-4 Snaps! Strongly recommended
The 2017 edition of the Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church kicked off this weekend and continues for 3 days. And, Orthodox Greeks know how to party. Along with loads of options for Greek food the festival offers traditional Greek dancing (with lessons if you are so inclined), lots of beer, wine, and mixed drinks, and tons of activities for the kids.
I took the time to participate in the church tour which was complimented by traditional choir music and an interesting (but short) lecture by Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis about the history of the Greek Orthodoxy and the building of the Tampa church as well. If you go, take the time to take the tour! A little education and delish food all in one trip is a great afternoon!
Like any foodie worth their salt, I started with dessert first. Loukoumades are balls of pastry pushed out 3 at a time into hot oil where they are deep fried until golden brown, the covered with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon. While the Baklava later was good, these little numbers are hot and crispy!
Even with all the great food around I still went with a favorite- The Gyro. It had tender slices of lamb that are nice and peppery, the tomatoes are fresh, and the tzatziki is creamy with just enough to make a mess. It may have tasted better because of the high energy atmosphere with pop greek music playing in the Opa tent. At at any point, hand clapping breaks out to the time of the music, people start dancing in place, and bells at the bar ring from tips.