I've spent more time at church this weekend than I've slept this weekend. You'd think Jesus really loves me by now, but the time spent was committing sin like offenses. Sadly, I did not step foot into the actual church. I was too busy...Eating.
Starving and cranky we needed sustenance fast. The shortest line happened to be my favorite type of Greek food: Mezedes, or small tapas style plates. Orders of Greek scampi, keftethes, kalamari and saganaki were all we could carry in our hands and enough to suffice our bellies before attacking another line. We devoured the sagnaki first, not wanting it to get any colder. If I could add to the description below: a slab of kayseri cheese fried enough to make a crust on the outside then doused with brandy and a squeeze of a lemon wedge. Next came the Keftethes, a type of soft Greek meatball often flavored with ouzo and mint but tweaked differently by every Greek grandmother, came close to rivaling those of my esteemed Aunt Mary's version. The Greek scampi was perfectly cooked shrimp in a light garlicky tomato broth with feta: delicious. The poor kalamari belonged in hooters but 3 out of 4 is not bad!
Greek wine (Moscofilero, one of my favorite white wines), Mythos Beer, and ouzo. The booth volunteers did a good job at pouring to the rim. Eating (Again).
Time to hit the obligatory gyro stand. The amount of spinning meats was more than I've ever seen at any Greek festival. There must have been 5 spinning at once. After having loukamathes hangover at St. Catherine's Redondo Beach Greek Festival, I decided to have Spanakopita for dessert. Spanakopita is my favorite food on planet earth. Maybe that's why I never complained being called Olive Oyl all throughout early adolescence. Dirty Dancing.
Anna Vissi, the Madonna of Greece, and member of St. Sophia, gave a free concert. My friend, George, was invited up on stage to shake his bon bon with her. George will be telling his great grand kids about this 60 years from now.Hi, I'm a statue selling plates of carnations to chuck at Anna Vissi or whoever else you have a crush on. Drama.
Processions and plays galore. The entertainment and drama could not be stopped. The actors, perhaps having Anna Vissi stage envy, raided the cat walk! Smoking.
Bad, bad, bad black lungs. Friends returning from month long vacations to the Patrida (motherland) came back with cool things we don't have in America, such as uber trendy accessorize-esque boxettes of Virginia Slims.Sin.
And by the end, all I needed were devil horns to complete the weekend! In the meantime, I promise to go inside the church every time I'm at St. Sophia's in the Byzantine Latino Headquarters until next year, at least.
L.A. Greek Fest
Saint Sophia Cathedral
1324 N. Normandie Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006