12 March, 2013

Sunday At Hellas With The Hubby! NO COOKING TODAY!

So today I was really going to try to work on some more menu and etc, but decided we (I) needed a little break - especially when my Husband looked over at me this morning and said "Ooooh, you're making your list....." Okay, honey, point made. None the less, I made my list and out the door we went.

I've spent the last SEVERAL weekends doing cooking, blogging, and any number of other things, and it's so important to take a few minutes and go do something together. That means DUMP THE KIDS, JUST THE TWO OF YOU, and GO! Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with taking the kids, but you shouldn't feel bad if you don't. I just felt it was important to throw that in there....

As we got on that glorious stretch of highway, I threw out the idea of going to our local landmark known as the Spongedocks down in Tarpon Springs. It's a neat little place where the commercial boats go out and bring in sponges, and it's got some AWESOME Greek food, Greek grocery stores, and some tourist trap stores thrown in for good measure where you can by flip flops, sea shells, and anything else Florida related you could think of.

I've been down here several times, but now that our cold snaps are (hopefully) over, it's time to break out the shorts and flip flops (or at least not look crazy because you never STOPPED wearing them), and get some sun - which if you've seen my legs lately, you'd know that they could TOTALLY use some sun!

There are SEVERAL Greek restaurants on the Spongedocks, Hellas, Plaka's, Mama's, and a couple more who's names are escaping me at the moment. I've eaten at the aforementioned restaurants a couple of times, with the exception of Hellas. Today, even though I was dying and reaching "I'm so crabby I'm going verbally attack everyone in arm's length" hungry stage and Hellas had a 20 minute wait for seating, the smells coming out of that place were fantastic. They also had outdoor covered seating at the front door, and a patio that the doors were open on so you could get a great view of the docks, and plenty of fresh Spring air! Done! I'll wait - I'll just try not to speak until we eat and hopefully what comes out of my mouth at that point will be pleasant and charming.... ::Fingers Crossed::

My Husband and I came down to the Spongedocks for a stroll not too long after we started dating. We ate a Plaka's that afternoon - which is a restaurant very special to his family. He introduced me to Saganaki. A glorious  combination of cheese, lemon, brandy, and FIRE. Essentially they bring this cheese to your table, set it on fire, everyone yells "OPA!", and then they put the flame out with lemon juice. We put ours on bread and dear Lord, I think I'd wrestle my own mother for the last piece. (Note: I have found a Pinterest recipe for Saganaki, and I WILL be trying it out - as soon as I learn to pronounce the cheese you make it with, and figure out where to get it.....)
Saganaki , I <3 You!
We opted to keep lunch light and split and Greek Salad.In case you didn't know, which I didn't until I moved up to where I live now and learned of it's heavy Greek influence in certain parts of the county, Greek Salads come with a scoop of potato salad in the middle of them, buried under the lettuce and other goodies. Thank God in the last three years I have learned to eat AND enjoy me some yummy potato salad. Hubby does not like mayo. If he knows it's got mayo, he won't touch it. SO, I got all the tater salad - which was delicious. The salad was fantastic, and they have the BEST pepperoncini. They are a little spicy, and bone sucking salty - just like I like them. The blocks of feta are fantastic - and salty tasting too - and they crumble with one swipe of a fork.... So much yummy stuff in one plate.... Greek Food, where have you been all my life!?

And this is HALF of a Greek Salad for one..... How do you possibly eat the whole thing by yourself?
The main reason we kept lunch to Saganaki and Greek Salad is because Hellas features a HUGE bakery. I mean flipping HUGE. They have such a variety of beautiful desserts, pastries, and breads, that I pretty much think I need to schedule a dentist appointment after walking through the doors.
Yes, the bathrooms are here too....
I've included a video of the bakery.... Note that some of the people weren't so cooperative with getting out of my way....

My Husband has a weakness. If he were Superman, this would be his krpyonite....  Canollis. He will fight tooth and nail for a Canolli from Hellas... See photo below...

We grabbed our desserts:
Italian Canollis and Chocolate Cheesecake
 and went out to the water to eat...

Hubby was SUPER happy.... I would tell you his thoughts on the Canollis, but this is what it looked like once he started to eat, and all I got was satisfied Jarhead grunts and lots of chewing:

My Chocolate Cheesecake was DELICIOUS. Let me tell you. It was SOOO rich I could eat about three bites and had to quite. Luckily that meant there was plenty of leftovers for my favorite little redhead and so she got to have dessert when she got home that night.

On our way to the car, we ran into a SWEET looking Hummer....
Clearly it belongs to someone who owns a restaurant on the Docks.... WHY would I think THAT you ask??
It was really nice to get out of the kitchen and break my routine. My Hubby is pretty awesome at this kind of stuff. He can find something interesting in just about anything. We enjoy food, art, different cultures, the water, just about anything, and the Docks are DEFINITELY full of all that good stuff.

Feeling somewhat refreshed, I HAD to get something accomplished... my last stop before going to pick up the munchkin....

Don't hate... Hellas was GREAT, but we DO have to eat the REST of the week too!!!

Hope you guys had as interesting and refreshing weekend as I did! If you're looking for something neat in the Tampa Area, the Spongedocks is definitely a GREAT place to try out! COME HUNGRY!!!

Until Next Time!



  1. When we visit my in laws. They always bring us here. I love it so much. Food is so good. Love your blog. :)