Volos: new-style meze at tsipouradiko Me Zen
I always knew this thing about Volos and its tsipouradika, their small traditional meze restaurants that serve meze dishes as soon as you order some tsipouro (a Greek alcoholic spirit distilled from marc or pomace, similar to grappa). What I didn't know is that young entrepreneur Andreas Diakodimitris really did it well when together with other aspirational locals launched Me Zen a few months back.
The story goes a bit like this... you grab a table, order your favourite distilled drink (preferably tsipouro) and you just wait patiently. A wide and most of the times random selection of small tapas dishes will complement your drink, starting off with some basics (think pickled fish and various tapenade) until you say so. The more you eat, the more you'll pay but chances are the bill is going to be very short and sweet indeed.
With the economic crisis in Greece hitting hard even the most traditional and well-known restaurants in Volos, the team of Me Zen took a big bet and set up shop in a small traditional stone-walled house with the help of chef Michalis Poularakis. An idea initially conceived in Barcelona over tapas and that matured in Rome over grappa shots... finally came into birth in 2015. The concept is based on a wordplay of meze and zen (from all the meditation one can do whilst drinking!), equals Me Zen.
Although you don't have a big say, kindly ask for the pickled cabbage salad, the black-eyed peas and the grilled sardines.
Hats off to a winning team for honest and tasty food, sensibly priced!