Athens: Greek street deli and brunch at 7 Cactus
It comes to no surprise that September is full of new entries across the Athenian centre, but 7 Cactus is one we have definitely been waiting for! A little over a few months ago we picked up word that Gabriel Nikolaidis, the famous Athenian food blogger, has something in the works that would involve proper Greek street food. And along we played when we noticed that 7 Cactus opened in Koukaki.
Here's our first impressions!
Hidden in the upper part of Dimitrakopoulou street, 7 Cactus is a spot you don't easily notice as it blends in the greyish backdrop of urban Koukaki. Laptop and newspapers at hand, we sit down in the long communal table of the front terrace that is uniquely decorated with (what else?!) cactuses! Most specifically, a bunch of prickly pear cactuses that put a nice touch of green in the otherwise black and white aesthetics. Locals are the first ones here early in the morning, as the team starts serving at 8am, with tourists and foodies stopping by to catch some of the food action.
I quickly fall for the sesame bread roll (thank god for Thessaloniki!) and the fried egg over melted Naxos cheese and smoked ham. Along with it, we order a variety of Greek goodies: lallagides from Mani (oven-baked and semi-fried bread twirls), feta cheese and a dollop of fig jam - a real treat! They also do all-day dining but this would have to wait for next time.
The ambience of the place is laid back, the day is still young and I notice that some of the tables are empty - apparently the team does indeed allow regulars (and devoted foodies) to make reservations. Although this can be a pitfall for spontaneous bon vivants (yes, that's us!), we kind of let them get away with it as for now it seems to be working!
A young team of cooks and servers is still trying to get it right, but we're certain they'll succeed as they only opened last September and the ethos and effort of them is quite high. They strive to make everything work for you, so that's got to count for something. What's even better, they are also flexible on the menu as they're happy to accommodate any changes you'd like. And, in any case, their food counter is full of Greek goodies and kind of doubles as a deli for those in the area. So, along do ask and they shall deliver!