The most unifying part of any culture is the rich, authentic food. Growing up 100% Greek, I have had the privilege of having real, home-cooked meals that taste like they are straight from John Stamos’ kitchen at my fingertips. On behalf of the Maglaras family, we think we are bad-asses who have the most pristine palate on the face of the earth. Actually, we don’t think. We know.
The Greek restaurant Stamatis, located in Astoria, Queens, comes as close to home cooked meals made by my Yiayia (grandmother) that there are. Astoria might as well be called the Greek capital of New York, so for Stamatis to be the absolute best, is a huge, huge deal.
Stamatis is run by a clan of Greek men and their wives. Between their thick accents and the traditional music being played throughout the restaurant, you’ll start to feel like you’re back in the χωριó (village). Stamatis is extremely consistent, making every plate just as delicious as the last. Only the freshest ingredients are used, so it only makes sense that these meals taste like heaven.
#spoontip: Try something out of your comfort zone, the weirder the name the better. I promise you’ll love it.
Each bite is better than the last (if that’s even possible). The essential ingredients in classic Greek dishes are prominent in every way imaginable too. Between the freshly squeezed lemon sauces to the traditional delicacies baked in Kalamata olive oil, you could easily imagine yourself in a postcard from Santorini.
Let’s not forget that each plate is a perfect photo-opp for Instagram. The needs of that one Instagram account- you know, the one you have solely for food pics?- will be met after a meal here. You’re welcome. The plates look, taste, and smell like a million bucks, but when the bill comes that is far from what you will be paying. It is reasonably priced, so you can enjoy your appetizer and main dish without having to worry about your wallet crying.
Dessert is a whole other story. A complimentary dessert known as Galaktoboureko, a custard pastry covered in a sweet honey glaze, is the perfect way to tie together your meal. For the first time in my life I am speechless. The only thing better than the dessert itself is having a sexy, tall, dark, and handsome Greek waiter serve it to you. It is as exciting and overwhelming as walking into the bake shop Harry Styles worked at and him handing you a freshly baked muffin.
Never settle for food-truck Gyros again.