The Salty Pig, a Pan-American in Athens

Salty Pig Athens
Salty Pig Burger

 

It is not a secret that Greeks love their meat, and especially when it’s of high quality and expertly prepared. So that may be one of the reasons for the instant success of The Salty Pig, a restaurant which, since it opened in central Athens in November, has received rave reviews from the capital’s top chefs, food critics and foodies. Designed as a large open kitchen with a few benches and seats placed outside, it serves up a sumptuous and completely unpretentious version of classic street food themed on Pan-American culinary traditions.

salty pig owners

Its owner-chefs Dimitris Panteleakis, Philipos Dimopoulos and Vasilis Akrivos all have decades of culinary expertise under their belts and have come together to show how executive chef-level skill, worldly experience and higher inspiration plus simple, flavoursome food cooked using the right equipment equal a winning combination.

Pastrami
*Pastrami

meat platter

Panteleakis designed and installed equipment such as an upright smoker that uses wood, a planetary rotisserie (named as such because it turns round and round ‘orbiting’ in two different directions, which means most of the juices stay on the meat), charcoal and wood grills and an Italian wood oven straight from Napoli. The menu includes a dizzying choice of dishes that have roots in north and south America, from tacos and sloppy joes to Canadian poutine (hand-cut fries with cheese curds, gravy and any topping or sauce of your choice), pizza and homemade, 100% beef or pork hot dog sausages. Many sauces such as the green tomatillo ketchup and the southern BBQ sauce, the buns and black maize tacos are also homemade.

greek tacos

pork burger

“We saw the need to do something authentic instead of looking up a few recipes online and opening up yet another average burger joint,” Panteleakis, who has been travelling to and cooking in the US since the age of 12, says. “It turns out there was a huge demand for it, both from Greek-Americans and Americans and from other Greeks and foreigners.”

mixed grill

The beef brisket, which everyone raves about, and the BBQ mixed platter have proven the most popular dishes so far, but sandwiches such as roast beef with horseradish are also a relatively new taste that Greeks are enjoying. Vegetarians need not keep away either, as The Salty Pig also serves several meat-free options, from cauliflower steaks and black bean burgers to Italian panzanella salad, mushroom kebabs and garlic broccoli.

exterior pic

Located on Ippokratous St (36) on the border with Kolonaki, the restaurant makes a great stop for professionals on the hoof, families and groups of friends who want a quick bite and even solitary laptop-addicts who want to chomp a yummy sandwich as they work.  When I ask Panteleakis about the future he is extremely secretive but suggests they will be creating more of the same coming up in Athens, as well as a completely different, yet equally delicious project in the near future.

Alexia Amvrazi

Alexia Amvrazi enjoys the thrill of discovering beauty in the world around her. With a passionately hands-on approach to Greece's travel, gastronomy, holistic living, culture, innovation and creativity, for 20 years she has explored and shared her findings with the world on all aspects of the country and its people via writing, radio, blogs and videos. Although her childhood and early youth in Italy, Egypt and England left her feeling somewhat root-less, she is by now firmly connected to her native land, bravely weathering the hurricane known as the Greek crisis!

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