735 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Cost range: 10.01-20.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Full bar
More in this neighborhood: Tarpon Springs
At the corner of Dodecanese and Athens Street, Mama’s, started by a woman from Kalymnos, Greece, in 1978, is housed in a simple, casual blue building, with belly dancers on Sundays and live Greek music on the weekends (canned bouzouki piped out of speakers during the off times). Dogs and their owners can sit side by side on the large outdoor covered patio with a bar in the middle, with ample views of the Natural Sea Sponge and Soap Museum and the Saw Grass Tiki Bar.
Service can be a little gruff here, but all is overlooked when they bring you a plate of flaming saganaki, gratis. The menu is huge (I must give tourists the hairy eyeball for gravitating toward burgers and fries), with a generalist’s approach, doing lots of things well: Moussaka, skordalia (potato garlic spread) and whole charbroiled snapper are all laudable. After dinner, step next door to Trolley Stop Ice Cream for a cone and then peruse Tarpon’s many artisanal soap stores (is it just that sponge and soap are such an effective combo?).