The Pace of Greek Restaurant Culture

My first visit to a Greek taverna was preceded by hesitation and confusion on my part— it was outdoor seating and there were no waiters around to guide me. I pushed myself into the actual restaurant only to be told to pick my own table. I was not used to this.  

Tavernas are a type of eatery, typically small, that specialize in short menus of mostly fresh produce and meat. 

And in Greece, once you pick your seat, you can expect a waiter to show up, but you will see less and less of them as time goes on. The restaurant culture there is certainly different from what I’m used to in the United States. And time goes by much more slowly. Every time I went to a taverna I had to call my waiter over to grab me the check— there was no such thing as the waiter coming over and asking if I was finished. I watched people sit at tavernas for hours and hours with friends or family. Cafés weren’t much different, but there was a heightened focus on pastries and beverages. 

For the first couple of visits I would rush in and out of there, asking for my check immediately and consuming my meal quickly. After some time, however, in the Greek fashion I began slowing down and taking my time. I wasn’t losing anything except for time, and for once, I had some of that. 

Coming back here, I had to re-adjust to the rushed restaurant culture and the fast-paced American life in general. I was happy to be home, but I believe there is something to be learned from slowing down every once in a while. Taking your time, eating slowly, and breathing consciously are things that can completely change your restaurant experience.

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