We've recently been nattering with some neighbours about the cost of eating out on the cheap. I'm probably way out of touch with prices in the UK now, but I do well remember going with my Dad to his local fish and chip shop some years ago (and bear in mind that my dad died in January of 2009) and being so shocked by the price of a portion of cod and chips that I was only just resuscitated in time before the ambulance paramedics almost gave up on me. Fish and chips for two (frankly, my better half and I would never usually eat the stuff, so lacking is it in any worthwhile nutrition and so chock full of saturated fats) costs at least a tenner these days and in the fish shop in question, fish and chips for four came to well over £20. eating-in prices are ridiculous. Starting at around £9 a head and upwards. Plus you still usually have to queue up at a serving counter to get your meal.
What prompted this little discussion was the observation that someone made about the newest souvlaki grill to open up in the main street of the village of Arhangelos. The place has a very attractive set of check-tableclothed tables and, though we haven't tried it yet, looks well worth a visit. We have, however, sampled the vegetarian pittas at the one in Lardos square plus at our favourite, Psitopolis, on Mihalis Petridis Street in Rhodes Town.
If you eat in at Rick Stein's Fish and Chip Emporium at Padstow, Cornwall, cod and chips will set you back £8.20 per person (it's great this intery net type thingie, eh?). So, if two people order cod and chips plus a drink each, the bill is going to be somewhere around £20. Plus you can start by queuing well out into the great outdoors for half an hour for the privilege on a busy summer evening. Now, let's compare that with what you can get over here.
First and foremost, if you pop into Psitopolis in Rhodes Town you sit at your table and get served by a cheerful waiter, exactly as you would in a regular taverna. The atmosphere in there is exactly the same in fact as it is in a taverna. My wife and I have been in several times lately and the last time we were there we ordered two vegetarian pittas with Halumi cheese. These come stuffed with tzatziki, red onions, tomato, Halumi and a few chips. Nutritionally when compared to fish and chips there's no contest. We also ordered a couple of drinks. I had a 330ml can of Fix Beer and my wife a tonic water. The bill came to just a few cents over €6, not each, that's total. And when you've eaten those pittas you're well stuffed. Two people, a filling meal and a drink for about a fiver in English money. Can you fault it?
We often too drop into Savvas Grill in Lardos and take home a couple of their veggie pittas, plus one portion of their delicious oven potatoes. That usually sets us back €5 and when we get home, as we did this past Saturday evening, we unwrap the pittas and let them flatten themselves out on a couple of dinner plates, share out the oven potatoes (which are supplied in one of those foil trays with a cardboard lid like a Chinese takeaway in the UK) and look at two very decent-sized meals, all for just €5.
OK, so If you go food shopping over here in the supermarkets it's definitely more expensive than in the UK for a whole host of packaged and canned foods. We're partial to a dish of porridge now and then, plus the other half makes delicious oat-based flapjacks. A translucent half-kilo sealed plastic bag of oats costs around €1.80. In the UK most major supermarkets will sell you a kilo bag for around 75p. A can of baked beans in the UK can be picked up for as little as 24p. Even the top brand name Heinz is only around 75p. Here you have to search to find an obscure brand for 60 or 70 cents. Top brands like Heinz sell for anything up to €2 and over. Gourmet prices.
That's why we don't buy a lot of packaged foods, which is better for our health and for the environment anyway. But the fact that it's better for our balance sheet is a major factor too. Swings and roundabouts of course, but there truly is a huge gulf between what you can get a pretty good eat-in or take-home meal for over here and what you'd pay for something quite a bit less healthy in the UK. Plus you get table service.
There you are, I've sounded off. feel much better now so here are some recent photos for you...
|On a recent beach walk here in Kiotari. As you can see, the weather's awful again.|
|same walk as above.|
|Vlicha Beach from the main road with the sea "up" a little.|
|A hill just minutes from our house. That's the missus in the middle. Yes, she is there somewhere, trust me.|
|Simba, making sure he's still at home in our garden 'cos he'll soon be spending his hols with us for three weeks, as he does annually.|
|Yesterday we walked past this new arrival.|
The winter weather is pretty typical at the moment; mainly blue skies with temperatures nudging 20 for several hours during the day. In fact yesterday was so lovely that we walked to Gennadi and back along the coast road, which was where we came across the baby goat.
Tell you one thing, he/she has nothing to fear from us, we won't be eating him, or maybe her.