logoEat - Drink - Protest

A culture blog by Lauren Girardin, a San Francisco-based city girl who eats out and kicks about.

May 23, 2006

Greece ~ Day 8: food

Focused on the food. All descriptions read left-most picture, from back to front, L to R, then to the next photo.

Breakfast: Another day on the move as we bused from Karterados, the town where we stayed our first two nights on Santorini, to Perissa on the southeast coast, with black lava beaches. I'm eating a chocolate-filled croissant, a Greek favorite (Todd read that somewhere, I have no idea if it's true).

Lunch: Got off the bus in Perissa starved and with our heavy backpacks in tow. It's a beach town so we knew the odds were against us finding a decent restaurant in the main stretch, but with our bags, we couldn't go far. Oh, and it was a sunny 95 degrees. We had dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with herbed rice; "mushroom risotto"; and feta baked with tomato and green pepper. Todd really wanted the mushroom dish, he's a mountain man who had been without his favorite fungi for a while now. It was possibly one of the most worthless dishes we've ever eaten, essentially canned mushrooms boiled with some straight cream. At least the portion was generous - we were so hungry we actually ate it. As to the rest: the dolmas were ok, the feta was good, but impossible to screw up really.

Dinner: We asked the advice of the overly-tanned white Irish guy who we had to pay to use beach chairs, who recommended we schlep to Lava restaurant, on the beach, but away from the campground and bus stop. We arrived after an easy kilometer of walking along the beachside road. Lava's approach is apparently how most restaurants in Greece used to be setup, you sit at a table, order your drinks then are ushered into the kitchen. There are no menus, instead the night's dishes are displayed in hot trays, and you select what looks good. If you have any questions, the chef is there to answer your questions. Faced with about 3 dozen options, some vegetarian, some meat-heavy, some fishy, we chose dishes we hadn't even seen on other restaurant menus.

A local decent red wine. Red peppers stuffed with cracked wheat, herbs and some sort of nut; pasta with tender, meaty, grilled chopped octopus and a simple tomato sauce which was unbelievable; and halved fennel bulbs topped with asparagus spears and topped with cheese. We were estatic to finally see fennel bulbs, with all the fennel-seed flavored ouzo, you'd think the fennel bulb would be on every menu, but no dice. After the meal, we just managed to eat the complimentary fresh, perfectly sweet cherries.