Detroit is a funny place. It has a terrible reputation for its economic situation. On top of that it is always at the top of the wrong lists, such as crime and murder rates across America. Growing up in the Detroit area you turn a blind eye to these problems and enjoy amazing Greek food. Im not sure what the initial catalyst was, but there is a huge Greek population in Detroit. So much so that Detroit has a “Greek Town”, which is a neighborhood in downtown Detroit where you are surrounded by Greek restaurants, bakeries, and now Greek Town Casino. As a family we would regularly venture to downtown Detroit (with our windows and doors locked) to satisfy our Greek food addiction. It was a great experience going into these restaurants. Giant flaming saganaki cheese plates warmed your face as a nearby waiter would yell a loud “OPAAA!!” The ceilings in these restaurants show the remnants of char from all the huge flames that were eventually extinguished by the squeezing of lemon juice on the flame.
Where someone growing up in California is well established in the Mexican food culture, a Detroit kid knows the ins and outs of Greek food. Or at least that was my experience. For example, some food comparisons of Jess’s depth with Mexican food compared to my Greek: carne asada to lamb chops, salsa to tzatziki, cotija cheese to feta cheese, churros to baklava..this list could go forever. And just like the awesome taco shops on every corner in California, the Detroit area has “Coney Islands”. Now you are probably completely lost by that name of “Coney Islands”, but that is the name of these places. You have Kirby’s Coney Island, Josephs Coney Island, Leo’s coney Island, etc etc… Like in California with all the different taco shops like Robertos, Santanas, Adalbertos, etc etc. The name Coney Island is referring to the coney dog (hot dog with chili/onions/mustard) that is at the top of the menu, which is a whole other story of awesomeness in Detroit food. Without getting sidetracked, all of these “Coney Island” restaurants have a Greek influence on their menus. Greek Salads and Gyros are a couple of the staples. So what is the point Nick? The overdue point is that I have a deep love for Greek food! And my whole life these Greek restaurants and Greek people would always reference one vacation spot. Santorini Greece !
With such a long term build up my whole life, it would be easy for Santorini to disappoint but thankfully it didn’t. After our 2 years overseas so far, Santorini last September is still the reigning champ in the best trip we have had. We went to the island of Crete for a few days before Santorini as well, which I will have another post for. I want to just jump right into the travel tips and pictures!
- From Sicily there are now direct flights to Santorini from Catania! Blue Express is the airline and its only during the summer months (Ive seen as low as €49 each way. If you cant go during the summer they fly year round through Rome. When we went last year they only offered Crete direct, so we went to Crete first and then took a €50 puddle jumper over to Santorini.
- We went big and stayed at the TripAdvisor number 1 ranked hotel on Santorini, Anastasis Apartments. The rates are actually relatively reasonable considering that every place on Santorini is expensive and this place was definitely a 5 star experience. Breakfast everyday and surprise poolside drinks and snacks throughout the day, with great service. Definitely recommend this place, but book wayyy in advance.. I tried to book again this year 5 months in advance and Im on a waiting list 🙁 .
- Unfortunately our favorite restaurant of the trip, The Flame, was having its last year open last year and is now closed. Not to fear… Every restaurant that we went to was very good. Probably because of my desperation for Greek food.