Sorry Mom, But Opa’s Baklava in Maine is Better Than Yours
I emceed a Chamber event in Waterville recently and one of the board members of The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Molly, asked me to join her for dinner afterwards. We went to to Opa, a Greek restaurant on Main Street in downtown Waterville and I just about freaked when I walked in and took a whiff.
The smell of Greek food took me right back to my childhood. I am a proud Greek and enjoy eating the heck out of the food. My YiaYia used to make incredible Greek dishes, including Baklava, Spanakopita, and Kourampiedes. Just the smell that fills the air takes me home. I can even see my YiaYia's smile, her beautiful lipstick, wearing her apron, singing and dancing in the kitchen with my Mommy. Cooking and baking wasn't just that, it was so much more.
The memories that we get from cooking and eating are indescribable. So it was emotional when I took my first bite of Baklava at Opa that evening.
It knocked me off of my chair and I immediately had to meet the owner of the restaurant to share my joy. Sotirios Gudis, owner of Opa greeted me and I fanned over his delicious food straight away. He told me that his Mother, Anna Gudis is the one who makes the desserts and unfortunately she wasn't there for me to express my gratitude.
Sotirios then told me a moving story about his father Angelo who sadly passed away several years ago. He always yearned for a nice restaurant for his family to own and run and on the 8th anniversary of his passing, the Gudis Family did just that and opened Opa. They honored a man who they saw as a father but also a hero.
According to Sotirios, his dad was one of the hundreds of Greek men living in Albania during an extremely tough time. A dictator was running things and repressing the people so many escaped and Angelo was one of them. He swam away, survived, and made a successful like for himself.
So this restaurant isn't like any other. It has history, survival, love, and the best Greek food I have ever had, sorry mom, sorry YiaYia.
The Baklava wasn't too dense, it was airy, flaky and better than hanky panky, if you know what I mean. The best tasting dessert I have ever eaten in my life and you have to try it!
If you'd like to visit this remarkable spot, visit Opa, Waterville on Facebook today!