Athens

Acropolis
It is hot and it is August so a lot of places are not open but how can you not stop in Athens en route to an Island in Greece? 

We got on the subway this morning which is clean and spacious.  Rode over to the Acropolis and walked the walk.  What can I say?  An incredible ancient structure that sits a top all of Athens.  The views are absolutely spectacular.  Pollution, earthquakes, tourists have taken their toll on these ruins but the Acropolis stills stands and is still impressive.

We walked down and hopped on the subway over to the markets.  I had a hunch they would be closed on Sunday and I was right.  Drag.  We love the food markets.  Instead we ambled over to the flea market which was a variety of stores that sold sneakers, clothes, furniture etc.  Hoping to eat lunch in the area but all the places we wanted to go were closed.

This crew does not just eat anywhere.  We continued to find one of the places we had researched until we found one open.  Not so easy in August.  All of them were closed.  On the last try, we had success.  Paradosiako which lacks ambiance but makes up for everything with the food.  A small taverna with an even smaller kitchen in the back with one woman putting out the dishes.  We sat on the sidewalk and ordered the daily specials.  The menu is pretty large but unless there is a price next to it for the day, they don’t have it. 

We had four vegetables to begin.  Fava beans that had been ground up like porridge.  Tasty and good.  Eggplant
Next was an eggplant salad.  Thinly sliced eggplants that almost looked like thin noodles.  Sauteed in ample olive oil and seasonings.  Reminded me very much of the eggplant salad they served at Kalustyans in the city.  I can’t detect the spice.  We also had the classic Greek Salad, how could you not?  The best was the eggplant ragout, pictured here.  Huge chunks of soft eggplants cooked with oregano, red peppers, onions and olive oil.  We decided it was like a Greek caponata.  Absolutely delicious, sweet salty and full of flavor. 

We opted to try a few of the fish of the day.  Grilled sardines.  Small and crispy.  Octopus which we literally fought over.  Large sliced octopus that was crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.  Full of flavor sitting in olive oil and lots of oregano.  The calamari was the entire body grilled and sliced.  I have never seen a calamari that big before.  IncrediblyEmpty_plates
crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.   All served with big hunks of lemon on the side.  You can see how much we liked everything from our clean plates.

We went through 3 large bottles of water and they gave us fresh watermelon sliced up at the end.  A mom and pop/family joint.  Excellent.  Total meal cost us $55 euros.  The best deal we have had yet and also the best food, hands down.