Ston Pyrgo (At the Tower) is a traditional kafeneion/mezedopoleio, a coffee-shop which doubles as a restaurant serving Greece’s famous ‘little dishes’ or mezedes. It was created by the Roussos family for their oldest daughter, Vangelitsa. At 24, Vangelitsa had studied to be a chef and upon graduation her parents gave her the little house where they used to live at Agia Triada Arkesinis in Kato Meria when they moved to a larger home next door. In 2015 she decided to do something of her own in this beloved place. Of course, the whole family pitched in to help and her two younger sisters, still in elementary school, were thrilled to be involved.
The cafe is situationed just 100 metres from the Pyrgos or Tower of Vasilis in the village, the only ancient monument on Amorgos, which has stood proudly erect for thepast 2,350 years or so.
At first its visitors were tourists who just happened to pass by for a closer look at the tower. But now it has become common knowledge that there’s a very special café/eatery in the middle of nowhere at Kato Meria, which offers traditional foods. In no time at all it has become very popular.
“What I really like, says Vangelitsa, is to have customers at 5-6 tables, family style like we are today, and to be able to exchange a few words instead of just rushing back and forth from the kitchen. We’re open every day from 9 in the morning until late at night. We offer coffee and drinks, breakfast and lots of local dishes. The bread is our own, whole grain, sour dough and baked in our wood-fired oven. We make our cabbage rolls (lachanodolmades) from the small, tender green leaves and we call them yiaprakia [as they do in Macedonia]. We make our cheese pies and greens pies the traditional way, stuffing them with local cheese and chard and then frying them, and we also cook kid braised in oil and oregano, local fava, keftedes (meatballs) and atherina, tiny fried fish”.
Another specialty is the traditional omelette made with kavourma (confit of pork and herbs), an Amorgos delicacy, while for dessert Vangelitsa is trying her hand at mille feuilles, and chocolate in the shape of a log.