A Laconian Twist on Favorite Greek Foods
Greek food in Laconia: Spring
As we are approaching Spring we are also approaching one of the biggest feast days in Greece: Easter. Today marked the first day of the Lenten period which is called Kathara Deftera, or, "Clean Monday," in Greek. It marks the first of 40 days of fasting from meat and dairy products. For this reason, we've got two recommendations for what to eat in Greece in the Spring time in Greece; one for during lent, and the other for when the fast is broken and the feast begins!
My favorite beach in Greece.
Tucked away on the road to Vathi beach, just outside of Gytheio, you’ll find one of the most wonderful restaurants I’ve ever been to.
A few years ago, I was visiting my mother’s hometown of Krokees in Laconia, when I went for a day of diving and swimming with old friends. The Karasisters (as I call them) and their boyfriends picked me up in the morning and took me to a small beach where Hari could do some spear fishing (Hari is from Crete and loves catching his own food, if he can find it!).
I spent most of that day on the beach, soaking up the sun and admiring some of the different fish that swam up shore:
I actually remember that we had all lost track of time, and started to worry if Hari had been gone too long! Us girls had been so caught up in the fish near the shore that we’d completely forgotten to keep watch for Hari’s marker in the water.
Hari returned in one piece, of course, and luckily for us, he returned exhausted and ready for a big meal. And so we went to the Taverna Ths Marias in Vathi.
I’d never been to this taverna before, and if I had, I never would have remembered. There’s no signage on the road leading you toward the establishment, you just have to know where the turn is.
The taverna isn’t very big, just a few tables and chairs on the outdoor patio that are covered with grapes over top. Of course, like most Greek tavernas, and as many of you might know from our post about tavernas, there’s no menu.
The best part about this tavern, however, is that it’s truly one of Grandma’s Tavernas: though now run by Maria, her grandmother is a constant presence, continuing to cook and ensure that her recipes are all passed down to Maria.
The Karasisters and their beaus did the ordering, and told me that the specialty dish is kokkinisto kotopoulo me makaronia. which is basically a slow cooked chicken in red sauce, with long, home-made spaghettis.
Boy, was it worth it! Its been almost 3 years since my first meal there, and I still remember exactly everything about it today.
For those who read Greek - or don't mind using Google translate! - check out a more detailed review of Maria's taverna at the famous Greek food review site, Gastronomous.gr.
For many travelers, time is money. When you're booking trips to the islands, being pressed for time can be one of your worst enemies. Greek ferry schedules are a bit odd, as most boats leave in the wee hours of the morning from the mainland ports and return back from the islands very late at night.
A taverna is not to be confused with a tavern. Tavernas are uniquely Greek restaurants, often small and intimate. The taverna is an integral part of Greek cuisine and of Greek culture.