Monday, July 25, 2011
Elephant Ear Sponges & Mykonos Restaurant
In light of world, national, and personal events, it's easy for me to sink into the doldrums. For a while I slacked off on promise-to-myself weekly trips, but started back up again to try and stay fresh and lively. We had to go to Dunedin the other day so we decided to take a side trip to Tarpon Springs so I could get some sponges for my clay work. Since we arrived at noon we had lunch at Mykonos Restaurant at 628 Dodecanase Blvd. When we saw they had grilled octopus, Octopodi Skaras, as an appetizer we had to order it.
Perhaps you'll recall I raved about the octopus we had at the Margarita Grill in Homosassa. I mentioned I had octopus with a lemon sauce to my waiter and I detected a slight displeasure on his face at the sauce, he said it should be served with olive oil and lemon. I gathered Mykonos Restaurant prides itself in being very authentic Greek in both ingredients and preparation. Their charbroiled octopus was tender and delicious.
Gary started with Avgolemono Soup which is a egg-lemon based chicken soup, the Greek equivalent of chicken noodle soup. The avgolemono has orzo in place of noodles and was excellent. I had a salad which was lettuce, feta cheese, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes with an oil and vinegar dressing, fresh and crisp.
For his main course Gary had Garides Mykonos, sauted shrimp, with fresh tomatoes, feta and Greek spices. His side was Greek oven potatoes sliced length-wise and roasted in the oven with a brush of olive oil and lemon juice, both were excellent.
My main course was Arnaki Frikase, lamb fricassee, roasted with green endive, delicious and a huge portion. I ended up taking a good amount home to savor again later.
I've uncovered the lamb for you to see. Although it looks red, it was cooked to perfection not even close to rare. It was tender and juicy. If you're in Tarpon Springs be sure to go to Mykonos for lunch or dinner. Opa to Mykonos Restaurant. Opa - word of cheer and celebration of life.
It's often difficult to find a parking space on the main street, but there is free parking above the Sponge Exchange and you can walk down to the courtyard.
There are lots of tourist shops along the courtyard. I only window shopped since going inside I'd have been tempted to spend money I didn't have. There was a shark and sea turtle sculpture along with a 1935 fishing ship which once sailed in the local waters. The blouse in the window reminds me of one I wore when I was in college in San Bernardino. It's very hot and dry there, much like Greece, so wearing a thin white blouse was an effort to try and stay cool.
Sponge Exchange showed me where I could hydrate my sponges to test their smoothness and strength. I missed that luxury the last time I was there. She proudly pointed out some photos of the large wool sponges of theirs being used as decor accents in Pottery Barn advertising. I got one big wool sponge which I can cut up to use and three elephant ear sponges. I left the bag of sponges in my car over night in a plastic bag. Please don't make that mistake; boy they took on a ripe fragrance. Then I read the card in the bag which says hang sponges to dry immediately after use and never leave wrapped up wet. Luckily after washing in mild soap and water they're fresh again.
As a side note I read research is being done on six chemicals produced by sponges called agelastatins which can kill cancer cells by preventing the cells from dividing. My thoughts lately are revolving around living life to the fullest, enjoying those close, because you never know what tomorrow may bring. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.
© Linda Starr