By Athena Mavromatis
For those of you who don’t know Tarpon Springs, Florida, I’m here to put it on the map. This Kalymnian founded Greek town in Tampa, Florida is notorious for providing a sponge diving industry, Greek culture, and more importantly… Greek FOOD! While Tarpon Springs has a wonderful abundance of Greek restaurants to choose from, I must take my hat off to “Mama’s Greek Cuisine” located in the heart of Tarpon Springs’ tourist attraction, the sponge docks.
Owned by Kalymnos native Angeli Memisakis and his Tarpon Springs native wife Georgia, they’ve brought the taste of Kalymnos and the Greek islands to Tampa Bay’s beloved Greek town with a variety of dishes for land and sea lovers and Greeks and non-Greeks to enjoy! Visitors can enjoy traditional Greek dinners with dishes including classic Mousaka, Keftedes, Souvlaki, fresh seafood from our very own Gulf of Mexico such as charbroiled tender octopus, light crisp calamari, and Greek-style snapper, and who could forget the local favorites such as Saganaki Tiri (flaming “OPA!” cheese), homemade Avgolemono soup, and of course Horiatiki salad. Alongside its delectable and diverse menu, The Memisakis Family also provides its guests with live Greek entertainment to keep the vibe of Greece alive in their establishment! You can enjoy the luxury of indoor and outdoor seating to absorb whichever atmosphere you prefer.
Though it is quite hard for me to make a selection when I dine at Mama’s, I like to keep it simple, order a load of my favourite appetizers, and enjoy them with my family, who are big on seafood, so we get a couple of orders of calamari, octopus, Greek salads, Saganaki, and feast!
So friends, if you’re feeling a little homesick from the motherland or you’re missing you’re favourite delicacies of the Aegean, take a visit to America’s Sponge Captial of the world and tell Georgia, Athena sent you!