a couple's adventures in eating
What: Orlando Greek Fest 2012
Location: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 1217 Trinity Woods Lane Maitland, FL 32751
WHAT THEY ATE: The Dolmades Dinner Plate- Grape Leaves Stuffed With Lamb And Rice, Greek Style Green Beans, Tiropita, Spanakopita, & a side of Avgolemono soup. Dessert: Karithopita.
The Critique: I’m not quite sure how I’ve been with this beautiful Greek man for nearly three years without hitting up the local, annual Greek fest. This proved to be an outing that was as overdue as it was delicious.
If the long list of tongue-tying Greek terms above intimidates and confuses you, you may want to consult this comprehensive list of definitions. Once you’ve completed this task, grab a fork and go seek out all of the delicious items about which you’ve just learned.
Greek food is, hands down, our favorite cuisine in existence (tied with Southern dishes for Candace). It certainly doesn’t hurt that Timothy’s father is a true Greek (we’re not kidding, long white beard and all). That said, our great familiarity with the delectable genre of food may make us more apt to harshly judge Greek dishes. Call us pretentious, but we’re kindof over the trendiness of “Greek yogurt” and Greekifying everything (there is more to Greek food than feta cheese and olives). At the end of the day, sometimes you just want a traditional, classically prepared, good ole fashioned Greek dish. And that is 100% what we got at Greek fest.
For only $19.99, the dinner plate we ordered was an overwhelming portion of food glorious food. Additionally, the frizzy-haired woman behind the counter lived up to the Greek stereotype by offering us “as much pita bread as ya want.” The dolmades were piping hot with a perfectly balanced combination of moist rice and lamb brilliantly encased in a tightly rolled grape leaf that snapped with every bite. They are unquestionably the best dolmades we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. The avgolemono soup could only have been better were there air a little crisper (hot soup in the hot sun makes us sweat). The rice pilaf oozed of tangy lemon and garlic. The only thing that didn’t tickle our fancy were the Greek style green beans. Admittedly, this a Timothy specialty and we were forced to compare. They weren’t bad by any stretch, just not as flavorful and outrageously awesome as we are used to at home.
To top it all off, we ended our Greeky foray with karithopita, a soft walnut cake drenched in honey, and some Greek coffee (apparently, we hadn’t learned our lesson with the hot soup in the hot sun). Without being crumbly, the cake nearly disintegrates in your mouth with its velvety softness. Its light sweet flavor is the perfect complement to the boldness of our earlier meal.
Satisfied with our stuffed, protruding stomachs, we lit a candle of prayer in the church (prayers for the health and happiness of our families, and the omission of severe indigestion from our bodies), and said our reluctant goodbyes to the festive glory of Aegean dancers, feta cheese, Ouzo and sailor hats.
The Verdict: A beautiful and delicious cultural experience for two hungry newlyweds. 🙂