Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Almost As Good As Bougatsa: Ariston, Athens - GR

My downtown Athens ritual is to find 1) Spanakopita or 2) Bougatsa, depending on my mood. Bougatsa is morning pastry consisting of thick milky cream on the inside, and thin layers of phyllo on the outside, topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. It's one of my most favorite things in the world, besides spanakopita.  As soon as I jump off the metro in Syntagma Square, my #1 priority is to locate my bougasta hot spots to see what's left, since I'm too Greek to be on time for the early bird bougatsa.  I hit up one of my favorite pita joints, Ariston, just off Ermou Street to check the supply.
Ariston is old school Greek -  the same shop since 1910. I'd like to think my pappou  or grandfather used to go here back in the days when he had his doll shop downtown. 
On my first visit, they were out of bougatsa. Teliosame, finished, the lady at the counter told me. I eyed the fresh tray of what looked like bougatsa but was really mizithropita, a pita made with sweet mizithra cheese. I paid my 1.70 Euros and scurried off with my second place pride to a local coffee shop. The mizithropita had a slight tang and eggy-ness to it,  delicious, but didn't quite have the finesse of my beloved bougatsa.
I told Aunt Mary about my bougatsa struggle, and had bougatsa the next 2 days for breakfast. It wasn't Ariston, but it was at least bougatsa. On my next visit to Ariston, I was ready for something savory so I got the prasso kai piperia -pita, leek and red pepper pita and one of their famous tyropitas, cheese pies. The veggies in the pita were fresh and the outside phyllo was hearty. The cheese pies are always good, since 1910 good. I snuck these pitas in to my favorite frappe joint = true scoundrel happiness. 
Tyropita, cheese pie, looks like a stupid baguette from Albertson's on the outside. 
Not so much on the inside. Pure feta porn, baby!
10 Voulis Street
Athens, Greece


yutjangsah said...

My mouth just watered. Do you think Jennifer Aniston ever goes to Ariston? She should give up the low carb diet don't you think? Are you ever coming back from Greece? Should I stop asking questions? OK.

Peter M said...

Sweetheart, although Ariston's yummy-yums make me hungry, they are no match for the Bougatsa and Spanakopita of Thessaloniki. Hold onto the rope and come with me on a school trip to Northern Greece.

elly said...

Bougatsa is one of my favorite things in the world, too. During my last trip to Greece (which was way too long ago) we stayed with my mom's friend, who owns a bakery. He made all his bougatsas in the lower level of his home and I ate one very morning. SO delicious. That pita looks tasty too!

Banana Wonder said...

Sook - If Ariston made a Zone pita, then maybe. Yeah, low carb is late 90s, come on Jennifer get with the program. I am back from the motherland but not done blogging it.

Peter - Agreed - Thessaloniki makes the best bougatsa. School trip is tempting, but funemployment has me by the short hairs at the moment =(

Elly - fellow bougatsa lover - How can you stay away from Greece for that long with those kinds of connections! Jealous!

tamara said...

absolutely yummy! i will definetly visit this place and taste all the foods when im in athens in 2 months! i have been reading about the cuisine on www.breathtakingathens.com and am very excited about all the traditional dishes im going to taste!

Banana Wonder said...

Tamara - I'm very excited for your trip! Please go to Ariston and please tell me how it is. I wish I could have one of their bougatsas NOW!

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