Responses to RobinZaragoza's Review

Respond to Review of CLOSED: ImproV Cafe and Resto
by RobinZaragoza

Review: My husband and I ate here last night...its about a 20 minute walk from Plaka. Boy is this place in a weird location....they clearly went through a lot of effort in the build out of the place, but everything around it is run down. I guess that's modern day greece? That said, I was happy to find a place with a plethora of things for me to choose from, rather than eating fava and greek salad yet again. Having been to some truly outstanding (michelin quality) vegetarian and vegan restaurants in other major cities, this place leaves something to be desired. The food is average, kind of like a friend cooking you dinner. Not bad, but not spectacular. We had the spinach/cashew/strawberry salad to start. The strawberries were extremely ripe, which is what made the salad very good. For my main I had some kind of mushroom and orzo dish - heavy on the pasta and sauce, and light on anything else. Was a bit heavy for my tastes, but decent flavor. My husband had the "Add it up", which included tofu sauteed with some vegetables, some kind of bean concoction, french fries, and a soy hot-dog. This was pretty much the only time we saw soy on a menu, so we were happy for that! But the meal was again a bit heavy and not very healthy. Outside of the food, the service was terrific, the place was immaculate with a funky/cool design, the beer menu was extensive, and had great music playing behind us. Were I in Athens again, I'd likely go back, but I would hope the food would be lighter, healthier, and a bit tastier. Good for the owners starting this place in a city that just doesn't understand "vegan" let along "vegetarian". Good luck!

Responses

cielle
Posted by cielle on Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hello, i just have to bring your attention to something you say... You say: "in a city that just doesn't understand "vegan" let along "vegetarian""...
I must point out that this is just not the case, Greece as a country doesn't understand vegan or vegetarian in the way perhaps you are used to - it doesn't make a point of it and have lots of restaurants etc - but actually traditional Greek food is ALL basically Vegan and Vegetarian... Souvlaki, gyros, meat dishes are a relatively new thing and even though they are often seen and unfortunately featured on menus nowadays( especially ones aimed at tourists ) they were not eaten traditionally in Greece... Greece has a deep and long history of vegan and vegetarian foods, they only ever ate meat when they did on rare occasions ( they were "too poor" to eat it often... ) and so they have a HUGE variety of legume based ( chickpeas, lentils, fava beans, broad beans, black eyed beans and many more... ) and vegan foods ( stuffed peppers/tomatoes, peas as a main dish, ratatouie like dish called "briam", potato salads, green beans with potatoes, boiled plain vegetables and wild greens in every taverna, rice with spinach, rice with cabbage, spinach pie ( both vegan and non-vegan ( with cheese ) versions... and MANY MANY more - too many to mention and remember here in fact... )and so there was never any need ( perhaps until now when people are unfortunately following the lead of "rich" countries like USA and eating more meat and dairy than ever before and suffering the health consequences... ) to have "separate" "labelled" Vegan or Vegetarian restaurants... and as a Vegan in Athens i have never had any problems at all eating out with friends and family and actually not having to go to separate restaurants to do so... I am sorry if you didn't know and weren't able to make use of this information on your visit here but I hope that you find it useful for the future!
ImproV
Posted by ImproV on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Hello and thanks for visiting our restaurant. Just to clarify that most Greek people do not hang around Plaka and Syntagma and actually avoid it. Gazi, where our restaurant is located, is the busiest area of Athens and the heart of the Athenian nightlife where thousands of people visit daily hundreds of restaurants, theaters, clubs, bars, cafes etc. Our place is located next to Technopolis (which is the old Gazi factory that nowdays hosts concerts and events pretty much every night) just few meters from the Kerameikos metro stop (one stop from Plaka and 1 minute walk to our place from metro) and 10 minutes walk from Monastiraki/Thisseio without metro. I guess that the run down buildings is the modern Greece as you might know many places went out of business during the past couple of years and unfortunately those places now look abandoned. (TBC)
ImproV
Posted by ImproV on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Our menu includes Greek traditional recipes along with some American favorites (e.g burgers, hot dogs etc) and at this area where junk food dominates, we give people the option to also eat healthy vegan food that lacks nothing in taste than e.g. the hot dogs that are sold across the street. You had a traditional Greek dish, made from a Greek Chef and in a version much lighter than the original one that is heavy on oil and sauce with cooked beef in it (also to mention our recipe has been published in books). You tasted authentic olive oil from olives we grow ourselves on Lesvos Island. And sauces we jar from our BIO gardens in North Greece with our Greek mother. You seen some of the real Greece from your visit to Gazi, but we will point out to our vacationers in the future where the heart of our ingredients come from and to understand the area better! This is not a mainstream tourist area. :)
Regarding the other dish that you had, the only "unhealthy" part is the fries which we could have substituted if you had asked us with baked potato or salad. Believing that this review is a bit unfair, we wish to see you visiting our place again in the future so you can taste more of our dishes and maybe change your opinion on our food.
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