This past weekend we hit up a yearly local event right here in our cute little city - Knoxville's 34th annual Greek fest!
Greek fest is held at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church on Kingston Pike. It runs for 3 days, Friday through Sunday, with varying hours.
There is no parking at the church, but a free shuttle is available from the lower level of Western Plaza shopping center, Laurel Church of Christ, 2nd Presbyterian Church, and West High School.
Adult passes are $2 each, weekend passes are $3, and if you have kids 12 years old or under, they get to waltz right in for free!
Behind the church is a series of booths offering up some amazing Greek food, the undeniable best part of visiting the fest. There's also a stage surrounded by seating where you can enjoy some authentic Greek dancing!
Pastichio, Greek lasagna. Alternating layers of ziti noodles, grated cheese, and ground beef full of lots of delicious spices, and topped with a creamy sauce. You'll definitely get a hint of the holidays in the flavors of this dish with the addition of cinnamon to the spices. Sooo yummy.
Souvlaki - marinated and grilled pork tenderloin flavored with lemony herbs and served in a pita bread with diced tomatoes and thick tzatsiki sauce. We tried this last year as well and remembered that we really enjoyed it, so we had to get it again. We weren't disappointed!
Spanakopita - paper thin layers of baked and buttered phyllo dough are filled with a mixture of Greek feta cheese, eggs, and spinach. An absolute Greek classic.
Greek Pizza - individual little pies brushed with garlic and olive oil, topped with thin-sliced tomatoes, black olives, spinach leaves, and feta cheese. Yeaah, flavor was pretty much explosive in this thing.
When a rained out camping trip freed up our weekend to hit up Greek fest, one of the first things Matt said was, "Oh good, I get to have more of that chewy coffee!" He was referring to this incredible Greek coffee that is so thick and so bursting with goodness that yeah, it does feel like you should have to chew it, because no liquid beverage has any business being so delicious. Typical Greek coffee is brewed thick and the grounds are poured right into the cup with the coffee. Ya gotta try it. The coffee is served with a traditional Greek cookie, the koulourakia.
One of the dessert offerings includes this sinful baklava sundae, which is simply vanilla ice cream topped with shredded, ooey gooey chunks of baklava and syrup, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Divine.
Here are some other food offerings you'll find:
Roast lamb dinner - Roasted leg of lamb served with oven potatoes, Greek green beans and a dinner roll.
Lamb sandwich - Fresh sliced lamb served on a ciabatta bun.
Gyro sandwich - Beef and lamb slices in a pita bread, topped with tomatoes, onions, and tzatsiki sauce.
Souvlaki on a Stick - Marinated pork tenderloin chunks on a skewer.
Chicken in a Pocket - Marinated chicken strips served in a pita with grilled onions and peppers, topped with lettuce, tomato, and tzatsiki sauce.
Saganaki - Greek kasseri cheese flamed with brandy and finished with a squeeze of lemon and crusty bread.
Kids Greek pizza - Individual pizza with tomato sauce and cheese.
Kids meal - Chicken tenders and Greek fries.
Greek fries - Steak fries sprinkled with Greek spices.
Greek salad - Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions garnished with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and Greek dressing.
Loukoumades - Pastry puffs served warm with honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Beverages (other than that yummy Greek coffee) include Greek wines by the glass, Ouzo, draft beers, soft drinks, water and Frappes.
It's no secret that the Greeks know their pastries, and a selection of fresh Baklava, Finikia Galactoboureko, Kataifi, Kourambiedes, