Thursday, January 05, 2006

Eating out

We don't eat out very often. Perhaps half a dozen times in a year; usually for birthdays or anniversaries, or if guests offer to treat us to a meal. On the whole we prefer home-cooked food, and of course it's a great deal less expensive to eat at home.

But it's Daniel's last week before leaving for the Doulos, so I suggested a meal out for the family one evening this week. Wednesday was the day that worked best, Aztekas his restaurant of choice.

The restaurant is about ten minutes'drive away, along the Dhekelia Road, and serves Mexican style food. Not actually highly spicy, but very good - and the best thing, from Dan's point of view, is that most of the main menu options are available with either beef, chicken, or vegetables. Not many restaurants in Cyprus have extensive vegetarian options, but Aztekas does a full range. We've been there about five or six times now and have always enjoyed it.

Tim ordered his usual favourite (fajitas, although he chose chicken rather than beef for a change) since it's one of the few things not served with rice and beans. I had chimichangas (with chicken), Richard had quesadillas (with beef), and Dan chose burritos (with vegetables). We decided not to have any starters, since from previous experience we knew they would fill us up considerably.

After our main courses, which were excellent, we just had room for desssert. Richard and Dan had banana chimichangas, Tim had an apple chimichanga, and I had mixed ice cream. All excellent!

We didn't order many drinks: just a sprite, a pineapple juice, and a couple of litres of water. In Cyprus one generally has to pay for bottled water - unlike in the UK they don't serve jugs of fresh water for nothing. But it's not a huge problem since prices generally are rather better than those in the UK. One minor quibble about Aztekas is that waitresses tend to rush to the table to fill up water glasses as soon as they look half empty. It can be annoying. But perhaps they want something to do: we arrived about 6.30pm deliberately, since Cypriots tend to eat later... and smoke heavily. Our one main complaint about restaurants here is that they're not non-smoking - most of them don't even have non-smoking areas. But if we leave by about 8.30pm we don't have to suffer from other people's cigarettes.

We didn't have coffee or any other hot drinks after our meals. Coffee keeps us awake if we drink it past the early afternoon. But we knew from previous visits that we were likely to be given margharitas on the house at the end of our meal - and indeed, they appeared with our bill:

They're mildly alcoholic, but not sufficiently so that it worried any of us. They also contain strawberries, and a great deal of sugar!

The bill came to about £37 in all, which is quite a lot compared to other restaurants in Cyprus (and sounds a huge amount in American dollars as it's not far off $80!) but for a good two-course meal for four people, I don't think it's unreasonable. Tips aren't necessarily expected here, but are probably appreciated anyway so we just rounded it up to the £40.

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

When I first went to Greece in 1998 it was Lent, when, as you no doubt know, Orthodox Christians are supposed to be vegans, but the only place where one could get fasting food in Athens was McDonalds, and an expensive specialist vegetarian retaurant.

I had a look at Richard's blog, and it seems to have been hijacked -- I left a comment for him about it.