We have been looking for a good steak on Crete for a long time. Have asked for one in tavernas, proper restaurants or any establishment that advertised "mosharisia" britzola (steak) but all we have verified is that outside New York, Texas, Kansas, Scotland – or Kobe beef - all beef is really suitable for leather shoes.
Then we got a tip for a meat restaurant in Kokkini Hani, close to the Heraklion Airport (2 exits after the airport going west or 2 exits before the airport going east).
We found Hatzis on the main road and initially we did not recognize it as a restaurant because their sign shows "Restaurant and Cafe" and the outside area sure enough looks like a regular coffee place where Greeks spend endless hours sipping iced instant coffee (frapee). Do not be fooled, ignore the sign about the Cafe and proceed inside a vast area with space for dancing and live music (I have learned there is good live music on weekends) and order only the beef, the plain beef and nothing but the beef!
We visited twice, the second time to verify what had transpired! What had transpired was the following - we ordered a T-Bone steak and a Rib Eye. We ordered in this manner: the T-bone should be rare-medium, towards the rare than medium and the Rib Eye should be medium-rare, more medium tha rare-pink but no blood. It was cooked exactly what we ordered! But we also discovered that the T-Bone streak was actually Veal not Beef! It was milk fed veal T-Bone. It was the exact translation of the Greek Moshari (veal) while everybody actually means and serves beef-red.
They were also able to substitute the eternal French fries with grilled vegetables - done to perfection! We could not believe what we were eating! So we visited a second time to verify it and ensure it was not a chance. No it was not a chancy thing, their T-Bone steak is Veal! We then visited a third time and unlike us, our guests opted for a saucy pork dish. Stay away and as I said above, order the beef in plain grilled form and order any side (you will get potatoes fried like any other place if you do not specify your side).
The service was very friendly and competent and the cost very reasonable, having two steaks, one salad, one appetizer, one beer and water (no wine) for 50+ Euros.
The only negative comment is that of their location...on the main road with hundreds of cars going by if you sit outside and no view of any kind if you sit inside - to avoid the traffic and noise pollution, I do not kn ow what they could do about this other than continue to serve good food and we will visit again, otherwise we highly recommend it, if you happen to crave steak while on Crete...
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