I was near Lantana today and stopped in at the Greek Grocer to get some olive oil – I love Greek olive oil’s flavor. I got to visit with the very friendly family who own the little grocery store that’s next door to the Greek Tasty Corner Bakery — mm. A sweet stop!
First, I chatted with Maik (say Mike) Papatsis, at the grocery. He’s so proud of all his products, imported from his homeland through New York. “We have nice cheeses — this is like no Publix feta cheese, but you know this! Here — try this Kasseri! It’s very good, right? Olives, coffee, cheeses, dolmathakia (stuffed grape leaves — and grape leaves for stuffing), beans, wines, including the popular retsina (tastes like pine sap in a glass), red lentils, and souvlaki and Apollo brand filo in the freezer.
Maik took me next door to meet his daughter’s father in law, and the baker — with over 33 years experience here (he’s going to demonstrate making filo for me tomorrow – check back, as I’ll share with you readers –it’s a fascinating dough that traditionally requires four people to help stretch it to it’s paper-thin consistency).
Nikolas Kirhatzis bakes filo a couple of times a week, for the many pastries in the shop, including the famous baklava. I got samples of their kataifi – shredded filo that looks like shredded wheat biscuits, rolled around an almond filling topped with imported pistachios (“The ones you get here are no good,” says Michael Kirhatzis, Nikolas’ son) along with the syrup
(boiled sugar, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon) drizzled over everything. The galaktoboureko is filo sandwiched with a thick custard cream layer, then again, drizzled with the syrup. Sausage and cheese pies are made daily, but they run out — so get there early. Michael’s favorite is the combo of it all: Ekmek kataifi — a layer of kataifi, with a layer of the custard cream, almonds, more filo, and topped with syrup, whipped cream and pistachios. “It’s the best,” Michael says.
The family is from the island of Rhodes off the Greek coast. “It’s called the ‘Sunshine Island’ like Florida is the Sunshine State,” Nikolas says, “The sun shines all the time everywhere! It’s so beautiful there.” The island has a number of dairies, vineyards and a numer of olive orchards.
They’re very proud of their businesses and rightly so — they’re working hard to make them a success. Stop in: And tell them you read about them here.
Greek Grocer and Greek Tasty Corner
- 640-650 S. Dixie Highway, Lantana
- (561) 585-2626 (grocery); (561) 540-4009 (bakery)