Barbara Stathatos Talks “Newsday” Recognition and “Ekmek”

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By: Markos Papadatos, Staff Reporter
Most recently, on October 27, 2011, Ms. Barbara Stathatos received praise by the New York daily newspaper, Newsday. She was dubbed “Super Waitress” of her Long Island restaurant, Souvlaki Palace. The article further complimented Ms. Stathatos for baking and serving her exquisite Greek delight, ‘Ekmek,’ which is a favorite among many patrons in Commack, Long Island.

 “For breakfast, the most popular dishes at Souvlaki Palace are the Greek omelet, consisting of tomatoes, onions and feta, pancakes, as well as the most delicious home fries in Commack,” Barbara shares. “For lunch, favorite dishes include gyros, pork souvlaki, lamb souvlaki, and Greek salads topped with chicken. For dinner, Souvlaki Palace offers a wide selection of fish such as tilapia filet and fresh porgies.” 

Particularly impressive about Souvlaki Palace is that most of the ingredients are imported from Greece such as the feta cheese, Kalamata olives, as well as “dolmadakia,”–stuffed grape leaves.
With traditional Greek music playing in the background, Souvlaki Palace also features a stunning wall painting of the Parthenon, which gives the patron the feel that they are on a Greek island, enjoying the local cuisine and the warm, friendly atmosphere. “My brother’s aunt painted it. It took us five days and five nights to complete this Parthenon painting,” Barbara acknowledges.
Barbara is known for her delicious “Ekmek” dessert. “Five years ago, I was looking at my grandmother’s recipe book in Kefallonia, and I decided that I wanted to make the ‘Ekmek’ recipe for the restaurant. My brother, Alex, makes the baklava, galaktobureko and other desserts, so I asked my brother day if I could make the ‘Ekmek,’ and he agreed. Once I made it, the customers took notice of this Greek pastry, and were impressed by its unique presentation and savory taste.”
“My customers were thrilled for me to receive such recognition in Newsday,” she adds.
Barbara reveals her recipe for her ever-popular Ekmek pastry. “I take the shredded phyllo dough and I add the coconuts, and I bake it in the oven. I add my syrup, which consists of water, sugar, and some Greek spices blended in. Afterwards, I make the custard cream and I leave it to cool off. Following the homemade cream, I spread nuts on top. A tray of Ekmek usually serves twenty portions,” she states.
“And usually we give the ‘Ekmek’ on the house as a complimentary dish with the meal,” Barbara concludes.