What’s Souvlaki is another short story of which I have started writing small anecdotes from our trips. As I mentioned before, on our first trip to Greece, my husband Steve and I knew next to nothing about the country. We definitely did not know the customs, culture, food, or language.
We were staying on the island of Milos and had been enjoying exploring this wonderful paradise. It was October, 2018 and Milos was not as touristy as other islands at that time. We felt like we had the place to ourselves as there were few tourists the entire time we were on the island. Although it was a foreign country to us, we felt comfortable everywhere we went.
After a full day of roaming, we were starving so we walked the short distance to Pollonia, a small village near our hotel. It was a beautiful night with stars shining above and a cool breeze blowing. The village was winding down for the season, few stores were open and not many people were around. We were enjoying the relaxed vibes of the Greek way of life.
Arriving in the village we walked past the restaurants and tavernas. The quiet sounds of the small village gave the atmosphere a relaxing vibe. We loved the delicious aroma of Greek spices that lingered in the air as we walked past tavernas. We agreed on a taverna along the seaside. A gentleman greeted us and led us to a table along the water. He chatted with us and informed us the taverna was a family business with his mother as the cook! We were also excited that he spoke English. Although we soon learned that many people in Greece speak English along with their native Greek. The table along the water was a bonus as we could hear the sea ripple in the breeze.
While the waiter grabbed our drinks, we looked over the menu. Even though I had done a little research, we had no idea what many of the Greek dishes were. The friendly waiter returned and willingly and descriptively answered our questions. Totally killing the pronunciation, my husband asked, “Can you tell me what’s Soulvlaki?” The waiter smiled and informed him it was pieces of chicken marinated in spices and grilled on a skewer, he also added it was very tasty. My husband replied, “Oh, it’s like a kebab”. The waiter appeared offended and a bit taken aback. He firmly corrected my husband and said passionately, “No, not a Kebab. Not at all a Kebab! You want a kebab, you go to a different country. It’s Souvlaki, better than a kebab.”
With that affirmation I ordered the Souvlaki. Steve, not surprisingly, ordered the shrimp. Not quite sure of what Greek marinaded chicken would taste like, I was excited to find out. To my delight, it was the best flavored grilled chicken I have ever tasted, the fries and pita bread were also delicious. These perfectly grilled tender chicken pieces were flavored with lemon and spices.
To this day, even though I have had Souvlaki many times, I think back to my first Souvlaki in Milos. I still remember it as the best I have ever eaten. By the way, neither my husband or I have ever compared souvlaki to a kebab again!!
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If you want to read more detail about this trip and read more of my short stories, you can click on the following links!!
5 Great Beaches in Milos, Sept 2018
22 thoughts on “What’s Souvlaki? – A Short Story”
Loved this because it gave me another good chuckle. Plus, the information is good to know in case we ever get to go to Greece. I won’t let Mike make the mistake of calling Souvlaki a kebab, or a chicken skewer – and he would! 🙂
It is amazing how many goofs we make when traveling. All part of learning a new culture! Traveling isn’t always perfect but sometimes those off moments make the best memories and stories.
It’s very funny to read how the waiter reacted with the word kebab.
Although the correct translation of Souvlaki is the meet (pork or chicken) on a skewer, nowadays, when you are in Greece and you ask for a Souvlaki, there is a good chance they will bring you the one with the Pita and Gyros.
Again, thanks for sharing this nice and funny story about your Souvlaki experience in Greece.
As we venture more in Greece it is fun to discover how the islands differ in not just their souvlaki but their other foods as well. We leave this Wednesday for Greece and will be exploring Delphi, Meteora and also Corfu. I’m excited to see what these areas show us!! Lori
I m pretty sure you will enjoy the ancient site of Delphi, the wonder of nature Meteora and you will also like to hang out in Corfu.
Best of luck with all your Greek adventures and looking forward to your next posts.
Thank you! I am very excited to return to Greece!
Fabulous! I love the anecdotes. You took my right back to that waterfront on Pollonia – I love the feel of this little village and lucky you to have been there in October without other tourists! My grandchildren nicknamed chicken souvlaki ‘chicken Slovakia!’
Love the nickname! Kids come up with the cutest things! Pollonia was indeed a lovely little village. We did go at a good time although some places had already shut down for the season. Lori
what a beautiful description of your time in Greece. Have you had Souvlaki since then?
I have. Many times. I even grill Souvlaki at home on occasion! It’s not the same but I grow my own spices and it’s pretty close!
how nice to add another meal to your repertoire! And has Steve tried your Souvlaki?
Yea he has! He likes it! Often I have him do the grilling after I’ve marinated it!!
hopefully you get a chance (or perhaps you already have) to go back to that Greece restaurant and have that Souvlaki again!
Haven’t been back to that area of Greece yet but would like to someday!
it will be like visiting an old friend…
Greek food and Souvlaki in particular are delicious. I have to say Greek is one of our favourite cuisines. Thanks for sharing Lori. Allan
I agree, Allan, we too love the Greek food! Lori
The food…ohhh the food in Greece!
I know! I get cravings for authentic Greek food all of the time!
Souvlaki is delicious! And it’s true the Greeks are very proud of their food, to the point they refuse to say that it’s a kebab (although similar to one)! Glad you had your first taste of a souvlaki then, and to have them a million more times thereafter!
I do enjoy souvlaki along with other Greek food!