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Greek Festivals


KatieLoeb
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Frequent Dining Companion SouthJerseyEpicure and myself checked out the Annuciation Greek Orthodox Church Food Festival on Old York Road in Elkins Park, PA today for an early dinner. Opa! The food is AWESOME! Huge portions of roast lamb, pastitsio, mousaka, lemon chicken and various grilled souvlakis and gyros were awaiting. We didn't even try the amazing looking pastries that were also offered. I had the mousaka and it was a large square of tender eggplant and ground beef with a layer of thick-enough-to-stand-on-its-own bechamel sauce atop. There was orzo on the side. Companion tried the roast lamb that was tender and delicious accompanied by string beans with tomatoes and onions and the yummiest roasted lemony potato wedges ever. We both went back for some Spinach pie and I got some stuffed grape leaves that will serve for a very nice light lunch tomorrow. But I had to sneak a bite and the spanikopita is flaky and dense with spinach and the grape leaves are the tastiest I've ever tried. Lots of music and dancing to entertain the crowd, and a small bar serving Greek wines and Ouzo if you're feeling so inclined. There are rides, games of chance and other typical fair-type junk food (funnel cakes, candy apples) as well, so it's a great place to bring the kids. Entrees range from $8.00-10.00 and come with side(s) and a small Greek salad, side orders are $3.00-5.00 and souvlaki is $5.00. Pastries were all between $1.25 and 2.50. Great food and lots of fun! Open Noon-10PM through Monday.7

The St. Georges Greek Festival on 8th Street is NEXT weekend May 29-June 1 I think. We may have to do some comparitive eating! :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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\The St. Georges Greek Festival on 8th Street is NEXT weekend May 29-June 1 I think.  We may have to do some comparitive eating!  :biggrin:

Nice. I've been craving greek food lately (which is really stupid considering that I work two blocks from Zorba's and could go over there anytime--why I haven't is beyond me) and was wondering when this one was going on.

mmmm I wonder if they'll have kokoretsi.

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Nice.  I've been craving greek food lately (which is really stupid considering that I work two blocks from Zorba's and could go over there anytime--why I haven't is beyond me) and was wondering when this one was going on.

I am forever craving Greek food, and am usually disappointed with the Greek offerings in the area. South Street Souvlaki is adequate in a pinch, and close to home, but everywhere else just acts as methadone for the food jones. I've tried Effie's and was not impressed and Zorba's too (better, but still not that home cooked comfort quality I seek). There's a pretty good Greek restaurant in Glenside across from the Keswick Theater (Athena's I think?) and I had dinner there before a show at the Keswick recently. It was above average, but a hike under normal circumstances. It seems like there hasn't been a truly great Greek restaurant in the area since Chef Thedore's closed back in the Jurassic era :angry: . Has anyone tried Mokas up by Drexel yet? Dmitri's is good (one of my very favorite restaurants, actually), but sort of strays a bit from the "Classical Greek" cuisine I seek. I wish there were a truly excellent Greek restaurant in Philadelphia like there is in New York in abundance. One of my faves there is Molyvos. So far in this area I've found the "church ladies" at the festivals are the best cooks by far!

mmmm I wonder if they'll have kokoretsi.

This is sort of like Greek haggis, is it not? I think it's more of a traditional Easter dish, and not the usual sort of thing. There are grilled "Meats of many varieties" at the Annunciation fest, but no offal from what I could tell... :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I've tried Effie's and was not impressed and Zorba's too (better, but still not that home cooked comfort quality I seek).

Zorba's will give you patsa if you ask for it though mmmmm patsa.

It seems like there hasn't been a truly great Greek restaurant in the area since Chef Thedore's closed back in the Jurassic era  :angry:

And no one knows what happened to him. I keep asking and no one can tell me. That's screwy. A trip to Chef Theodore's in high school was my first experience with greek food outside of the gyros at Olga's Kitchen in the Oxford Valley Mall, and it was a real eye-opener.

Has anyone tried Mokas up by Drexel yet?

All I've had there was appetizers. They were good, but it's not that hard to make good hummus, taramasalata, grape leaves, calamari, etc. I don't know about the other stuff.

