Monday, June 6, 2016

Potato-Free Meze Meze

For our last dinner in Naxos, we went back to Meze Meze, getting another table outside on a nice spring night. We had had such a good dinner the night before, and the menu had so many other things that sounded good, so we wanted to try more. But one thing was for sure - we were not ordering any more potatoes. The fries and potato salad from the night before were so good, but we had gotten our fill of delicious Naxian potatoes and now it was time for other stuff.

We started off with some drinks, a beer for A and some iced tea for M. Not too much to say about those.

The first thing to arrive was, just like last time, a basket of bread, which cost €0.80 for each of us. Same as the night before.

After all those potatoes, we wanted to get a potato-free salad, choosing to go with the traditional Greek salad - lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion, caper, olives, xinomizithra local cheese, and Cretan crispy bread with olive oil and lemon sauce - for €7.50. This was very similar to the Naxian potato salad from the night before, but with the potatoes being replaced by lettuce, cucumber, and Cretan crispy bread. The Cretan bread was one of the things we were most interested in trying since we weren't going to Crete on that trip. Five years later, we remember the salad being good - light and clean and satisfying - but not too many specifics. It just didn't imprint in our memories the way the Naxian potato salad did. The bread also didn't leave a lasting impression on us.

Since we were in the Greek Islands, we also decided to get some fish, another thing we skipped the night before. We went with the grilled fresh mackerel for €8, which came on a platter with some rice. The issue with the mackerel was that it was a thinner fish than other fish we had eaten in Greece so it was harder for M to get much of anything skinned and also off the bone. The fish itself was very fresh, though, and most of the work went to A to get the meat out. Memories of the rice have sadly also faded over time.

The last thing we ordered came as a recommendation from the waiter. We weren't sure what to order between three types of fried seafood, and he offered to let us have some of all three just like some other tables were enjoying. What arrived was a giant platter of what looked like "popcorn seafood" - half orders of small fried fish, small fried squid, and small fried shrimp - for €12. You ate the fish and squid whole, but the shrimp, you tore the head off and then ate the rest. It doesn't look like an especially huge plate, and the size of the plate itself wasn't very different from some of the others, but it was packed full of really tiny pieces of seafood. It took us an hour to eat all of it, as it just seemed like a neverending plate. We had eaten so much shrimp, fish, and squid, yet every time we looked up, the plate still looked full. We were happy though that we had the option to try all three and weren't disappointed at all with any of them. Everything was really good, but it took forever to eat, an experience we certainly wouldn't forget from our last night. Good thing we weren't really in a rush to go back to the hotel to pack.

After we (finally) finished our dinner, they brought out more complimentary citron and yogurt to end the meal, which we appreciated. The hospitality and the food at Meze Meze were superb, and we were so happy that we had chosen to eat there twice to try a wide range of what they had to offer. We were trying not to overdo it for our last dinner since we wanted to make one last trip to Milkato to get some more gelato, so there were so many more things we didn't get to try. We would definitely return here if we have the chance to go back to Naxos.

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