Review: Middle Eastern Food Festival

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St. George the Great-Martyr Melkite Greek-Catholic Church

Each year, St. George opens its doors to the community and hosts a Middle Eastern Food Festival filled with Arabic music, dance, art and delicious food. Large tents with tables underneath are set up in the parking lot to accommodate the hundreds of people who return to the festival, year after year. Parking can be difficult at peak times, so bring your walking shoes!

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After arriving around mid-day on Friday, we jumped in line, chose our plates, and paid. We were then directed to the food line, with our order tickets. It seemed a little long, but moved quickly.

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We were then served our meals from a hot table. The staff was extremely welcoming and friendly.

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We tried The Nile, which includes: One half pound baked kibbee, 3 rolled grape leaves, rice, green beans, arabic salad and bread, and your choice of spinach or meat pie. Enough for lunch and dinner.

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The food is very consistent from year-to-year, although it seemed almost better this year. The kibbee has just the right amount of flavor. The rice is mixed with short vermicelli noodles, adding to the dish. The Italian green beans are slowly simmered in a tomato/onion sauce, perfectly capturing the flavor. The meat and rice stuffed grape leaves offer a slight lemony-tart taste, a nice compliment to the meal.

After stuffing ourselves, we returned inside to complete our experience the only way we knew how: by picking up some desserts to-go.  The decadently-displayed dessert tables are the most striking part of this festival and we definitely couldn’t leave without a few varieties. Our favorite: The Walnut Baklava. It was the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy.

 

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