Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pies, Pies and More Pies

Before going to Athens, we did a bit of internet research to see which restaurants people raved about, and one of the universally recommended venues was Ariston bakery. It's a take-out shop with all sorts of savory and sweet pies and we planned to visit for lunch on our first full day in Athens.

Ariston is a small shop located on a narrow street (Voulis) lined with parked cars and filled with motorcycles. If you hang out on the street (as we did while eating), you see lots of people walking into Ariston and leaving with paper or plastic bags full of pies just like we did. Many of them didn't even wait until leaving the bakery before starting on their pies.

The window display gave us a hint of what was to come - homemade pies with fresh ingredients:

Many people left Ariston eating one of these cheese pies called "kourou." We had read about them as a specialty of the bakery and knew we had to try one:

Kourou on display

Kourou ready to eat

Not sure what type of cheese this was but this pie was delicious. The outside was a little crispy and bready, but once you made your way to the center of the pie, it was a mixture of the crispy exterior and soft tasty cheese inside. We would highly recommend trying one of these if you're in Athens. It's the perfect snack.

Since we were there for lunch, we also got a few more pies. The non-kourou pies were basically square or rectangular slices from a pie that was made in a big pie/cake pan. They had a layer of buttery and flaky crust with filling inside:

Mushroom pie

Spinach and feta pie

The pies were delicious. The mushroom pie might have been one of the best pies we have ever eaten. We immediately wanted more, but knew we couldn't if we were going to eat dinner and/or not go home 100 lbs heavier. So good.

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