Socrates Traditional Greek Tavern

Written by on April 7, 2012 in I Eat Greece, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – Olympia, Greece

How I heard of this place: We walked by all of the Traditional Greek Cuisines we could find in downtown Olympia, a village of 1,800 people, and simply selected one. It seemed just as good as all of the others, and the friendly server welcomed us in and gave us our choice of seating. We stayed.

Type of cuisine: Directly next to the sign claiming to serve Traditional Greek food are found large photographs of pizza and spaghetti. Socrates, is, in fact, a taverna that caters to all walks of European life. The menu, in Italian, Greek, Spanish, German, English, Swedish, Turkish, French, among others, is very typical of the eaters in Olympia, the land of tourism.

Ambiance: The extensive outdoor seating area is beautifully covered by a trellis with ivy growing up the side wall and over. Lamps hang down from the thick branches, offering light against the the dark evening sky. The cobblestone sidewalks lead into well-worn white tiles, where blue and white gingham tableclothes cover the plethora of tables that are sure to be full during the high season. The wooden figure of a life-sized chef, complete with chef’s hat stands, smiling, welcoming patrons to the establishment. In this quiet space, we take our seats, as our waiter covers our table with a white, square, paper tablecloth to keep the gingham clean and sharp.

What I ordered: We started with our usual: Tzatziki (€3) and an order of Pan-Fried Cheese (€5). As tempted as I was to sample the traditional stuffed tomato or stuffed bell pepper, it was unavailable for order, so instead I opted for the Socrates Souvlaki with chicken (€12), served with dolmaakia, potatoes, rice, cucumber, tomato, Kalamata olives, tzatziki and a half of a lemon. Chris chose the Chicken Filet (€9), two small breasts served with fries and carrot-pea-rice.

What I loved: Tzatziki, in Greece, we came to find is always the best thing. Fried cheese, too, quickly became a favorite for us. They may be prepared differently, taste slightly different, less pungent than the time prior, but never fail to impress and satisfy. Our main entrees, the chicken filet was a quick favorite for me, due to the pan-seared, good quality chicken breast. The souvlaki had better seasoning and was more tender, juicy. My aversion to weird meat (things like cartilage and veins) was heightened through this dining experience.

Why I loved it: Chris and I came to find that we love traveling in low season. Simple things like being seated immediately, having the attention of the waitstaff to ourselves and the food prepared fresh, just for us (the wait not at all a bother) and a quiet meal enjoyed with each other made for a wonderful off-season dining experience at Socrates.

Cost: Average to high (€7-€12 per entree)

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