And when the place started filling up, it felt like a village celebration for a feast day. Actually, it was the feast day of St. Demetrios and one of our waiters was named Demetrios. That made it even more special for me, and made me wish I could be at the church in Thessaloniki. But I wouldn’t want to miss this time with my family for anything!
Anyway. The meal was served family style. Since there were only a couple vegan things, my sister and brother-in-law suggested I order off the menu. Demetrios recommended the vegetable platter (briami), and I also asked for the gigantes – I wanted to see if they were authentic! I had no idea how big the vegetable platter would be.
eggplant, potatoes, okra, onions, and bell pepper. The rice in the middle had a nice, mild tomato sauce. Everything was cooked perfectly, and tasted wonderful. The veggies really tasted nice and fresh.
The dish of gigantes was also big enough for two. The beans were nice and tender. The sauce was a little salty, but that didn’t bother me (just meant I did have to add salt 10 times). I love it with dill.
And my very thoughtful family bought a dessert for me from Whole Foods, a vegan chocolate chip cheesecake. The crust kind of tasted like a cookie, and the chocolate on top was my favorite. It was dark and slightly bitter, so it offset the sweetness of the “cheese” part. But I wasn’t the only one who left in a mild food coma…
I couldn’t quite get all the dishes and platters in the picture, but it reminded me of the huge mess my brother and I left in our wake after our huge meals all over Greece. So, for my brother, the menu of the family style meal included:
dolmades (with lamb)
baklava, and at least one other pastry – and of course, a traditional American cake
Everyone loved the food, and the atmosphere was great. The waitstaff were busily running around the whole time, making sure we had whatever we wanted, and were friendly and polite. I would LOVE to go back again!
So, while I’m dreaming of Greece now, here are some related links from my trip:
Our last visit to Ta Koumparakia, our favorite restaurant in Thessaloniki
Giant Greek Vegan post, showing off most of the food we enjoyed during the trip
churches, chapels, and shrines