Archive for January 25th, 2008

Souvlaki at Lefteris

After checking into our Athens hotel at 2 pm today, Jon and I were in desperate need of lunch. Cue the nearby (divey) souvlaki place, Lefteris. Clearly it’s destiny when your hotel happens to be three blocks from a souvlaki stand that gets rave reviews from local bloggers and Michelin-starred chefs alike.

Grill guys at Lefteris

Jon and I order two souvlaki and pay our 3.20 euros for both (!). Within two minutes of our handing over the cash, the grill guys have slipped sizzling skewers of ground pork into hot, grilled flatbreads, dumped on onions, tomatoes and ground red pepper, and presented the souvlaki to us in handy paper cones.

Jon and I then do what everyone else is doing and eat our souvlaki standing at a narrow counter about two feet away from the grill.

The meat is so moist and tender, and the flatbread so chewy, soft and decadently oily, that we immediately order two more souvlaki. And despite the fact that it’s late in the afternoon, we’re standing at the counter with a guy dressed in a suit and three other youngish guys dressed in flannel work shirts.

I like the mix of peeps; I like the food; and I definitely like the prices.Lefteris’s address: Satovriandhou, 20, cross street Sokratous, not far from the Omonia metro stop.

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Gatwick Yotel entrance

The good news is that Jon and I have a flight to Athens tomorrow morning. The bad news is that the flight departs Gatwick Airport at 6:40 am.

Rather than wake up at 4 am and pay £50 for an early-morning taxi to Gatwick, we decided to spend the night at the Gatwick Airport Yotel for £56.

It seems so fitting, given all my recent raving about sushi (mercury scares notwithstanding) that the owner of the Yo! Sushi chain has branched out of the restaurant business by building this pod hotel and naming it the Yotel.

Yotel Bed

The rooms are definitely small – about ten feet wide and seven feet deep.  But the bathroom is clean and includes stylish fixtures, and the bed is comfy and kind of fun in a top-bunk kind of way.  Throw in the free wi-fi and flat-screen TV, and you have a pleasant way to spend seven hours before an early-morning flight.

Here’s to the Yotel – and to Athens in the morning!

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