Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sunset Taverna

Somehow it's already mid-May, which means we're coming up on the six year anniversary of our honeymoon in Greece. Sadly we've not finished recapping that, so getting back to that...

Our first full day in Santorini started off stressful (dealing with the ants but luckily they were able to move us into another room in the villa; less scenic but less pests), but immediately improved after getting some pies for breakfast. After the pies, we wandered around Oia for a bit, just taking in the sights (lots of weddings, stray dogs, and ants, but also pretty buildings and the caldera) before heading for the (very long) staircase that would take us down to the water and the small port area called Ammoudi. We figured that we would just relax a bit by the water, explore the town (we thought it would be bigger than it was), and have some lunch.

There were a lot of steps and they took far longer than we thought, and they were also covered with donkey droppings everywhere, especially as we got closer to the bottom. We were pretty happy when we finally got to the port and didn't have to walk on the steps anymore. After looking around the port a little bit, we picked a taverna that had tables steps away from the water and decided to go there for lunch. The meal started with the usual bread (€2 six years ago), which was fine but we don't remember it being anything special.

We also got the horiatiki salad (€7.50), lots of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and onions topped with feta cheese. We loved getting salads in Greece because all of the produce was just so fresh since everything was local.

We also got the tomato keftedes (€7.50), something we had previously read was a Santorini specialty. They were basically fried tomato patties, and we learned here that this was definitely something we wanted to get more of when we were in Santorini, especially if you couldn't really find them elsewhere. There was just something about the flavor, probably from all the fresh, local tomatoes they were made with, that made them so unique and so good.

Along with our vegetable appetizers, we got some freshly grilled fish (€29.25). A picked out the fish because M trusts him to do this. He picked out a skorpion [sic] fish because the workers said it was local. What they didn't mention was that it was a trash fish that was mostly just used in stews and not eaten whole like we were asking for. After reviewing the prices, he was happy to see that it was a moderately priced fish and not one of the more expensive fish types. (Whole fish could get really expensive at some spots in Greece.) He picked a medium sized one and asked them to grill it (and again, they never mentioned until later that that was not how it was usually prepared). As with all fresh fish grills we had gotten in Greece, it was a simple salt, pepper, olive oil, and herb grill with a lemon wedge on the side.

The fish wasn't bad, but it definitely wouldn't be our first choice if we were to ever do this meal again. A remembers that certain parts of it had a bit of a bitterness to it, and those could be the parts that were closer to the poisonous spines that this fish is known for. Thankfully neither of us got sick from eating this, but it's possible that those parts of the fish would have been left out if it were prepared in a stew. Otherwise the fish was a fairly standard flaky white fish, maybe a little firmer than the other ones we had gotten.

Overall, our meal here was nice. It was a great location on the water, the food was solid, and the weather was fantastic. A also got a frappe since he had fallen in love with them on this trip. The only real downside was that there was a very rude and loud family dining at the restaurant at the same time who seemed like they might have been from one of the many cruise ships that were docked in the area that day. They yelled at the staff about a simple mistake they made in a dish, and they were just generally so loud, what people usually think of as stereotypical loud Americans. They also seemed completely clueless about the geography or even where they were, and somewhat (loudly) proud of their ignorance, reinforcing more negative American stereotypes. Not the restaurant's fault though, and we felt pretty bad for the staff.

After relaxing in Ammoudi a little longer after our meal, we ended our time there by taking a taxi back up to Oia because we didn't feel like walking back up the donkey poop-filled stairs. There were also even more donkeys on the stairs after lunch so we could only imagine the fresh batches that would be awaiting us if we walked up. If you're going to Ammoudi, beware of the donkeys!

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