Saturday, October 24, 2009

Greek Food Festival

Guess what's in town this weekend?

That's right, BABY! The Greek Food Festival is in town!

I've waited a whole year for this! The local Greek Church hosts the annual event to share their culture with the locals. The event started about 30 yrs ago as a bake sale and has grown into a festival that brings thousands of people from all over the area. The festivities range from Greek folk music, dancers in costume, and of course - FOOD.

Half of the tents set up for the festival are reserved for gyros. People just can't get enough of them!

The most tender, thin strips of lamb are seasoned to perfection and grilled just right. Then they are placed on fresh, handmade pitas that are also seasoned. The gyros are topped off with fresh tomatoes, red onion, and homemade taziki sauce. Mmmmm!

Our next stop was for a basket of patates, or Greek fried potatoes. The ones served at the festival reminded me of pommes frites, but with seasonings instead of just salt. I wish I had tried to ask someone what seasonings were used on the food, but I was too preoccupied with the highlight of the festival: The Pastries.

The pastries are heavily guarded and patrons are kept in line, literally, to keep things from getting out of control. This process runs like clockwork since the pastries are so sought after. The lines are clearly marked and, as you can see, the pastry line is constantly full.

Here's the middle of the line, but we hadn't quite made it to the building yet.

I was hoping to get more photos of inside so the mounds of pastries could be seen, but I wasn't able to balance a camera and a tray of goodies very well. They handed me a tray and I walked swiftly through the line pointing and calling out which pastries I wanted and how many to load me up with. I was able to control myself pretty well. The pastries lasted us more than one day, so I'd call that a success in willpower.

I savored the handmade baklava and kataifi, which are like giant shredded wheat pieces that are full of honey and walnuts.

However, my favorite Greek pastry is kourambiedes.

This soft, delicate, almond flavored cookie is a half-moon shape and covered in sweet powdered sugar. It is also called a Greek wedding or Christmas cookie. I just can't get enough of them.

Sigh, the only sad part is having to wait another year...


  1. When my husband and I lived in RI, we went to the Greek festival every September. We always loved the costumes, the music, and especially the food. Fun post!

  2. I've never had Greek food before but you just made me go to Google and search for the nearest Greek restaurant in Vegas. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience.

  3. The Greek Festival here is next weekend - you have just made me so hungry for it!!

  4. @Susan i've always enjoyed Greek history and culture, so it's a treat having a festival just a few miles down the road. thanks for stopping by! :)

    @Art & Appetite great news! i hope there's a good one close by so you can savor some fabulous goodies!

    @Tasty Trix enjoy your festival and stock up on the pasteries!

  5. I missed this last weekend and am a bit saddened by it. Nothing beats a good gyro! But hubby and I spent a nice weekend biking our way through Tom Brown Park, so I guess I can't complain too much.

  6. Oh that festival looks like so much fun! I always love those type of events!

  7. Ah, reading this is so mom made kourambiedes every Sunday!

    Peas Love Carrots

  8. @Tally aww, sorry you missed out! make sure to mark your calendar for next year! I love Tom Brown - they have some nice trails.

    @Simply Life they're great! i love getting to go out in a crowd on a beautiful day and enjoy some good cooking. it just seems so simple and old fashioned.

    @Mae so jealous! kourambiedes are new to me and i had been dreaming about them for weeks before the festival. i know i have to learn how to make them - i can't last a whole year waiting again!

  9. I adore gyros!! Looks like a stunning event

  10. it's so much fun! i think about their food all year long; it's so delicious.

  11. That kourambiedes pastry looks delicious! Thank you for the interesting post!

  12. yes, i wait all year for those - they are amazing! glad you enjoyed the post - hope you stop by again soon! :)