You know what someone should open, is an ouzerie-style restaurant: simple, rustic, with those great sausages they give you that are served in a dish of ouzo, which is then set on fire and burns for like 10 minutes, by which time the sausages are cooked and the outside is kinda charred, and you're halfway through a carafe of ouzo yourself and kinda hammered and.... oops I've said too much already. Good times, good times...

So far in this area I've found the "church ladies" at the festivals are the best cooks by far!

Yep. That's why I'm psyched for this week... probably head over Thursday evening.

mmmm I wonder if they'll have kokoretsi.

This is sort of like Greek haggis, is it not? I think it's more of a traditional Easter dish, and not the usual sort of thing. There are grilled "Meats of many varieties" at the Annunciation fest, but no offal from what I could tell... :smile:

Yeah, it's the heart lungs kidneys etc. wrapped in the lamb chitterlings and herbed and grilled. I've only ever had it once, at a greek easter celebration at a friend's house (where I also had the best ouzo I've ever had from his private stash, homemade by his friends), but I really enjoyed it that time.

In other news, I just got back from Moore Bros. and really don't know how I'd never been there before. Y'all were so right--that was probably the most pleasant wine-buying experience I've ever had. Makes me wish I had a car.

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The St. Georges Greek Festival on 8th Street is NEXT weekend May 29-June 1 I think.  We may have to do some comparitive eating!  :biggrin:

i'm planning to check it out. hafta see how it compares to their Friday lunches.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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The St. Georges Greek Festival on 8th Street is NEXT weekend May 29-June 1 I think.  We may have to do some comparitive eating!  :biggrin:

i'm planning to check it out. hafta see how it compares to their Friday lunches.

Herb:

Dinner on Thursday? See if any others want to join us. I could definitely meet you there around 6:30 or so. Game? Anyone? Pawlak? Bueller?

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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The St. Georges Greek Festival on 8th Street is NEXT weekend May 29-June 1 I think.  We may have to do some comparitive eating!

Cross-cultural comparisons can be had as well by checking out the Italian Market festival, also the same weekend, which is being resumed after a 3 or 4 year hiatus. They're closing off 9th Street from Catharine down to Federal (I think), with a stage for live music at the north end (did someone say Bobby Rydell?). Here's the Daily News blurb.

As for the St. George's thing, I agree with the above -- it's really terrific. Raised on Detroit's Greektown fare and the cooking of my father's family, I'd say Katie's right on with her ref to the black-clad "church ladies"; their homestyle cooking gives true meaning to "comfort food". It's all good, esp. the 10 or so pastries they offer.

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Dinner on Thursday?  See if any others want to join us.  I could definitely meet you there around 6:30 or so.  Game?  Anyone?  Pawlak?  Bueller?

Katie, I am so there. I'm there already! Really, I'm camped outside, dictating this message by carrier pigeon! Greek on Thursday, and then on to the Italian Market this weekend for that cross-cultural thing. If I'm really good, I can even work this into my dissertation...

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Dinner on Thursday?  See if any others want to join us.  I could definitely meet you there around 6:30 or so.  Game?  Anyone?  Pawlak?  Bueller?

Katie, I am so there. I'm there already! Really, I'm camped outside, dictating this message by carrier pigeon! Greek on Thursday, and then on to the Italian Market this weekend for that cross-cultural thing. If I'm really good, I can even work this into my dissertation...

first katie, who's bueller?

are you trying to work ferris into this? he's part of my adolscence, not yours. :biggrin:

andrew, yea you can contrast the greeks and the romans. and if you can pull that stretch off, my hat's off to you. next time i actually wear one that is. maybe before the end of the decade it'll happen.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Katie,

Boyfriend and I would love to meet you and everyone else there, closer to 7, just let me know exactly where!

Lisa

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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at this point, katie, andrew and I plan to be there. perhaps 6:45 ish?

We were thinking about how to identify us.

What about togas? Andrew, you take the lead on this.

