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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Go For the Greek

Souvlaki, avgolemono, and spanikopeta.  Moussaka, pastitizio, and gyros (“yeh’rohs”).  Second-best to sitting on the sands of a Greek island this summer is savoring the flavor.

We were in Place A, headed to Place B, which happens a lot in our family, yet these were not our usual locales.  My husband, also known as The Man with The Plan, decided we were stopping for lunch in Little Greece.

By and large, I think the Greek atmosphere of the neighborhood had gone the way of the Lost City of Atlantis.  Currently, it was a workingclass neighborhood, full of row houses and the occasional liquor store or corner market.  I felt nervous taking our dogs and children into such a setting.

“Will the dogs be okay?”  I asked as we located street parking and an alcoholic shuffled nearby, counting his change. Our Scottish terriers Misha and Grisha were not fond of loiterers nor low-lifes.

“They’ll be fine,” said my husband, in his usual Don’t Worry, Be Happy mode.  Never mind that the Scotties would be lunging at the windows and barking bloody murder on this cool day with the windows cracked sufficiently.

It was a cultural experience.  The family walked past a laundromat, something the kids had never seen before.  There were a few abandoned buildings here and there.  The local Greek Orthodox Church caught their attention, similar in architectural style to Russian Orthodox, but well past its glory, as well.  Finally, we arrived at the restaurant.

A hole in the wall, for sure, but the aroma was authentic.  The proprietors were really Greek.  It was a good sign.  We sat against the wall of a narrow aisle leading to the hostess’ podium, our straight-back chairs facing dining patrons.  There was a long waiting line, another possible indicator of good food to come.

After about a 30-minute wait to be seated, they rustled up a table for six.  My husband ordered for all of us, his extensive travels to the most remote of Greek islands encouraging us that he might actually know his way around the menu.  He stuck with the basics for the children and they were not disappointed.

“Greek is my favorite food!” rhapsodized our daughters.  The boys were naturally too busy dining with gusto to comment.

The small establishment was delightful and delicious.  The waitress commented about our children’s politeness and their obvious love for food, lol.  It was only in these Old World establishments that proprietors even cared to comment about such things any more.  The white-washed walls, Greek flags, paintings of the islands, all combined to take us away for the moment.

At this time when Greece was having enough problems of its own with unrest in the streets, this dining experience was the next best thing to being there.  Have you had any good ethnic food lately?



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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Phyllis says:

    Way back when…we were studying Anciet Greece (my 2 bios and I). I had gone to the library thinking of finding some Greek cookbooks to add to our studies. My husband chimed in saying he had heard some men at work talking about a really good Greek restaurant. The rest is history! We have been going there for roughly 12 years. We know the owner (Yanni) and our favorite server, Tom. We have even given Tom Christmas gifts and cards. : ) Tom tells us stories all the time of his family (they immigrated from Turkey) that has us laughing all through dinner. Now, our younger boys have come to love the restaurant, too, as well as Tom! However, I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to study Anciet Greece with them. lol

    I also just made a dish last week that was from a friend of ours that spent some time in Morocco. All of the family, minus our daughter who is out of state at the moment, loved the dish! So that will be another ethnic dish to add to our list.

    • avatar admin says:

      Oh Phyllis, a Moroccan recipe??? Yum. (As long as it’s not pigeon pie…)

      Your Greek restaurant sounds so fun– the fact that the owner and waiter interact with you makes it special. I try to impress on our kids the importance of the personal touch and good customer service when we experience it– it seems to be disappearing so often these days.

      Our guys get their hair cut from a Greek barber, and he just mentioned a nearby/ authentic/ highly-recommended Greek place. We may need to take a little field trip in the future, lol.

      As for ancient Greece and your younger boys, maybe start them off with building the Parthenon from legos-! That should keep them busy for a few years….

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