chicken and a beef fillet, which were both uneventful. They were both a plate with a grilled piece of meat and a starch of the day on it, something I could have easily made at home and spent about $10 on. The fact that it was our only night in town only made matters worse and more upsetting. Our bill was 75 Euro for a Greek salad, two fillets, a bottle of water, and a beer. The service was fine and all the waiters were wearing blue jeans and tight-fitting white T-shirts. Interesting to note they employ young, good-looking Greek males, I'm assuming to serve the abundance of young women who patronize the establishment. There is outdoor seating, and late at night the restaurant turns into a lounge. This is a place for large groups rather than couples. Trendy-casual attire, reservations recommended. Check out the website; it's about as exciting as the place itself. Note: There is also a Mamacas in Mykonos under the same ownership. Accepts MasterCard and Visa only, closed Mondays. Open 2pm to 2am. Not recommended, unless you are having a bachelorette party.
New York, New York