Monday 7 September 2015

12 Days of Tzatziki.

We don't visit Greece for the food in all honesty. We go for the wonderful climate, the beautiful beaches, the quaint harbours and the warm and welcoming people. That's not to say there isn't good eating to be had in Greece, it's just that in comparison to Spain, and their obsession for product and innovation (often in the most unlikely places), it's simply not on the same level.
We always manage to find some good tavernas but all too often the menus have the same several simple dishes on them which can get monotonous on a two week break. Although simple can be a joy when it's done well and with love. Disappointingly on three occasions we order king prawns and three times they are quite average (and frozen). However we always have a wonderful time in Greece and this time travelling across the mainland in the mountainous region of Epirus was no exception.
We fly into Corfu, there are package holidays here so the flights are cheaper. We stay over night in Corfu Town. As we arrive late I researched a busy local taverna serving excellent and simple kebabs. A local band play as we savoured the buzz of the first night of our holidays.
The following day we catch a ferry to Igoumenitsa and drive down to Sivota where we spend a few lazy days before a week in Parga a busy and very pretty resort, mainly full of Greek holiday makers. (There is absolutely no sign of the country's problems there at all). The prices are reasonable too, a meal for two with wine would be around €35. Sivota Harbour below and nearby Bella Vraka Beach.
Pretty much every meal we have, we always start with Tzatziki. We love this stuff and just cannot get enough of it. When you eat the same thing every day you start to notice the little differences. We end up judging the very best, the creamiest texture with the perfect amount of garlic.
There's often a Greek salad in there too, my perfect light lunch by the sea. We find an excellent taverna near Sivota called the Mikri Ammos Beach Bar. The food here is superb, much better than the usual tourist stuff such as this excellent prawn risotto and Prawn Ceviche below.
Another beach bar well worth searching out is Christos Taverna on Sarakiniko Beach (near Parga, you can get a taxi boat there and back from the harbour). Everything about this place is very enjoyable. It has a perfect setting on the beach and all the food we have is simple but good. This Lamb chops and chips (below) is just spot on. You can have a dip in the beautiful pool afterwards too.
One stiflingly hot evening, (are there any others in Parga?) wandering along the harbour, we see a boy catch his first ever fish (according to our waitress at Oskar Pizzeria). Then he got another ten minutes later.
The food at our last hotel up the coast, the Riviera Perdika is way above the average. On our last night the manager offers us some locally caught lobster. I say 'lobster' but they don't look like a standard variety. They look almost like a crab but taste something in between prawns or langoustine. I photograph them whilst they're still crawling around (which is weird). They only know the Greek word for them. That evening we devour them with a mountain of spaghetti.
The holiday ends like all good things must, on the Esplanade in Corfu town waiting to go to the airport. Until next time, Yamas! 

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