Greece Travel Secrets eats at Vegera in Zaros and finds a cheap but wonderful feast of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes cooked daily with fresh local food.
We were staying in Zaros on Crete at the lovely Keramos Studios, where they only serve breakfast, so we walked a minute round the corner and found the Vegera Restaurant. It had been recommended to us by our Cretan guide, Isi from Go Crete, who we knew by now could be relied on to find the best eating places around.
Vegera is run by the vivacious Vee-Vee, who is part of the family that also runs the Keramos Studios. Not only is vee-Vee quite a character, we were soon to discover that she is also quite a cook.
Vee-Vee doesn’t have a regular menu, but three basic set-price menus and you choose one of these: Full Menu with Fish, Full Menu with Meat, or Full Vegetarian Menu.
When the restaurant opened in 2011 they decided they would only serve food cooked fresh that day. Zaros doesn’t get many visitors so it’s difficult to have a big menu and make everything fresh. They didn’t want to serve people yesterday’s moussaka but instead cook like you would cook at home.
We ordered some red and white wine and told Vee-Vee we would eat anything, so she offered us a mix of all menus. She then disappeared into the kitchen, where somehow she managed to conjure up a feast for each of the several tables that were full.
We started with a dish of lentil soup, which smelled and tasted fantastic. Then some cheese pies arrived, followed by spinach pies, a plate of wild greens, some cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, some stuffed vine leaves, a green salad, stuffed zucchini, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, several mini moussakas, and finally a main course which was a bigger dish of beef, onion and rice.
We thought that was it, but no. Finally came a whole trout, which the town is noted for as there's a trout farm here. It’s one of only two places on Crete where they farm trout. To round off the meal, Vee-Vee produced a bottle of raki, and a piece of chocolate cake. When we came to pay I think Vee-Vee simply made up a figure. As it was a remarkably small figure for such a feast, we didn’t worry.
Islanders make a huge variety of pies. They roll out sheets of pastry like silk or make fluffy pockets of dough, and fill them with wild greens and delicious cheeses.
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