Lesson learned: Do NOT go to the Annapolis Greek festival overly tired or not-hungry. The point is to eat and eat abundantly. As the brochure says, “Greek food is good and we have the figures to prove it!”
I’m kicking myself now. We parked easily at the high school right as the shuttle drove up, so getting the Greek festival was almost meant to be. There was music and dancing, vendors set up selling beautiful things including a 900AD Byzantine coin pendant that was absolutely amazing (and stuck in my head – go figure).
The shopping part was small – and then we found ourselves among the smells that hit us the moment we stepped out of the van. And here was the problem. Kirk just ran a tri. We all got up at 5am. And though we probably all should have eaten, no one was really hungry enough to take the initiative to stand in line, a line that would have been worth it. May be were just too tired to think. Who knows. All I know is that it smelled absolutely heavenly and every plate that walked by (sadly, in someone else’s hands) looked just perfect.
We did compromise by sharing a baklava sundae (thick scoops of crumbled baklava over a generous swirl of soft serve vanilla) and a bowls of loukoumades (honey dipped fried dough balls) which were so good it should have pushed us to the point of gluttony, but it didn’t.
And I blame exhaustion. We just didn’t have the umph in us to make a decision and navigate the lines. With a separate A La Carte area serving a huge selection of Greek foods from dolmades to avglemono, arni to pastitsio, another area serving Greek coffee and desserts, and yet another area specializing in gyros and souvlaki, it was too overwhelming and we were too indecisive.
Music played. We saw dancers in traditional Greek costumes. And the people who put this on are members of this beautiful Greek Orthodox church. This is authentic. The older lady behind the coffee counter sat in her black dress and head scarf. Her face tanned, and worn looked just like what you’d expect on a sun soaked island in the Aegean Sea.
Looking at the brochure I ignored while at the festival, I can see now how extensive the menu was and how much we missed… next year we’ll bring our appetites. In the mean time, it is as I told my girls. I can cook Greek. We’ll just have to have a Greek night at home. — Kalí óreksi!
1) Bring an appetite and room to spare. (That hole in your leg – bring it – fill it. You’ll thank me.)
2) Plan your day. Though food is definitely the highlight, you can enjoy beautiful music and dancing on various stages while eating or sipping red wine or ouzo.
3) Tour the church. It is gorgeous.
4) There is a child-friendly play zone for kids, so bring them along.
5) Park at the Annapolis Senior high school. The shuttle service is free and very efficient. You won’t wait long.
At Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church 2747 Riva Road; Annapolis, MD www.annapolisgreekfestival.org
“The good news is that for this weekend we have taken the word “calorie” out of the dictionary so sit back, relax, and take in all that we have to offer.”
2015 Dates: May 28-31