Upon entering the Bournovalia Kebabzidiko in Nea Smyrni, an Athens neighborhood known for its many hidden foodie treasures, I was struck by the restaurants airy and friendly laid back atmosphere, authentic milieu and memorabilia . . . a real throwback in time!
When some friends suggested we go to this restaurant for a Sunday luncheon, I had expected to find a humble no-frills eatery serving traditional fare. Instead, in simple, yet more stylish surroundings, we were served deliciously honest time tested comfort foods that were cooked in Grandma’s style!
Actually, the owner told me that his grandmother Valia, who came from Bornova, a suburb of Smyrni (Vournova, Izmir) was the inspiration behind the restaurant and its name. Furthermore, he said that her recipes made up the backbone of the menu . . . reflecting the flavors and aroma of Smyrna’s well known traditional cuisine with a few Greek touches to please all palates!
Before eating our way through truly tasty kebabs, including my favorite Kebab Giaourtlou; succulent lamb kebabs served on pita bread topped with grilled tomato sauce and yogurt . . . we tried the fried cheese pies flavored with fresh mint that were outstanding and two salads. The house salad could have done with less dressing but the tabbouleh that I asked for without oil was really nice; especially with a generous sprinkle of fresh lemon juice.
To end the meal we surrendered to the sweetness of a chocolate cake fit for chocoholics that was served with ice-cream . . . and a few shots of mastic liquor to help us with the digestion!
On a final note, I have to agree with those who say that “To be from Smyrni (Izmir) is to know good food and take time to enjoy it". We took our time, truly enjoyed the food and we’ll be coming back for lot's more . . . for sure!
Agias Sofias 93
Nea Smirni -
Iroon Kyprou Square
Tel: +30 210 9311125