Alternatively, we could just hang out at the front gates of the church.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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I feel like I'm in a Looney Tune. "I'll be the one with the Red Carnation in my lapel..." :laugh:

The church is on the west side of 8th Street, between Spruce & Locust - just a little ways up from Pennsylvania Hospital. We meet by the gates between 6:45-7:00PM. Gary is meeting us too, so there's at least four of us for now. Lisa - are you and BF going to join us? We'll be the ones in the togas with the red carnations :laugh:

Libations to follow. Perhaps a stroll to Capogiro for gelato afterward? :wub:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Andrew:

Is there some other appropriate Classical garb? You being the expert on such things Herb and I thought we'd leave the costuming to you...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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For you, Katie, I'd suggest showing up as the goddess Athena: I'm thinking you should wear a full set of armor and be carried in a chariot. But if you can't work that, civvies should work out okay...

Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)
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Will try to make it.

But I don't think you'll be doing gelato after working yourselves through the pastry line.

Greek-Desserts.jpg

St. George's Greek Festival

Yay Holly! And we'll recognize you from the grease stains? :biggrin:

I managed to resist the pastries last weekend, but you're right. It might be just a little more will power than I possess to do it twice! :rolleyes:

We hope you'll join us!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Just finished dinner.  You will if I'm wearing the same shirt I have on now.

Ha! Nice. I'll try to make it down there, although I'll probably get there later than y'all. I'll keep an eye out for yous... uh, I only know what Katie looks like, and only from her pic on here, so if you don't wear a hat... uh... OK nevermind, I give up.

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I'll post tomorrow and let you know what I'm wearing :biggrin: . It's amusing that everyone thinks I LIVE in that silly hat! Unfortunately, that is one of the very, very few decent photographs of me that exist on this planet. I was late in the queue for "photogenics"! Ironically, I don't even OWN that hat! It belonged to the photo studio where the picture was taken. I'll try to find another hat for tomorrow so you can find me in the throngs of Greek eaters, K? :laugh:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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We will definitely be there! BF is tall bald guy, I'll be wearing red clogs and black rimmed glasses. Hope it stays sunny!

Anytime is a good time for togas, BTW. Roman or not.

True traditional Greek attire in the style of some of the first Olympics, would be nothing at all! I don't think it's quite warm enough for that yet... but I'll bring a camera anyway.

Lisa

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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OK everyone. We're ready for some serious Greek food. Meeting outside church gates between 6:45-7:00PM. I'm wearing a teal dress, purple jacket, and red shoes to match Lisa's clogs! No hat today. My hair is up and I didn't want to muss it :pats head:.

We have cell phone numbers to track each other down with. Bring appetities and wear a loose toga :biggrin: !

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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quick rundown of people:

katieloeb

herbacidal

andrew fenton

lisa1349 + 1 (what's with the number---don't even tell me the year you were born :-)

holly moore

mrbigjas (possible)

more are welcome!

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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We came, we ate, we drank a bottle of wine Katie kindly supplied, we parted ways as everyone else went for gelato and I slouched off to home and a week's backlog of work.

From left to right: Gary, Katie, Andrew and Herb. That's me, behind the camera.

GreekFestival_egullet.jpg

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

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Thanks Holly, but credit where credit is due. Actually it was Andrew's fine idea to get the wine. I was just being a well trained sommeliere and opening said bottle with my ever-handy wine key! I never leave home without it... :biggrin:

Mercifully the picture is a tad blurry. Like I said, photogenic is not one of my stronger suits. :rolleyes: The feast you see before us is Pastitzio, Moussaka, Roast Chicken and numerous side dishes. Everything was quite tasty.

The food at the Greek Fest was delicious, although I think the actual entrees were seasoned more to my taste at the Annunciation fest last weekend. The pastries were heavenly though! We all got different ones and in true gluttonous fashion, tried everything!

Holly it's a shame you didn't join us on the walk for gelato. We ran across a fellow who was seemingly an escapee from one of the numerous hospitals in the area. He was holding his pants up around his thighs but since he was absent either boxers OR briefs he gave us a good look at his - ahem - shortcomings, shall I say. :shock: The gelato from Capogiro was completely unnecessary, but absolutely delicious. Again, like the true gluttons that we are, we all got different flavors and shared. The Strawberry-Tarragon was a big hit, but we also tasted Pistachio, Mango Sorbetto, Blood Orange Sorbetto, Mocha, Spearmint, Hibiscus Sorbetto and one other I can't remember (Andrew???). All delicious and now every single part of me feels like an appendage of my stomach!

Anyone that enjoys Greek cuisine ought to try out this festival this weekend. I know most of us who went tonight will probably go back at least once more!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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