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Δευτέρα, 30 Μαΐου 2011

High Class Meat in a not so High Class Area


                                This last Sunday, a group of us fancied some meat, and since we were in the area for a friend's dance performance, decided to visit a specific souvlaki-place (or "souvlatzidiko" as they're called in Greek) nearby, in Aegaleo.


       MAM-MAM is a grill, first opened in 1970. After a slightly downhill period in the 90's and about a year and a half of restoration, the "pride and joy of Aegaleo", as they called it, is now up and running again and I was keen to test if it would live up to all the hype.

   As we arrived, what struck us was the actual look of the place. It seemed very different to your average souvlatzidiko. Right smack-on Iera Odos, a modern little spot, but with nice warm colours and lighting and a cosy atmosphere. The waiters were ever so sweet and friendly too (weird for Greeks, lol). After managing to sit down (there were 15 of us after all and it wasn't exactly empty on a Sunday night), we noticed each place mat (taken from a cute little pull-out drawer on each table, along with the cutlery) had it's own particular photo, from artistically taken snapshots of beer mugs, to selections of meat and cheese.



Rocket Salad
To start off our Symposium (for that is what it eventually turned into!), we ordered a bunch of salads and appetizers (or "orektika"). To say I was thouroughly impressed would be an understatement of grave proportions I think. The Cretan Salad, to begin with, along with the Greek ("Choriatiki") Salad were both very tasty, with good quality crumbled feta cheese (always a key point with me), olives and vegetables. The best one though, and this in a souvlatzidiko (!), was the Rocket Salad, with parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and a tangy, honey-laced dressing. Gorgeous!

Bourekakia pastourma
After the salads came the appetizers. In a word: phenomenal. We had mini fried cheese balls, along with the green chilli-packed variety (SPICY BABY!), "flogeres" (="flutes") of crispy pastry with a carbonara-like filling of cheese & smoked pork, and last, but not least, bourekakia with pastrami. The spicy pastrami was nestled in soft layerings of pastry and covered in a crispy fyllo. Suffice it to say I hogged as many as I could from the hord around me (and then felt sick).

Mini fried cheese balls (Beautiful, melt-in-the-mouth center, with a hard, crispy outer shell)


Flogeres or Flutes

Classic Pork Souvlaki
Chicken wrapped in bacon
Alright, enough already with the side-dishes! Where's the meat you promised? Yes, well we tried a bit of everything really. Lamb kebab, pork and chicken souvlaki, juicy chicken wrapped in crispy bacon and grilled on skewers ("koto-bacon"), schnitzel, bifteki (hamburger) and my personal favourite: kleftiko (pork or chicken fillet pounded flat and then rolled up with layers of bacon, cheese, peppers and tomatoes, in that order, and held together by lamb intestine fat (don't squeam please! It's considered a delicacy) to keep it moist. The result? Divine!) All were particularly tasty and tender, as they should be. What's more, we found out all the souvlakia, biftekia, kebab and especially the gyros were hand-made on the premises, something I haven't found before in Athens. That would explain all the lean meat. You see, your average gyros is pretty poor quality pork or chicken, bashed about in a huge barrel for ages, while being shaken up with water, resulting in a plump, but fatty, mixture, which most people mistake for quality taste. No, this stuff was top-notch.

Pork Kleftiko

                                          So, what's the verdict? (Oh, come on, I think you know). I'd say with an almost gourmet selection of appetizers and salads, yet also good quality meats, which (let's face it) is really what you want from a grill-place, MAM-MAM goes much further than expected of any souvlatzidiko and ceratinly does not fail to impress. Bravo!

In a nutshell:
  • Do you get your money's worth?: Yep. Average souvlaki-place prices. (ie around about 2euros for                                                          a gyros-,souvlaki-,kebab-,etc,-wrap, 7euros for a portion, blah                                                          blah blah.)
  • Is it worth it?: Well, I'd say so. What's more, it's right next to the Aegaleo (Αιγάλεω) metro station                          which makes access super easy. 
  • Will I go again?: Definitely! Duh! I still have half a menu to try! :) 

The menu (for your drooling pleasure)

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