I remember when I solo backpacked Europe back in 2015 and I was always scouring blogs for their best traditional cuisine recommendations. In my opinion, the best thing to do when visiting a new place, with all it’s new variety of flavor, is the obvious… eating it all!
I swear to God I’m not biased, because I’ve held this opinion since the first day I came to Athens, but the food… the FOOD! It’s the best. I don’t blame people for sticking with mom longer than most cultures here, because there’s a difference in having a home cooked meal… and having a GREEK home cooked meal. The warmth, the savoriness of it all… I feel at home by just looking at a pastichio, a plate of soudzoukakia, or…
May I present Alex and I’s favorite restaurant… “Tzitzikas and Mermigas”; meaning the cricket and the ant. I don’t know if it is or isn’t the name of one of those Beatrice Potter children’s books or not; but it just made this place that much more cozy.
Tzitzikas and Mermigas has four locations, but the one pictured is the one closest to us in Halandri. Opened in 1998, it was originally a historic tavern of pre-war Greece, “Ta Kalamia”; and was then refurbished into the quaint theme of Greece in the 1950’s.
Alex and I came here on a date a few months ago, (it’s one of our special occasion places) and I made sure to take some pictures for you to get a peek into our date night.
We usually try a variety of different things every time we go… but the one thing we order every time (and sometimes debate on whether or not we should order two) is the appetizer of fried gruyere from Naxos, with sesame, Tauyetus’ honey and bacon. Greece has enough cheeses to put a cheese-aholic like myself in heaven seven times over; but cheese from the island of Naxos is definitely up on my top three favorites, at least. The breading around it is always light and crunchy, never over saturated in oil, and the honey and savoriness of the bacon tie it all together with the slight nuttiness of the sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.
Babe if you’re reading this I don’t want a cake for my upcoming birthday. I want five of these, please.
Anyways, if we were to take you for your first dinner in Greece this is where we would take you… or if you have a sweet tooth, maybe for some loukoumades?
Either way, you must go.