Stazei Meli, Corfu 09-2019

Other than searching out gelato, there was only one dessert place in Corfu Town I wanted to try - the local place for loukoumades. These little fried donut balls can be so delicious sometimes, hot and soft, with a sweetness to bring in the night. Stazei Meli is also a place for breakfast, so I suppose it is an any time of day type food here.

After a walk through the barmy evening night-lit streets up and away from the port area, we joined other happy people for a sweet end (or maybe beginning even) to the day.

There are many different combinations to try and the smell of fried dough is in the air.

We did just have a big dinner, but I don't know still how others can eat 6 of these to themselves. It's much better value (not that it is anywhere near expensive anyway) but we chose variety over quantity.

Vegan (fig jam & pistachio) €2.6 for 3 and Chocolate & Fruits (dark chocolate, banana) €2.8 for 3 were our choice. The balls were warm and soft, although I admit I did expect more flavour from the dough itself. The fig jam was ok but not my favourite, which is unusual because figs are so local here and pistachios were my choice too. The banana and dark chocolate was a more standard combination and I preferred this.

I was very stuffed by the end, and a little disappointed if I'm being honest. Maybe I just had too high expectations. I'd still come back again when less full.

To Alatopipero, Corfu 09-2019

During this relatively quite weekend in September, one of the few restaurants that seemed to be flowing with guests was To Alatopipero. It had been recommended by my Airbnb host as somewhere for local food, so either was that good or had somehow similarly made it to everyone else's list. We walked in off the alley and I thought it looked quite empty. Then out the front entrance to the pedestrian courtyard seating area and it clicked - that's where everyone was, enjoying the warm autumn evening with a few street singers passing through also.

It was the last chance to try some local Corfiot cuisine.

- Handmade cheese pie €4 - cheese pies were actually deepfried pastries with very tasty feta inside. There were an unexpectedly high number of these for the price and almost difficult to finish them all. But I persevered;
- Sofrito €8.5 - quite plain in flavour with the meat not very tender and thin. Fries well seasoned with oregano;
- Pastisada (cockerel) €8.5 - chicken a bit dry but better than the sofrito. Nice flavour. Penne was ok but not al dente. I think the veal version at Bakalogatos was better.

A complimentary dessert was brought out too as a nice touch to finish. But I wanted to go for the loukoumades (at Stazei Meli) anyway.

Overall I thought the food was a little disappointing. It did have a good atmosphere to try to make up for it.

Bakalogatos, Corfu 09-2019

I was wandering through the streets looking for some lunch inspiration. I walked past the incessantly closed Soflaki, and also O Berdes (which was on my list) and To Alatopipero (recommended by my Airbnb host). But this didn't seem open just yet either. Around the corner just before the exit to the harbour side, I found a nice menu with a pleasant outdoor seating area here. The Greek name is Μπακαλόγατος.

So far I was yet to try and of the traditional Corfiot dishes - pastitsada, sofrito, stifado.

Pastitsada €9.5 was essentially spaghetti with a red sauce. Pasta was cooked through and not al dente. The sauce had an excellent earthy flavour, although the meat itself was not the most tender. But it certainly looked and tasted delicious, and such an excellent comfort food.

Yum.

Taverna Ninos, Corfu 09-2019

Ask anyone and read any food guide for Corfu Town, and Ninos will feature. Even when I checked in and asked for recommendations, the Airbnb host suggested it for traditional dishes and for gyros also. It seemed a good place to start my food return to Greece.

It's a very popular place with people queueing for takeaway. The meat on the spit actually looks remarkably good, and a far cry from the uniform meat paste that is common (moreso in Turkish places). I had also read the red sauce was a local Corfu thing and elevated it to the next level.

With enthusiasm I ordered the ridiculously cheap €2.5 gyros with pitta. After it arrived I had to ask for the red sauce; "oh you want the red sauce" - yeah, of course. I'm not sure what the red sauce is - tomato and maybe meat juice. I expected a bit of chilli from what I thought I had read, but there wasn't any. Pork meat was ok. I thought it was decent, but can't be the best. Unfortunately it was difficult to find another well rated place in town for it. I did go back again one more time for lunch a couple of days later (because Gia was closed) and thought the meat flavour was better that time. It's good overall, I have to admit.

Also on the first night I had saganaki €4, which was a deliciously salty and squeaky cheese perfectly grilled. It was tough having that all to myself, but someone had to do it.

Gia Souvlaki, Corfu 09-2019

After trying Nino and wanting another to compare, finding a good gyro was actually much more difficult than expected in Greece. I tried to go to Pitta Pappou but the staff pretended I didn't exist when I stood in the door trying to speak to someone. There was also Soflaki in an alleyway but it was closed every single time I went past (which was quite often).

Although not really a gyro place, gia has skewers and rotisserie chicken. I didn't have the stomach space to eat everything, but they were kind enough to cut off a piece of the chicken for me to try. Really delicious. I would go for that (kontosouvli) next time there.

Instead of this occasion I tried the Mix souvlaki €7. Chicken kebab was very tender but less flavour than the spit version. Pork skewer was nicely charred and had decent flavour. Sausage pork was quite salty but alright.

Cheap prices and friendly people. I would definitely have gone back if they weren't closed on the Sunday that I tried.

Solo Gelato, Corfu 09-2019

After a large quantity of gelato from Papagiorgis, I walked into Solo to look around and compare. Even though I couldn't stomach another one, I made a mental note that the place looked authentic with silver tins (albeit open).

I went back the next day to try it and even though it was more expensive for a smaller amount (but easily enough for 1), it was clearly a superior product and good enough for me to return the following day too.

The mango sorbet was thick and tangy. The pistachio was hidden underneath (don't know why considering they advertise they use Sicilian pistachios) and had a good colour and reasonably good flavour. It costs 0.5€ extra for one of those thick chocolate sticks which was pretty unnecessary in the end. They also tried to put liquid chocolate on top, to which I said no. I have to say that probably downgrades their product a little even offering it.

I tried the chocolate the next day (with pistachio again) and that was pretty good too.

Papagiorgis Patiserie-Gelateria, Corfu 09-2019

The most famous and busy gelato place in Corfu is this old one. It's also located along the main thoroughfare which certainly helps too. Other than a well staffed gelato area, there are also cakes which I didn't try but looked very nice.

The gelato is an extremely generous serve. The £1.70 cone with 1 scoop (they let me have 2x 1/2 scoops) is a huge amount with gelato stuffed in all through the cone. I tried the dark chocolate which was thick and good, but the pistachio was pale, weak and a waste of time unfortunately.

If you want only gelato, go to Solo around the corner.

Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna, Santorini 09-2010

After the long hot hike down in Oia (and before the longer hotter hike up) and a refreshing swim in some of the clearest waters on Earth, there was the dilemma of choosing a restaurant for lunch. They all look similar to be honest and cook the same food.

I'm not why we chose Dimitris but probably it just looked good, as did the grilling seafood over charcoal.

The octopus we didn't try but definitely should have. The photo is my food envy at the end of the meal. It's on the list for next time...