I’m not a person who goes around calling things ‘perfect’. Perfection, in my mind, has a cold sterility, a clinical, almost robotic edge. What does a perfect woman, a perfect song, a perfect book, a perfect vacation, a perfect death feel like? Can their perfection become a prison, a siren song, a “there’s no way to go from here than down”? I had to make this introduction before I wrote that despite my unwillingness to commit to absolutes, Pavlakis consistently makes the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Tsoureki; pistacchio praline with or without cream & pomegranate (oh, my, God); the heavenly kaimaki…Is it the best ice cream in Piraeus, in Athens, in Greece, in the world?
As far as I’m concerned, yes, this completely ordinary-looking (plus cheap & super-generous) neighborhood confectionery shop is perfect. If a more perfect ice cream can exist, I’m having serious difficulty even imagining what tasting it would feel like. I mean, it’s got to the point where I’m even grateful to the Universe that I was lucky enough to run into something in my life I’ve no qualms about calling perfect, even ice cream. How can you even top a quasi-religious experience that brings forward gratitude for your own good fortune?
Every single person I’ve sent to Pavlakis has been left stunned, so I know it’s not just me. It’s not easy to get to—far from it. But doesn’t that make Pavlakis even more special?