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Tarpon Springs Greek?

r
rockpile Jan 14, 2013 04:26 AM

So I went to Tarpon Springs for the first time and saw "a million" Greek restaurants - too many to choose from. I need advice - which ones are worth going to; which ones should I avoid? Thanks.

  1. c
    Chow Harbor Jan 23, 2013 02:26 PM

    I agree about Costas! Our Greek friends took us there the first few times we went. And Rusty Bellies is good for non Greek (although I had spotty service last time I was there. I will still return. Everybody deserves a second chance.)

    1. nerditry Jan 21, 2013 08:22 AM

      We always eat at Mama's and order the grilled octopus each time.

      Better to do dessert somewhere else and I agree on Hellas. Behind Mama's, there is a street that curves upward and has a really nice dry goods market (along with lots of cheeses and olives). Hope that it's still open, it was last time I visited a couple of years ago.

      1. f
        Florida Hound Jan 17, 2013 06:35 PM

        I started a thread in 2009, re: "Miserable Experience: Hellas, Tarpon Springs." I re-read the thread tonight and it brought back bad memories of a terrible restaurant that had somehow gotten some good comments at other times from a few ChowHounds. Avoid-avoid-avoid. But one person who replied did recommend Costas, which is also recommended by a poster on this thread. We have not tried Costas yet, though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Florida Hound
          Mild Bill Jan 23, 2013 04:52 PM

          For YEARS we've gone to Costa's almost exclusively, and we recently tried Mykono's again after having a bad meal there the first time ---- basically weird slimy octopus.... We gave them another shot after shunning them for 5 years and we've had 4-5 great, almost exceptional, meals there since... I obviously caught them at a bad moment the first time...

          Still, when we drive to Tarpon we usually go to Costa's... But last time we went to Hella's--- for the 2nd time, and had a great meal with a great server--- like a Greek grandma... She brought us bread till all the juice was gone from our plates! Everything was delicious....

          So we made a pledge to try the various little places out there... Plaka has taken good care of me on a few occasions! Massive Gyros! They take pride telling customers that they're the only place in the area that makes their own Gyro meat... It's good! A slightly coarser texture but not a negative in any way... Very warm reception by the owner and friendly service... They have 'Lamb Ribs' in the appetizer section that I loved!

          Next time, Mama's... We love grilled octopus and believe it or not we've never been in there...

          Opa!

        2. t
          trail 6 Jan 15, 2013 08:02 AM

          Hi:

          We lived in Greece for two years. Closest for us is Mykonos. They have the best "mezetas" or appetizers. Order them like Tapas, 10 minutes apart. Better than mains.

          4 Replies
          1. re: trail 6
            Mild Bill Jan 15, 2013 04:52 PM

            What are some of the best ones?

            1. re: Mild Bill
              t
              trail 6 Jan 17, 2013 09:23 AM

              Grilled cheese, grilled octopus, tsaziki(sp), melanzanasalat(eggplant).

            2. re: trail 6
              MrsPatmore Aug 11, 2013 06:34 AM

              We had an excellent meal at Mykonos two days ago. Fabulous food, great prices. We ordered a calamari dish that came with soup and Greek salad - only $11.50 and it was more than we could finish. Also a chef's special (eggplant stuffed with ground beef, topped with bechemel sauce) -- tasty! Very busy, and consequently service was a bit slow, but the staff couldn't have been nicer. The place could do with a bit of cleaning, but with such great food and inexpensive prices, we're not complaining. We passed Hellas, but avoided due to comments here. Hellas is much larger and was also packed. Strangely, none of the other places seemed to have much business. This was our first visit to Tarpon Springs. My only disappointment was being so full from dinner, we had no room to try any of the gorgeous Greek pastries.

              1. re: MrsPatmore
                MrsPatmore Aug 11, 2013 09:20 AM

                Photos from Mykonos.

