Yes, those are whole lambs roasting over a spit–no Greek festival would be complete without that! Last weekend’s Annual Spring Greek Festival at Saint Sophia’s Cathedral was a Greekophile culinary paradise. There were so many options, ranging from the aforementioned lamb to flaky spanakopita (spinach-filled phyllo pie) to delectable Greek desserts. Here are some photos, for those of you who missed it:
I started my Greek culinary tour with something sweet: loukoumades, which are Greek donuts drenched in honey and cinnamon. The loukoumades arrived piping hot–fresh from the fryer. They were crisp on the outside and pleasantly doughey on the inside. The honey and cinnamon on top made them taste sinfully delicious, yet light. My roommate and her friend easily polished off over a dozen loukoumades; they were that good.
After my loukoumades appetizer, I headed over to the gyro stand for some lunch. Despite the long line, it was well worth the wait. I loved the generous amount of tzatziki scooped onto the gyro, and the meat was tender and flavorful (albeit a bit greasy). And for $9, the gyro made a relatively cheap and filing lunch.
I couldn’t leave without sampling some of the delectable Greek pastries on display. There were some that I was more familiar with than others. Baklava–thin layers of phyllo dough filled with walnuts and honey–looked incredibly flaky and tasty, but I wanted to try something I’d never eaten before. I chose kadaifi, which is very similar to baklava except that it uses shredded phyllo dough instead of sheets of it (shown in the photo directly above). The kadaifi looked like little birds nests, and the texture was quite enjoyable. Inside, it was filled with a mixture of walnuts, spices and honey.
I also bought some karythopita, or spiced walnut cake. It reminded me of a lighter, honey-soaked fruit cake (minus the fruit of course). If you’d like to try making these Greek sweets at home, click here and here for recipes.
The Greek festival was a delightful way to explore Greek cuisine and culture (though my one regret is that I missed the Greek dancing!). I hope to be back next year to get my “ompa” on.
Posted in Food Events
Tagged baklava, DC, festival, Greek, gyro, honey, karythopita, kataifi, lamb, loukoumades, oompa, pastries, phyllo, Saint Sophia Cathedral, spring, walnut cake, washington
Photo credit: Stephanie D./Wikimedia Commons
This week’s round-up will be short and sweet. Here we go:
Saint Sophia Cathedral’s Spring Greek Festival: If you’re a fan of gyros, tzatziki, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then you will love the Saint Sophia Greek Festival. Held Friday (today), Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m., visitors can gorge themselves on delicious Greek fare–including lamb roasted on an open spit–and enjoy live music, dancing, and a moon bounce. Check out the Going Out Gurus for details.
DC Yoga Week: Bring your yoga gear and mat to the National Mall on Saturday, where DC Yoga Week will be hosting free yoga sessions, speakers, and activities. Where’s the foodie angle, you may be asking yourself? Healthy snacks and drinks will be provided for attendees. No that’s something I can namaste for. Click here for details.
Taste of Arlington: For those who don’t venture outside the District, this may be a culinary event worth hopping on the metro for. From noon to 5 p.m. in Ballston, Taste of Arlington will feature samples from some of the area’s fabulous restaurants, including Jaleo, Northside Social, and the Liberty Tavern to name a few. Tickets are needed to taste food and beverages, and can be purchased in advance from their website.
Taste of Wheaton: Maryland residents won’t have to travel far to get in on some of the food festival action this weekend. Taste of Wheaton will take place on Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wheaton is known for harboring some of the D.C. area’s cheapest (and tastiest) ethnic eats, and Taste of Wheaton will not disappoint on that front. Hollywood East Cafe (awesome dim sum), Global Cafe African Grill, and Marchone’s Italian Deli are just some of the featured restaurants. Samples will range from $1-$5 each. Guests will also be able to enjoy live music while nibbling on their samples. Click here for details.
And with that, I’m signing off and embarking on the weekend. Have fun, everyone!
Posted in Food Events
Tagged Arlington, DC Yoga Week, Greek, gyro, lamb, Maryland, National Mall, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Taste of Arlington, Taste of Wheaton, Virginia, Wheaton