Lying just a really bad javelin throw away from the sponge docks on Dodecanese Boulevard in Tarpon Springs is Mykonos Greek restaurant. Despite the obvious strike against it, I’ve found myself at this cramped, family run restaurant for a number of celebrations. Usually they involve a couple famous Iowans preparing for trips to Africa or long walks across mammoth stages to meet people who can’t stand too close to a candle for fear that their face will melt.
Mykonos is no Acropolis. It prides itself on “authentic” cuisine that does not require the accompaniment of breaking plates, belly dancers and hundreds of wasted napkins. Where the Acropolis is going for aura and experience, Mykonos places their emphasis solely on the food. That’s not to say it is better than the Acropolis just different.
My main concern with Mykonos is the “authentic” part. This means there is a large selection of meat fused dishes and very little for a vegetarian (forget it if you are vegan) that is looking for something a little more substantial than side dishes. They do offer one vegetarian main dish special. The night we went the dish was Briam. After scouring the menu eight times I finally went with that.
The Briam was a mixture of onions, zucchini, eggplant and potatoes. It was then covered with Greek spices and topped with cheese. The flavors of the dish really complimented each other and it wasn’t overly dominated by a particular taste like some of the other dishes we had. My hesitancy to order the dish at first was due to the eggplant. While I enjoy eggplant in some forms there are some where I absolutely hate it. This is the type of dish that the latter usually applies to. But the eggplant’s unique taste and texture was masked beautifully by whatever spices and sauces the kitchen combined to create this bad boy. J-Fur decided to try her luck at two side dishes, the Greek fries and the tried and true Spanikopita.
Some Spanikopita, like the one at Mykonos, is completely overrun by the addition of dill. The dill was so strong here that it almost seemed like you were eating citrus. I had a bite or two and then left the rest to J-Fur who wasn’t too impressed with it either. The Greek Fries were your typical French Fried Potatoes topped with lemon, oil and various spices. The fries that were covered in oil were really good. The drier ones, which far outnumbered those slathered in Homer’s “liquid gold,” weren’t nearly as tasty. To finish off the evening Mykonos offers, free of charge, a light dessert of apples, cinnamon and honey.
While I much prefer the taste of agave to honey one really can’t complain about something free. I had a few nibbles and then the rest of the party polished off the remainder. My previous trip to Mykonos ended with an order of saganaki which was really good. Of course, it is extremely hard to mess up saganaki. Unless you douse it in lighter fluid, it is probably going to fulfill its promise.
In the end Mykonos is a long drive for very few vegetarian options. Rule out potatoes and you have even less choices. It is a fine place to celebrate on occasion but not the type of place that I will become attached to, especially considering the proximity of the slightly less authentic but more vegetarian friendly Acropolis. I do have to say that the chef at Mykonos, Andreas “Andrico” Salivares, spent a lot of time in the seating area chatting with people about their dinner. That kind of treatment is welcome as it gives the impression that he cares. Try to find a waiter or waitress (let alone a cook) when they burn your Falafel at the Acropolis and you could be searching for a while.
Greek it up to Reptar who will make their way to the House of Blues in Orlando tomorrow night. These guys will be opening for Foster the People and Cults. I have my ticket, but won’t be going as I took a job not realizing the show starts at like 5:00 at night (wth?). Elizabeth will be taking my place.
Tonya thinks Andy (aka Astronautalis) has the sexiest voice ever. I’m not much into that kind of stuff but damn does he saganaki “Dimitri Mendeleev.”