Sunday, 5 May 2013

Cheap and Cheerful

It came as quite a shock really. Last night (Saturday) at around 10.00pm - as I was standing inside Savvas Grill in Lardos, waiting as one of the young Albanian girls who have worked in the kitchen there for many years prepared our evening takeway of two vegetarian pittas and a portion of oven-potatoes, which we'd be taking home to devour in front of the TV as we watched the last semi final of the World Snooker played to a finish - I found myself wondering whether I'd ever written anything about this place on the blog, or even in the books.To my own astonishment, I realised that I hadn't.


Pictures of Savva's - Restaurant Photos
This photo of Savvas is courtesy of TripAdvisor

How very remiss of me. Savvas Grill & Restaurant was one of the first tavernas we ever ate at after arriving here to start a new life in August 2005. It's situated on one of the roads leading away from the main square in Lardos Village and is squeezed between that and a tiny backstreet, making the main dining area a kind of roughly triangular shape. Savvas Grill is open 364 days a year, the only exception being Christmas Day. It's well patronised by loads of locals and for good reason.

It kind of embarrasses me to admit that, for all the fact that we know the owners quite well and, as I've already indicated above, we've been going there for many years, I still don't know their actual names. It's got to the point where I'd be to embarrassed to ask them at this stage anyway, so we content ourselves with exchanging polite conversation each time we're in there and try and pretend that names aren't necessary.

Savvas is family-run in the true sense of the word. The owner/manager, who I'll call Savvas anyway, although that may not be his actual name, is probably in his late fifties or early sixties and always has a ready smile. He's a gently kind of guy with a kind face and helpful manner. He's quietly spoken and the perfect host for a traditional Greek taverna/psistaria. Incidentally, if you've ever been confused by the different terms used to describe a restaurant here in Greece (for example, estiatorio, psistaria, taverna...), here's a good site which will reveal all, Matt Barrett's Travel Guides.

Right, so having cleared that up, what ought I to tell you about Savvas Grill? Basically, it's brill. Savvas' hardworking wife too is often to be seen in the kitchen, and their son, who's a qualified doctor, frequently moonlights serving at table during the evenings. The son's children too (he has a couple of toddlers) are often to be seen trotting about the place while their dad gets on with helping out.

The menu is basic Greek traditional fare, but it's all delicious and extremely good value. There are several glowing reviews on TripAdvisor. Savvas is great because it makes no pretenses. In wintertime there's a roaring log fire and in summer all the glass panels around the dining area are removed to make it truly outdoor dining experience. My wife and I have often dined there and been amazed at how much we've eaten for such a modest price. We can eat extremely well, plus drink a little too, for not much over twenty Euros. That's eating the Greek way, of course, by selecting a variety of dishes and both tucking into them. We've never been dissappointed, either with the food or the service.

More frequently these days, we drop by on a Saturday evening, when my wife would like a night off from the cooking, and avail ourselves of a delicious takeaway (OK, carry-out if you're the other side of the pond!). They do fab vegetarian pittas, stuffed as they are with tzatziki, lettuce, cucumber, onion, tomato and a few chips (fried potatoes, guys). We usually supplement those with some oven potatoes (also described in that last link above) and for less than five Euros we have a meal that makes us fit to bust.

Right there in the village of Lardos there's the real deal when it comes to traditional Greek hospitality, cuisine and value. If you stay out here any time and you're self-catering, it's worth remembering the fact that at Savvas you can get a meal to-go. Years ago they had a small serve-over which made that more evident. A couple of years back they re-modelled the place, and it has to be said that this did improve it, but it lost the serve-over and so made it a little less obvious that they are very happy to do a takeaway pitta, stuffed with souvlaki for the carnivores out there too, plus they'll pack up virtually any of the tasty dishes they've concocted, all of which may be inspected through the glass of the hot cabinet, in those little aluminium trays with cardboard tops like you get in any Chinese takeaway in the UK.

If you're staying anywhere in the South of Rhodes, you could do a lot worse that pay a visit to Savvas Grill. Might see you in there some time.

1 comment:

  1. Hi again Peter here to say thanks for the link to the blog. Now if you could add google + to the link............ I don't really use yahoo much and never the other 2 choices. Anyway great blog and I'll try to spread it around and get you some more fans.