Here's a recap of food from Greek Fest and the Rib Cookoff: BTW, the trick to enjoying both of these events is to get there early, get a great parking space, beat the crowds, and the heat.
Greek Fest: So many options but...not everything was ready when we got there (don't understand if the vendors KNOW the start time is 11 AM, wouldn't they time their stuff to be ready at 11 AM?).. but we were able to start with a standard Gyro.. no onions.. the best one I've ever had is still from the Fresno Fair, this one had way too much tzaziki and that combined with the drippy tomatoes made it one messy sandwich.. half the meat was tasty and somehow half was kinda dried out.. we had to wait 10 minutes for the oil in the fryer to heat up for the Greek Fries (again, why not start heating it earlier?) ..These were standard crinkle cut fries, tossed with garlic, feta, and oregano.. tastier when you got to the bottom and there were more toppings...otherwise pretty standard fries.. my daughter brought back some Haloumi (grilled Cyprus cheese on top of pita and cucumber), Spanokopita, and Tiropita (Spinach/Feta and Feta, both in phyllo..like a Greek quiche). LOVED the Tiropita! very rich.. We then went for lamb chops...SO SO SO good.. and very inexpensive.. at 2 dollars a piece. At some point we also tried a cinnamon flavored ouzo, and totally great Greek lager . There was also a Greek wine tasting...which was actually quite disappointing, except for the Greek Muscat which was remarkably light for a dessert wine. We then moved onto pastries (to try and absorb some of the alcohol in my blood so we didn't recreate the Serbian Fest Slivovic church tour mishap.). We tried four types, a pecan chocolate baklava, a powdered sugar butter cookie, a phyllo and custard pastry and a cake flavored with orange peel and coconut...all very good.
Then we went on to the Church tour which I highly recommend to anyone who appreciates architechture and art... it was breathtaking..(and I didn't trip...yay me!). It was also very interesting learning about the history of this particular church and the history of the Greek Orthodox church in general.
Before we left the Fest, we stopped by the food hall for some mousakka and lamb shank to go.. skip the lamb shank which didn't have much meat on it, and was alternately greasy and dry, and always have the mousakka.. the best in town as far as I'm concerned.
and hey, we got a to see the always entertaining and everypresent Kopi.. always a good time :)
Unlike the Greek Fest, all was ready to go when we got to the Rib Cookoff, we decided to go with rib samplers at as many places as we could, and split them.. The best of the bunch was with last year's winners Porky and Beans, crusty, sweet, sticky, and they gave us even more than we paid for.. got a lovely surprise from the Aussie team (besides the cute guys with sexy accents) in the form of shrimp skewers..best grilled shrimp ever...anywhere... it was well seasoned, NOT rubbery or overcooked...just delicious... with or without their fantastic Raspberry Chipotle bbq sauce... they can keep the "Aussome" cornbread though...too sweet and cakey. The rest of the ribs were average, sauces above average. We also tried to share a sandwich comprising of dry pulled pork, barely cooked maple bacon, drug store ham, and "pepper jack" cheese product. On a disintigrating bun. Gave that to my fiancee, between him and the dog they made short work of it. Overall, I think I'm over ribs, I liked the alternate meat selections and the way everything was set up...lots of shaded seating...very important here.. the only thing I'd wish for was a dessert booth...one likes something sweet after all that protein (sorry..didn't mean for that to sound dirty....it just DID).
So yeah, we had a tasty weekend... even got a few donuts out of the deal ...thank you BINGO DONUTS (SW corner of Shaw and Blackstone).