After dragging the ladies of EFAC (that’s the Ethnic Food Adventure Club) to Brighton Beach for Korean Uzbeki food and to Flushing for Chinese food I decided it was time for something a bit more familiar. There had been murmurs of Greek food on two of our long subway rides out to south Brooklyn and to Queens and as a benevolent princess, the wishes of my fellow EFAC-ers were granted. So we headed to Astoria.
This being an ADVENTURE club and all, I wasn’t really satisfied with just plain Greek food. There are manifold Greek diners in Astoria. There’s the perennial favorite Taverna Kyclades and the recently opened and hipster-pandering Michael Psilakis place MP Taverna (which is supposed to be very good but I have not yet been). During my hours (okay fifteen minutes at work when I should have been doing something else) of research one name kept standing out as slightly out of the ordinary, a restaurant called Kopiaste Taverna which serves Cypriot food, ever so slightly different then Greek food. The main difference: PORK. SO MUCH PORK. Their “most popular” menu item is the Cyprus Meze Tasting platter. Their menu boasts, “Try our most popular item! The Cyprus Meze! Trying the Cyprus Meze, means trying 16 different plates, with Cypriot delicacies. This offer applies for an order of 2 or more people.” Well, we had 9 hungry ladies, so taste the Cypriot delicacies we did.
Each one of those 16 plates lived up to the term “delicacy” and I think the favorites were the Taramosalata, the Pantzaria and the Keftedes. We ate for almost two hours and somehow ended up with about 5 pounds of meat leftover, which I will now proudly display.
So much meat. Keftedes are greek meatballs, these were a mixture of pork and beef.
One of the dishes was a very simple greek salad with cabbage instead of romaine lettuce. I will definitely be substituting cabbage into my Greek salads this summer. Beside the salad is a cracked wheat pilaf with lamb.
A trio of spreads from the table. On the far right, Taramosalata, a delicious creamy spread with fish roe. Don’t be afraid, even our least adventurous eater loved it. Then tzatziki and humus.
Here’s a wide-shot of our table. Chicken kabobs were a favorite.
Smoked pork. It had the most interesting botanical flavor, probably due to the fact that it had been soaked in wine.
Here are the delicious stuffed grape leaves. Two of which made it home with me.
After Kopiaste Taverna we went to the beloved Greek grocery store, Titan Foods. This is my third visit to Titan and each time it gets better. Nowhere else in the city can you find so many different kinds of feta. It’s a small-ish store, but it’s laid out like a bizzaro supermarket, shrunk down to size.
Titan Foods is located at 2556 31st St, Astoria, NY 11102.
The store front in the shadow of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.
Baba ganoush in a can? I couldn’t resist. No report yet on how it tastes.
These are Sparta Olives. Meaty, big and strong like Spartan warriors.
Spam next to cans of grape leaves.
Sludge-like Greek coffee.
The beautiful ladies of EFAC.