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Where to go When You're Hungry

This modern pantopoleion in Thessaloniki is a delicatessen catering to locals, and via the internet, to a world-wide clientele. In Miriam’s time, a pantopoleion was simply a general store. Miriam’s brother, the rascal that he was, would rather show off his athletic prowess to the neighborhood kids than go to school. And he’d count on Miriam’s lies to protect him from their tyrannical father. Miriam recalls it in The Deadliest Lies and then recounts the story in “The Bodyguard”, a novelette in The Deadliest Returns:


All the while, I’d be his alibi, each of my lies contributing a strand to the entire web. “No, Papa, that couldn’t have been Binyamin swiping fruit from the produce stand.” In truth, his juggling act culminated in his tossing the vendor’s pomegranates to a ring of adoring ragamuffins. Or “No, Papa, he couldn’t have been filching candy from Apollon’s pantopoleion,” the general store with confections he could easily have paid for. “We were studying geometry in my suite all evening. Honest, Papa.”


But our reunion quickly degenerated into squabbles about our past. And so, in taking his leave, my brother unfolded all six feet of his height, spat a medallion of greasy phlegm at my feet, and knocking over a planter of yellow field marigolds, stalked out through the peristyle.


How quickly we resumed our childhood antagonisms.


I’ll bet you can find a pantopoleion in a city near you. What could be better than indulging in some traditional Greek foods while reading a Miriam bat Isaac mystery? To pick out a treat, click here.


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