Sunday, 17 April 2011

Coupepe: Perfect if you're in the neighbourhood.

When I was little, my grandfather used to take me to the barber to get my hair cut. I have so many sparse memories of the time. Like pictures, emptied out of a shoebox onto the table. Just there, in no particular order, some out of focus, but definitely there. I remember that the barber wasn't in the neighbourhood, and I imagine that this was because he was in an area where my grandfather had lived earlier in his life, and that the barber was one that he had been going to for a long time.

After my grandfather passed away, my dad took over, taking me to the barber that he had been going to for, as I understand it, all his life. I don't think it's a coincidence that both men had such a long lasting bond with they barbers. Somehow, I believe this stems from the personal nature of a hair cut. Even more so with a shave as would have been more often the case in both their times. I think it was this personal facet that put me off hair cuts both as a child and later on.

Eventually, as I grew older, the time came for me to take the matter of my hair into my own hands. The results of this were devastating both for me and for the people around me. All through university I wouldn't get my hair cut for months on end. This ordeal reached a peak after I had completed my national service when I had left my hair to grow for more than a year (something that I'm honestly not proud of ). Luckily a friend of mine took the matter into her own hands and arranged an appointment with her hairdresser to get my hair cut. I've been going with her ever since.

Friday was one of those days, and after the vile and intrusive grooming business I had to get some comfort food to make it all better. However, to convince my friend to follow through with me I had to promise her a good salad: not really the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of comfort food. Lo and behold, 'Coupepe' to the rescue, with wholesome salads and pizza to die for!

Show Coupepe on larger map

A little bit of background first. Coupepe is located on the main square of Nea Penteli - which is really, more or less, as far out of Athens as you can go and still say you live in Athens (technically of course, it's a suburb - yea, shoot me for not naming my blog 'On Attica'). It basically has a good collection of cold cuts of meat and cheeses which it uses to make salads, sandwiches, crepes and pizzas or just serve plain with drinks. A sort of coffee-drinks-and-simply-food place. Very small but with enough outdoor seating on the square. Same owner I believe as Dadas, and the reason I had such high hopes for it (you can read all about that experience here). And here are some related links: facebook, foursquare,,,,

Back to the story. We arrived promptly, parked and went to find a seat. Unfortunately inside was packed, and we were lucky to get a place outside. It's always a good sign when a place is full. It's not necessarily a sign of good food or whatnot. It's a sign of a good balance of quality, quantity, service, environment and price.

My plan was to get a pizza, but I had already promised, in the name of healthy eating, a salad each. I had to get her to drop her guard so I decided to start with some Rakomela and a bruschetta to get her appetite going. We decided on two salads, but as soon as she'd got some alcohol in her, I argued for a pizza instead of the salad. She fell for it! Then, as we ordered, I snuck the second salad back in claiming I couldn't decide between the two. Overall I was well happy with myself, and with my trusted camera with me, here goes:

The Rakolemo. I could have sworn there was a hint of orange in this. Strong stuff! Did the job.

The bruschetta. There were five pieces, but as all things served first, it was eaten before my brain switched from  'man eat food. ouga-ouga' to 'maybe I should take a picture for my blog'.

Rocket, lettuce, bacon, parmigiana, cherry tomatoes... yum-yum.

Cabbage (if I member correctly), radicchio, gorgonzola and walnuts... yum-yum-yum. To be honest, both salads were works of art! They were both so fresh and delicious! My only problem was that I didn't toss them (I couldn't bare to spoil the look), and the dressing which was all over the top, never got to the bottom.

And finally the pizza. Or should I say pi-xxx-a, because it was absolute sex. Thin, crispy and soft, not too much cheese, straight out the oven, melting all over the place. Fresh toppings, juicy tomato, crunchy peppers, earthy mushrooms. I dunno, I'm no pizza expert (and I have suffered a disappointment after saying that something is the best of that something - read that here), but as far as I'm concerned this pizza is the reason why pizza delivery - the likes of domino, pizza hut and pizza fun - should be made illegal: either go out and get it fresh or make it yourself!

Verdict: perfect for what it is, and absolutely worth it if you're in the neighbourhood.


  1. Hello from Nea Penteli! Great you refer to Coupepe, very sucessfull and a bit crazy young owners who "dared" to finally give our Plateia a long needed change! ( Yes , they have Dadas,too!) Greetings from the north of Athens!

  2. Hello Anna!
    Thanks for your comment!
    I'd never been to the plateia before so wouldn't know what it was like, but for sure now its a great place to go, especially if you live up North!


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