Greece is the Word – Day Twelve

Today is our second to last full day here in Greece.
I’ve not been able to find diet soft drinks (soda) here apart from Pepsi Max or Sugar Free Coke.
The same thing happened when we were in Japan although I did eventually find it in the odd store here and there.

Here in Greece, I’ve looked in many places and just can’t find it.

In Australia, and I imagine in Canada and America, there are huge selections of diet drinks. These countries also have the highest obesity rates.  Makes me wonder if there is any connection.

IMG_7169

Had to laugh at the name of this store (left).

Wasn’t sure if I was actually reading it correctly at first!

Speaking of walking, in Australia we drive on the left side of the road and consequently, when we walk down a footpath, we also keep left.
I keep wanting to keep left while walking here, but they’re used to keeping right. Everyone sub -consciously walks on the side they’re used to being on.

We drove to Kifisia. Such a pretty place and again, different to many of the other places we have been to in Greece. Kifisia is an upscale residential and shopping district with international designer boutiques, exclusive leather goods stores and art galleries. Imagine my surprise when I saw the store pictured above because that’s where that picture comes from.
There are pretty park lands in the area too.

Here are a few pictures I took as we walked along.


Not many pictures – I thought I took more.

We stopped for lunch and the place we went to didn’t have Greek Salad on the menu so we were forced to be adventurous which turned out to be a good thing because the salad I ate was so delicious with raisans and slices of orange in it. So good!!
We also got some pizza.

I can’t remember what the dish on the far right was called but it was mozzarella wrapped with eggplant and in that delicious tomato sauce. Again, soooo good!

9B790277-B321-465F-BA12-843803D2BCD3On the way back we passed by the Original Olympic stadium. The Panathenaic Stadium or Kallimarmaro is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens.

Hubby and I went to take a look and noticed so many people posing in front of it.

Some people were doing star jumps, others were doing John Travolta style dance poses.
It was fun to watch!

Of course, that meant I had to join in. Hubby and I tried to get some star jump pics in but I failed – I should really post the fail pictures because they were way funnier than these but I guess I still have some dignity left so I better work at keeping it.


And now for some other pics we took that don’t involve posing or star jump attempts.


IMG_7220

I lied, there was a bit of posing involved.

Oh and we noticed you could see the Acropolis from here too if you looked hard enough!

I like how the traffic sign here tells you how long you have to wait until you get a green walk signal.

IMG_7190
And a few more pics from the surrounding area…


IMG_7176
Had to laugh at this – I don’t think it was a typo, it probably means something but it was still funny to me.

Hubby asked if that’s the type of wine I like to drink…

Tonight for dinner we were back in that Plaka area – The same area that we caught the subway from where hubby’s wallet was pick-pocketed. I noticed there were quite a few people wearing their bags and back packs in front of them so I did the same even though I felt silly doing it.
By the way, Pláka is an old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, it incorporates labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture

Our company chose a fantastic restaurant where two guys were providing some great Greek entertainment.

IMG_7229

I did take a video later on in the evening when a couple of the diners… or one may have been a server, got up to do some Greek dancing! I took my phone out to video it and then looked around and there was at least one person from every table recording it!

Tomorrow is our last full day here and then a surprise awaits…. Stay tuned.

Nonna and I

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We discover passion of a sort we haven’t seen before,
Chef Khalil romances us with his food  and personality and
We experience such an abundance of flavours that I’m already planning my next few visits…

FullSizeRender[3].jpgDiners today we were at Nonna and I, a cute little restaurant just off the Parade in Margaret St, Norwood.

Hubby and I had been looking at a few different places to go to and as always, I like to read a few reviews before I go, just to see what other people think. In my quick searching I couldn’t find one bad thing written about Nonna and I.

I almost walked past the entrance when we got there. It was mid afternoon on a Saturday and I called to see if they were still serving lunch and was told yes they were and to please come on down.
What I didn’t know at the time is that Chef Khalil himself answered the phone and also was the person who greeted us at the door.
He settled us in, answered a few questions I had about the restaurant then left us to look over the menu.

As I read down the list I said “ooo I’m going to have that” then something else would catch my eye and I’d exclaim “No, I’m going to have that!” and then something else would come up and I’d change my mind again. There are so many enticing selections on the menu.

The catchphrase of Nonna’s is “Come hungry, Leave happy” and in fact, Chef Khalil said these words to us.  He is so passionate about his food and restaurant that it really is infectious!

We started with some Bruschetta to share.

fullsizerender2
What I loved most about this dish was the crispiness of the bread. It was absolutely perfect!! I don’t want my Bruschetta to be any other way! The lovely taste of tomato and basil was just what I wanted. I could have had a touch more olive oil on there but it was still a really nice start to the meal and I’m sure that if I’d asked Chef Khalil for more olive oil he would have come and drizzled it on in an instant!
His aim is to make sure you have the perfect dining experience.

