This was the real thing. Lunch was utterly delicious, very cheaply priced, comprising real everyday worker’s food, beautifully relaxed atmosphere and a wonderful old-world charm. I'm amazed at one reviewer's whine that "tourists pay more”. My entire meal, including two medium-sized fish, big bowl of chick-peas and broth, another big bowl of vegetables, unlimited freshly baked bread, and a half-litre of delicious Retsina wine, cost a total of 14 euros. Perhaps the tourist in question, who was charged 20 euros for what he describes as a smaller meal, gives himself away by whining that there was “zero English” spoken in the restaurant and that the owner was “crabby”. How surprising! This restaurant is in a place called Greece, not England or Canada, so, as Professor Higgins once asked: “Why can’t the English learn to…?”. I wonder if imperious attitudes attract higher charges in local restaurants. That would be no bad thing. For my own part, having entered the place, apologising for my lack of Greek but making do with some sign language, and showing some humility as a foreigner, I was treated throughout my visit with great charm and friendliness. Because I was alone I was put at a table already occupied by an elderly man in worker’s overalls, who immediately offered me some of his bread. We enjoyed each other’s company over lunch without a word of English being spoken, and we shared quite a few laughs together at the boisterous, teasing, chatty demeanour of the staff. This place doesn’t need to advertise itself. All the locals know exactly where it is. The tourist will have to ask the locals or keep eyes open for two half-cellar doors without signs, then walk down four or five steps into a piece of authentic working-class Athens. This is a truly delightful experience. But leave your empire outside.
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