From Garden to Plate at Mezes Restaurant / Video

Cretan Culinary Tradition at  Mezes Garden Restaurant in Malia 

The Place: 

 Right on the way out of Malia town to Stalida resort, there is a restaurant that most guests would rate as having good food, the right prices, and nice experiences. Its name is Mezes Garden Restaurant. If you happen to pass by there in your summer vacation, you’ll find something more attractive, that makes you want to grab a fork and have a seat at the table. Or to come back, undoubtedly.

 Mezes (meaning “snack”) is a traditional Greek taverna by the road, cozy and family-friendly, with a rustic garden terrace, and a kids' playground in the backside. Even if it’s quite spacious, the place may require reservations for the evening hours, when is very busy. Mezes Restaurant offers a Cretan and Mediterranean traditional menu, but its strong point is the vegetable eco-garden which lies next to the terrace. Mezes is among the dining venues which promote the "from-garden-to-table" archaic cooking concept, highly appreciated nowadays.

The Philosophy: 

 Mezes' philosophy follows the wisdom and common sense of Cretan culinary tradition, with honesty and no extravagance. The principles are at-home agricultural production, greens, and legumes based diet, balanced portions of meat - just enough to match well with one or two small glasses of wine -, simple technique to prepare the food but – and this is the secret - with the inherited ability to get distinct flavors from the same ingredients. And not to forget, the exclusive use of virgin olive oil, is a pillar of the Cretan healthy diet.

The Food: 

 Blessed by the sunlight, and fed by the nourishing soil, the ripe, fresh, colorful vegetables are carefully selected, gathered up respectfully, and prepared conscientiously for your plate. In a minimalistic ritual, the energy of the ingredients is turned into homemade - vegetarian or meaty - traditional food, while fresh fish and seafood or the Italian popular pasta and pizza become options for a-little-more cosmopolite clients.

 Together with your favorite drinks, you may choose a stand-alone starter salad or the 2 portions plates with hot and cold appetizers, like the popular dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), keftethakia (roast meatballs), kolokeftedes (zucchini patties), manitaria (fried mushrooms), tzatziki (garlic and yogurt dip), fava  (yellow split peas puree), grilled halloumi cheese or marinated feta, accompanied by baxmati, an assortment of breadcrumbs.

 The main dish may include a mixed grill, souvlaki (pork skewers), or pita gyros (roasted pork or chicken and vegetables wrapped in pita), or if you prefer a lighter dish, a fried chicken leg, a grilled fish or some calamari rings, garnished with potatoes. If you’re vegetarian or just temporarily off meat, you have lots of choices – but on the top of the list, you have gemista (stuffed rice tomatoes), dakos ( bruschetta with feta cheese, tomatoes, oregano, and olive oil), and horta (steamed greens with fresh lemon).

 An artisanal ice cream, a divine apple pie, or maybe a fresh-cut fruit platter next to a bottle of digestive drink - ouzo or raki - from the house, will end your culinary experience. And you will never understand how could two hours vanish so fast…

The People:

 Mezes Taverna is the classical story of a family tradition, turned into a passion and a trans-generational business. Shoulder to shoulder, three generations are working now together and putting their energy, experience, knowledge, and heart into preserving the tradition, creating value, and striving to ensure good quality services. Once you step inside, seeing their smiles and joy, you feel like you're at your best friend's house…

 A feast of Cretan aromas and tastes, a savory food for the senses, Mezes Taverna can be the favorite place for your meals during your family holiday in Malia. And a name to remember when you will be home, and miss the Cretan traditional food!

Kali Orexi!

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