For main, hubby chose one of the specials. Beef Cheeks. He’d never had this before but we know when it’s cooked well, there is nothing better than a good Beef Cheek.

fullsizerender1
Just looking at that picture makes me sad I’m not still eating it. I don’t even know what to say, I’m stunned by flavour into silence. It blew our expectations. The wine jus was just divine and I told hubby he HAD to mop it up with the bread that had been brought to our table.

I ended up choosing “Veal alla Nonna” Topped with eggplant, mozzarella & roasted pepper in light neapolitana sauce.

fullsizerender
Again this dish impressed me immensely. Chef Khalil is not shy with portion sizing.
There was a good amount of cheese and eggplant over this dish and it was just perfect. The veal was tender and tasty and topped with my favourite ingredients that were fresh and perfectly seasoned. I just don’t know how he could have made this any better.

After he brought out our mains he checked to see if there anything he could do to make it better for us.. more salt? pepper? Anything we didn’t like? He really wants his customers to enjoy his food.

By the time we were leaving we were the only ones in the restaurant and we started up a conversation with Chef Khalil that lasted a good half hour. This is beside the fact that he told us he’s the “quiet” one of the family.  He definitely is no wallflower!

But we loved talking to him and finding out about his life and how he has come to be where he is today. You’ll find some of his story on the Nonna and I website.

I cannot recommend this place highly enough and am very eager to get back there again soon!

Have you been to Nonna and I?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Pizza e Mozzarella Bar

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We discover pizza in Naples must be just ‘ok’
“Hype” can have a negative affect and
When the moon hits your eye and it ain’t a pizza pie, there’s no amore’ to be found.

FullSizeRender (45)

Today the Dining team were in Adelaide CBD.

We have heard a LOT of buzz about the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar situated in Pirie st.
I had even previously tasted a slice or two when a pizza had been taken back to the office by one of my work colleagues and had been impressed.

I had also heard Matt Preston from the Australian version of Masterchef say that this place has the best pizza outside of Naples

I didn’t want to let past experience sway me though, and just wanted to judge my dining experience on the present – as with all my reviews.

My reviews aren’t meant to be a be all and end all, just a written account of my opinions on the day I went into an establishment. FullSizeRender (44)

When you first walk into the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, you walk into an invitingly warm room. The smell hits you first.

Woodfired pizza’s cooking means there’s a heavenly smokey smell throughout, with hints of garlic and tomato.

FullSizeRender (43)The carpet and mismatched water glasses make you feel like you’re at your nonna’s place.

It definitely whet’s your appetite!

A waiter addressed us as soon as we walked in, set us at a table and explained the specials to us. He was very thorough and persuasive because I ended up choosing the meatball entree that he suggested. Hubby went for the Capricciosa Pizza.
You can also view their menu online which I usually find handy.

When the dishes came to the table I was pretty excited. I could smell the tomato and basil coming from mine and it had been smothered in a gorgeous sauce.
I couldn’t wait to try it!

FullSizeRender (47)

The meatballs were pork and veal (from memory) mince and had mozzarella cheese in the middle.

It’s not in the photo but this dish also comes with four slices of continental bread which is just heavenly!! So deliciously fresh and soft.

I started mopping up my sauce with the bread before I’d even tasted the meatball!

That sauce was just divine and probably the best thing I had in this place tonight.

I’m sorry to say that while hubby didn’t have an awful experience with his pizza, he didn’t love it either.

FullSizeRender (46)The dough was really spongy and fresh and tasted great. The only problem was, the centre of the pizza was watery and soggy.

He wasn’t able to pick up a slice. Maybe that’s how they do them in Naples? Although I’ve been to Naples and I don’t remember the pizza’s being like that.

I felt really disappointed for him because I knew he must he was looking forward to having some good pizza.

The pizza had a bit of a rustic look. He also felt like there wasn’t enough toppings. The photo doesn’t really bring out how barren the pizza was. However, I can attest to the fact that in Italy, the pizza’s are like that. Hubby has a Canadian/American background and I’ve seen the way they pile on the toppings over there then smother it was cheese and more cheese. Sadly this pizza was barren however, what was on there DID taste good.
FullSizeRender (48)
The music that was playing when we were there was eighties and nineties pop. I would have thought they could have gone for something Italian – something more authentic. It was sometimes a distraction.

I was told they make that beautiful bread I ate in-house and in fact, I could buy some to take home if I wanted.
The restaurant also does cooking classes which may interest some people. Their website gives you more information.

FullSizeRender (49)
For the dollars that this place asks, and for the reputation that it has, I would have expected a little more and I’m sorry to say we were a bit disappointed and not entirely full when we left.

After strolling through the city, we went to the Adelaide Central Markets and made everything right again with a couple of treats!

Love the Adelaide Markets!

Have you been to the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…