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