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14 January 2006

Greek Restaurant Papayannis

Restaurant Tip in Ilissia
Restaurant Sign Greek Restaurant Papayannis

Friday evening is sometimes too lazy to cook and too weekendish to stay at home. We went to an old fashioned tavern in the Ιλίσσια (Ilissia) area. "Old fashioned" in the sense that this place has been there seemingly for ever. We enjoyed not only the good old laid back atmosphere, but also the very good food. The place is not expensive at all, so read on for a bit more of a review...

Our first contact with this place was seeing the sign on the sidewalk. There is a proper greek sign, but they also have this 1970's tourist style sign. I think it's so crappy it starts to look good. Now "Greek Restaurant Papayannis" is what we call the place. The sign being there is even weirder, because the tavern is not in any tourist area. The sign aside, the place has a good name in the area. It's a place where elder people go for lunch, where younger people take out food, and in the evening the Greeks come to dine in small groups.

We did the same and (as I already mentioned), we enjoyed it. The place has meats on the grill, but also a selection of cooked foods (which obviously varies with whatever the cook was up to on that day). Cooked foods in the greek cuisine are prepared in advance, usually in the mornings. This helps to let the spices in the sauce "sink in" and really enriched the taste. Whoever chooses and applies those spices at Papayannis knows how to handle that job. Not being so much meat fans, we went heavy on the cooked stuff, ordering for the three of us: Lamb in lemon sauce (αρνί λεμονάτο με πατάτες φούρνου, with potatoes from the oven), beans in sauce (γίγαντες), meat balls (κεφτέδες), cooked salad (χόρτα), french fries. With the food we had an open red wine.

The beans in sauce were pure poetry, they lived in a completely different universe from simple beans pulled out of a can. They were spicy, with a full rich sauce that takes the tongue traveling into far and oriental places. I still remember them today. We ate every bit of them and finished off the sauce with bread. The lamb had a fine taste, none of the brutishness that people always fear in lamb, the sauce was well done as well, almost sweet. We liked the other foods as well, but those were clearly the highlights.

All in all we paid about 27 Euro. That's a good, normal price for three people in todays Greece. All in all I can warmly recommend the place, for a nice evening with basic good values, without any of the false high society ambitions that plague some of the "modern" places. - "Greek Restaurant Papayannis" Ταβέρνα Παπαγιάννης, Παπαδιαμαντοπούλου 53, Ιλίσσια / Papadiamantopoulou 53, Ilissia.

Posted by betabug at 23:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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