Taverna Tou Hari (Haris Tavern)
Gardens full of flowers, vegetables and fruit bearing trees, and plentiful flowing streams. This is what makes the village of Eggares, located on the road leading from the Chora of Naxos to Apollonas village, so famous. A 2,200 square meters plain where citrus trees, such as the citron tree from which the famous kitron liqueur of Naxos is produced, apricot trees and vegetables grow translates into stable employment opportunities for the inhabitants of the village and forms such a divine landscape that once led Kazantzakis, the famous Greek writer, to confess that Eggares is simply heaven on earth!
Over the past years, the taverna tou Hari (Haris’s taverna) made the village even more famous. Haris’s taverna, an ideal place for friend and family gatherings, is found at the entrance of the village, next to the school. Many tend to believe that this taverna is the best ambassador of the island’s traditional cuisine. The meat offered here (sheep, lamp, veal, rabbit, rooster) comes from the livestock raised by the owners themselves, who also breed three hundred chickens that lay a huge quantity of eggs. Such raw ingredients are turned into delicious dishes, all cooked by Evgenia Arseni, Haris’s wife.
The most famous dish of the taverna is the omelet prepared with at least 10 eggs from free-range chickens, local fried potatoes and Graviera Naxou. Full and about to burst due the ample portions served, clients often leave the taverna with a doggy bag taking with them the biggest part of the omelette, so that they still have something savoury to eat for breakfast in the morning!
In the kitchen, tasks and roles are clearly assigned. Haris, who has learned the trade early since he has been working in tavernas’ kitchens since the age of 25 and in 1988 opened his own taverna (“taverna tou Hari”), prepares all the grilled foods, i.e. lamb chops, Greek style burgers, exquisite sausages made from a combination of three types of meat (lamp, veal, pork), steaks.
Kyra Evgenia (kyra, added always before the name of an old married woman, is a way to address or salute her and translates to great respect before her, an informal word), a dexterous cook, prepares all stew dishes. Goat (zoula in the local dialect) stew, rooster braised in tomato sauce, lamp fricassé, rabbit braised in lemon sauce. Everything is cooked with care. Even such a humble dish as stuffed zucchini tastes incredibly good thanks to their rich stuffing – ground meat, dry and spring onions, grated zucchini, carrot, dill, tomato and parsley.
Food is also served by family members, Stelios and Mary, the two children of the couple. Think again before saying no to dessert at taverna tou Hari: home-made spoon sweets and fresh fruit from the family’s gardens!