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Things To Do This Weekend- PITA PITA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michelle Canulla   

Greek Food Festival
Annunciation Greek Church
Napa Valley Dr Little Rock
Fri, Sat, Sun (May 20-22)
With the spring to summer transition in Arkansas, there are so many opportunities to find a marvel of fresh foods. This week, Recession Foodie is heading to the Greek Food Festival.

For the few that may not have heard of this event, you should get out more. This is big. It’s basically a huge cook out with cultural actives, infused with wonderful smells permeating the air.

This festival is great because it gives everyone the opportunity to have a taste of being Greek, if only for a little while. It also offers traditional cultural dances and music.

The ever growing popularity of this event has some benefits. For instance, they now have a trolley. That means the long hike has been reduced to a few steps.

Now, you can place orders online-  then get into that pick-up line which is a bit faster than the  drive –thru line. Lastly, they have a larger variety of foods.

I do recommend going Saturday and Sunday as it is not too expensive. There are a lot of different foods to try. You can also get a little sun. Watch people. Or, whatever. Spend and enjoy. The money goes to 20 charities. 

The main attraction of this event, of course, are the Gyros (Yee-roh) and then the baklava; they have so much more. 

Basically, it’s like taking a trip of the Balkan and Middle Eastern areas; these cultures take and give to the other and it can be seen and better yet tasted it their foods.

Many come in a serving, platter, or dinner- the platter has side dishes.

The drive-thru is open throughout the festival; HOWEVER the drive-thru will offer a limited menu. (Drive-thru menu:  Greek chicken dinner platter or gyros platter, and baklava or assorted pastry plates.)

On Friday, they kick off with probably the largest drive thru in Arkansas. Be prepared. The traffic is often a crawl, the lines are long and the waiting….. with Price of gas who can afford to wait for 30 minutes in your car to get your food?

Ready or not, Friday is coming and my other half is already salivating with the anticipating Meat on a stick. (Something about roasted meat on a stick brings out the primal side of people, especially men.)  

If you cannot wait to partake and start on Friday; my other half and I have worked out a plan that is successful.

You might consider something similar.

MISSION- Get Greek Food for you, your office, and for a snack later on friday.
This works and it can be fun or funny to watch.

Plan:  Get Greek Food; Go through Drive-thru; A designated driver & runner.

Get a spry, preferably younger or fit person. The new kid can be really fun. You could tell them if there is one mistake, they will be fired. See, you can have fun at the office while eating well.

Whomever you pick --make sure they carry a copy paper box.

The driver selected lets the runner out near the church. By the time the driver can make it back around, it’s done. 

The runner hits the following:

1. Gyro Booth (usually a big line so will have to wait about 10 minutes)

2. Chicken K-bobs

3. Hummus

4. Baklava & Spanakopitas:  Inside hall are all the Greek pastries including the much coveted
Baklava. Buy now because by Saturday afternoon, they are scare.

5. Greek Salad

6. Falafel

7. Chicken

Get back in car mission accomplished. For those less familiar, these are the various foods you can find:

Gyros- Meat of a lamb and beef cooked on a  vertical spit  served on a pita with tomatoes, onions, taztiki  which is a yogurt sauce made with cucumbers and lemon.)
Falafels (Fah-Lah-Full) are fried  balls made with Chickpeas (sometimes Fava Beans-yum). Kind of meatball but without the meat and you would never notice because they are so delicious. Also served with tomatoes, onions and tahini (a sesame paste with lemon) sauce on a pita.

Roasted Chicken- roasted with olive oil, lemon and spices. Served with roasted potatoes and pita.

Loukanika (Loo-kah-ne-Kah)- a Greek sausage keeping with the same seasoning and grilled.

Lamb- Roasted and served as a dinner or a sandwich. Either way is great. It’s prepared in a Greek tradition. Slow Roasted marinated lamb in herbs, olive oil. The sandwich has feta on top while the dinner comes with vegetables and roasted potatoes.

Souvlaki (Soo-Vlah-Kee) or K-bobs- meat on a stick-Usually chicken or pork marinated in greek herbs with olive oil.  Served with pita.

Calamari- (fried Squid) with a dipping sauce

Spanakopitas (Spa-Nah-Koh-pita)- its filo dough, which is a thin pastry dough brushed with butter andlayered. The filling is spinach, feta and season.

Greek salads: this means it must have Kalamata Olives and feta usually with a vinaigrette. 
Tabbouleh Salad (tah-BOO-Lee) -Cracked wheat with parsley (sometimes a bit of mint), tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions with a lemon olive oil vinaigrette.

Baba ghanoush- a dip made with eggplant

Hummus- a dip made with chickpeas and tahini (a sesame paste), lemon, garlic both dips are served with pitas.

I will be there for the culture and more food than even I can imagine.

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