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Restaurants Video

Meet The Family Greek Bakery That Expanded Its Reach To California

There’s some incredible stories of Greek families that have made names for themselves in the restaurant world here in the United States. Legendary icons like Chrys Chrys of Papa Cristo’s in Los Angeles or celebrity chef Michael Psilakis are some of the headliners.

Adding to that growing list of Greek restaurateurs is the Pietris family, who’ve been running a successful bakery business in Corinth that dates back 100 years. In 2017, they made their way out to Long Beach, California, and opened a location of their bakery and restaurant in the Belmont Shores neighborhood.

The original Pietris Bakery location opened nearly 50 years ago in Corinth, Greece, where Theofanis and Athanasia Pietris made a name for themselves baking bread. Today, they’ve spread to a half dozen locations throughout Greece, in addition to the satellite location in Long Beach.

Pietris’s Long Beach location combines what you find in Greece with some California flair. There’s an entire lineup of Greek gelatos (aka Pagoto) up for offer, along with plenty of fresh-baked Greek pastries and cakes.

There’s also an entire restaurant menu you can order from, which includes some massive portions of pancakes, hearty burgers, and other creative twists on Greek food.

Foodbeast recommends trying the Titan Style Baklava Pancakes, Greek Brunch Burger, and the Baklava Pagoto when you stop in. There’s also a brand new item, Tiramisu Pancakes, that’s set to debut on the menu sometime in October.

To hear our full thoughts on Pietris and the different dishes they serve, check out the video above recommending our top picks.

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Adventures Restaurants Video

Sample Greek Food Beyond The Gyro At Papa Cristo’s Legendary Greek Emporium

As a Greek American, one of my biggest qualms with the typical Greek restaurants in the United States is that they get lumped into a very small group of standardized dishes. People here judge a Greek restaurant for how well they grill meat, can make a gyro, or how sweet their baklava is.

There’s so much more to Greek food, however, but it is hard to find many of the lesser-known dishes. If your local Greek church has a food festival, it’s possible to find them there. For me, the best place to track them down is establishments that have been the heart of major Greek communities for generations.

On the West Coast of the United States, there’s really only one place that can serve as that: Papa Cristo’s, the Los Angeles market-restaurant that’s stood across from the city’s large Greek cathedral for over 70 years. It started as C&K Imports and was a marketplace to get all of your Greek needs at, from honey made at monasteries and tangy imported Feta to Greek spirits like ouzo and metaxa.

Later on, owner Chrys Chrys added on a restaurant space that served burgers and fries, but swapped it out for traditional Greek favorites in the early 90s. Since then, it’s also become one of the quintessential Greek eateries west of the Mississippi. Papa Cristo’s has gained this level of fame through their old school preparation methods, including slow-roasting their lamb and taking multiple days to make their roasted potatoes.

Chrys keeps standards like gyros and baklava in both the restaurant and marketplace, but it’s the rest of the menu that you should come to partake in. Papa Cristo’s grills up seafood just like back on the Greek islands, including baby octopus, tsipoura (Greek sea bream), shrimp, and calamari. What makes it more special is the berbere-spiced tahini it’s served with, which is sold in the marketplace and adds an aromatic, tangy touch to the seafood.

Other specials on the menu include loukomades, the anicent Greek precursor to donuts. You can get them drizzled with honey and walnuts or served with ice cream to make it a “sundae.” Chrys has also added more unique offerings, like “pitzas” (pita-based pizzas) topped with Greek loukaniko sausage or spanakopita (spinach pie) filling. On weekends, there’s hard-to-find eats like yemistes (stuffed tomatoes and bell peppers) and pastitsio (the Greek pasta bake that inspired lasagna) on offer as well. One cannot also pass on Papa Cristo’s without tasting their legendary lamb sandwich, a simple yet mouthwatering meal that has made the likes of Guy Fieri drool.

Papa Cristo’s has been the epicentre of the LA Greek community for generations. The old-school Greek food and the marketplace full of Greek essentials make it a treasure for Greeks like me looking for both a taste and feel of back home.

To discover more about the legend of Papa Cristo’s, you can view the full Foodbeast feature on the restaurant and marketplace in the above YouTube video.

Categories
Restaurants

‘Daphne’s Greek Cafe’ Becomes ‘Daphne’s California Greek’

In a move to intentionally ruffle its own feathers, Daphne’s Greek Cafe has begun a brand revitalization program to change everything about themselves. Starting with the logo, branding and name, the 60-unit chain will now be known as Daphne’s California Greek, with their quoted inspiration for the change being, “We’re taking Mediterranean and Greek-inspired cuisine and giving it a good swift kick in the Falafels with a whole lot of California style.” The brand’s changes permeate through their name, logo, menu, drink cups, take out bags, store decore and attitude.