Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blissfully Greek to me

The Greek festival, my favorite of the summer ethnic festivals (dare I say my favorite festival period?) was this past weekend. It was a very, very full weekend, but we managed to pack in a few hours to listen to bouzouki and eat spanakopida made by little old Greek ladies.

I love the little old Greek ladies, who get together and cook trays and trays and trays of this wonderful food to be sold at this festival. I could kiss them on both of their cheeks, tell them how much love I can taste in the food, applaud, and then maybe kidnap them and force them to show me how to make it all. But I don't. I just make mmmmhh and yummy sounds.

Actually, we ate ...

dolmades- grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground meat, cooked with olive oil and lemons

moussaka- eggplant casserole, comforty and wonderful

pastitsio- a baked noodle dish with ground beef and a creamy bechamel sauce

spanakopida- phyllo dough, feta and spinach, baked

tyropida- spanakopida without the spinach, basically

Mythos, a Greek beer-a not amazing, not terrible, summer drinking beer

saganaki-crazy fried cheese, not breaded; marinated, seared but not liquefied, hit with a flame inducing squirt of lemon and cooking wine, served with pita. Sounds Japanese.

You just can't get food like this the rest of the year. It's the little old Greek ladies or bust. That being said, if you get a hankering for dolmades, and the ones at the Olive Bar at Wegman's are not cutting it, I can recommend Peninsula Gateway. It's a little shop that doesn't quite know what it is, near the corner of 6th street and Peninsula Drive. It sells beer, pop, hot dogs and Greek food, apparently. I was pleased but puzzled. I do suggest you bring along a half lemon, because while the dolmades are lovely, they are not nearly lemony enough for my tastes.

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