                 
                 
                 
            3. byrd Jan 15, 2013 04:35 AM

              If you want decent bread try the bakery on Athens Street. The only caveat being that they don't use any preservatives, so buy it that day, eat it that day,
              451 Athens Street Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
              (727) 934-5934

              I'm another Nyer that lives down here most of the year. Being Greek, all I could say is that in general, the native cuisine in TS leaves a lot to be desired with the biggest problem being inconsistent quality and a tendency to use lower end ingredients; Tzatziki is made with yougurt, not mayo and sour cream, the ubiquitos use of domestic feta, which has no semblance of tasting like feta, avgolemono that the main ingredients are chicken base and bottled lemon juice, greek salad with tomatoes that are one step above green, etc., etc..
              Hellas is reliable because of the volume that they do which keeps the food fresh, especially fish and seafood.
              Dimitris is ok, they're sides are good like boiled greens and fresh cut french fries (just remind them to make sure the fries come out hot).
              698 Dodecanese Boulevard Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
              (727) 945-9400

              As far as non-greek:
              If you're into fried fish Rusty Bellys is the way to go, with next door Pelican Point Market being my go to place for fish.

              As far as shrimp nobody has better shrimp than Northside Market (fresh dayboat headon).
              1236 North Pinellas Avenue Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
              (727) 945-9795

              Downtown,Tarpon Tavern is definitely a step up from your local pub fare with thirty craft beers on tap.
              21 N. Safford Avenue
              Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
              727-945-1000

              2 Replies
              1. re: byrd
                scubadoo97 Jan 15, 2013 04:50 AM

                Thanks for the heads up on Northside Market. I've never been there. How's their fish selection and quality. Obviously you prefer Pelican Point. Just wondering.

                1. re: scubadoo97
                  byrd Jan 15, 2013 07:10 AM

                  These guys are shrimpers, they carry a very limited fish selection,,,

              2. j
                JoanieBalonie Jan 14, 2013 07:42 AM

                Moved to Tarpon Springs from just outside NYC this past fall and was surprised at how good the food was down here. Echo Rusty Bellies for great seafood, especially grouper which is freshly caught in the Gulf by the family-owned restaurant's own boat. Gulf shrimp is also amazing. Going to lunch at Hellas tomorrow - tried the Hellas bakery next door and it's amazing. Only bad thing down here is, surprisingly, the bread. But then again, I'm a spoiled New Yorker in that regard.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JoanieBalonie
                  scubadoo97 Jan 14, 2013 10:12 AM

                  It's the water ;)

                  1. re: scubadoo97
                    rhnault Jan 14, 2013 11:56 AM

                    good answer ;-)

                    1. re: scubadoo97
                      j
                      JoanieBalonie Jan 14, 2013 12:54 PM

                      Yup. Thought my son, who relocated to a suburb of Columbus, OH, was being petty when he kept asking me to bring him bagels whenever I visited but now I get it. Yes, rhnaut, it IS the water.

                  2. rhnault Jan 14, 2013 06:50 AM

                    I like Mykonos or Costas for Greek. Rusty Bellies at the end of the street for non-Greek fresh seafood.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rhnault
                      g
                      gfr1111 Aug 11, 2013 09:05 AM

                      Rhnault,

                      Long time, no see. I've been working in Tallahassee and am now back in the Tampa area. Mykonos has the best charcoal grilled squid I've ever had and everything I have had there has been good to excellent.

                      I also love Costas, although the last time I mentioned it on these boards, I raved about the smelt. They were small, crispy, and excellent. This time, they were larger, not as crispy, and not nearly as good. Everything else I've had there has also been good to excellent.

                      The third of my triumvirate is Hellas--obviously terrific pastries, having their own bakery, but I love the food, too, and have not had the bad experience of Florida Hound. But at least on weekends, they're excessively busy and the waiters seem a bit frazzled. Trying to pump out too much food too fast may be the explanation for Florida Hound's bad experience.

                    2. scubadoo97 Jan 14, 2013 05:14 AM

                      Have been to Costas a few times. Typical Greek restaurant and like Mikinos consistently good.

                      http://www.costascuisine.com/menurest...

                      1. t
                        tony noriega Jan 14, 2013 05:09 AM

                        There wil be more current opinions than mine since haven't been for a couple of years, but back when I did go Mikinos seems to be consistently good.

                        If you do a search on this forum you will turn up many suggestions. Best of good fortune...

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