‘Authentic Greek cookery’
628 Dodecanese Boulevard
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689-3130
Mykonos is located in a tourist area of Tarpon Springs. This particular spot is populated by Greek people, and the primary trade (other than trinkets and ‘Florida’-baubles) is sea sponges. So despite it being fairly chilly for Florida in December, you could see tourists wandering around that evening in shorts and wearing no shirts (I happened to be wearing a hoodie). This particular section of Tarpon Springs has a particular flavor or character to itself that most of the Tampa area lacks. I doubt I can accurately ascribe the character that belongs to the town, but there is a grit and a feeling of history for the place. For those of you who haven’t visited Tampa, a large portion of the surrounding development is either new, and fairly unremarkable architecture. Either that, or it’s filled with car dealerships, boat dealerships, and titty bars. When driving Sia down to Tampa for the first time, I made the mistake of taking the “scenic” route and getting off of I-75 South and rerouting to US 19 somewhere around Odessa or New Port Richey. So her first fill of the area was driving past an alternating strip of Walmarts, Car Dealerships, Boat Dealerships, assorted Fast Food joints, and a slew of greasy Strip Clubs. In retrospect, that was a fair sampling of the Tampa area (admittedly there is more to Tampa than just that). Enough of my diatribe on the ‘city planning’ of the greater Tampa Bay area and on to Mykonos.
When we first arrived to Mykonos, it was quite busy. The dining area appeared fairly small and very busy. We had to wait for 10 or 15 minutes to get a table. While waiting to be seated I noticed that a number of the servers and cooks actually spoke Greek (as well as being staffed with folks from south of the Border as any great restaurant is). The music coming out over the boombox was also Greek, and the head chef was Greek. This all seemed indicative of having a fairly “authentic” and totally righteous meal.
Everyone showed up with a hearty appetite. Before we ordered we were served freshly baked bread. It was fairly standard ‘before the meal’-bread, but from what I understand Mykonos has it’s own in-house bakery. For an appetizer we ordered Saganaki (Opa!) which was salty, buttery and delicious. We also ordered Keftedes which is a pan-fried potato pastry. The Keftedes were crispy on the outside yet very moist and creamy inside; they were very rich. The salads that came with virtually every meal were composed of very fresh vegetables and a chunk of feta. The Chicken Lemon Soup had a very strong lemon flavor. The chicken was shredded and was great. Between the salad and the soup you could have stopped and had a nice meal from that alone.
To attempt to describe the meal that night would be to do it an injustice. To put it simply, the food was like an exquisite Greek orgy of flavors in my mouth. As is typical with my family, we all shared what we ordered so I got to taste everything on the table. I ordered the Mousaka, Dan got the Fila Dolmades (essentially Grape Leaves topped with an egg-lemon sauce), Sia ordered the Garides Mykonos which was a shrimp dish sautéed with fresh tomatoes, onions, herbs and feta cheese served on a bed of rice, my Mom ordered the Garides Ellinikes which is shrimp sautéed in garlic, oregano and Greek spices, and finally my Dad ordered the Lamp Chops which was served with another plate heaped with rice. We were also given a plate of freshly sautéed pees (which were very good). The portions were tremendous.
To top the evening off we ordered Baklava and Rice Pudding. The Rice Pudding was fairly thick and the Baklava was Baklava. We were also served a plate with a freshly cut apple topped with cinnamon which happened to trump the Baklava and Rice Pudding.
As you can see we had a considerable amount of leftovers to bring home (and later demolish). We had an amazing evening at Mykonos and I would highly recommend it to anyone passing by Tarpon Springs. Hell, it’s worth the effort to make the trip to Mykonos if you’re in the Tampa area.
Definitely a well deserved Rating: .
Belated in Tampa,