Lunch Date 4 – Greek Style
|Dolmas, Beef Gyros and Beer|
I love this time of year when the annual food festivals appear on the calendar nearly every weekend from now until September. On the Central Coast we have our share of events; Artichoke, Garlic, Mushroom Festivals along with the Art and Wine weekends to pick and choose from. Most of these are run by volunteers as fundraisers for various charities and non-profits. Talk about your win-win situations! This Saturday, a quick fifteen minute drive took us to Greece. Parking on a side street, and a leisurely two block stroll and suddenly we were at a Greek Taverna. The lively music got us swaying before we could even see the blue and white flag flying over the Gyros concessionaire. Opa! The annual Greek Food Festival was in full swing in downtown Santa Cruz. Tables spilled over on the side lawn and filled the courtyard at the back of the church. Good luck finding a seat with the hundreds of happy festival go-ers with plates piled high with Moussaka, Dolmas, Gyros, Calamari, Spanakakopita, Greek Salads, Lamb Shanks and a host of traditional desserts. Good thing the organizers had built on “to-go” sections for take out!
Hospitality prevailed and we shared a table with a lovely family. My darling dear and I had the Beef Gyros with fresh tomatoes, red onion on soft pita, a few stuffed grape leaves (Dolmas) and finished with those addictive Loukoumades. Which are golden puffs of fried dough that are bathed in sweet syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts, sometimes called Honey Balls.
Special thanks to the legion of volunteers from Prophet Elias Church in Santa Cruz who recreated taverna style dining in their Mediterranean courtyard. We enjoyed the authentic, handcrafted Greek food, made with love. Wish us luck in winning the trip raffle!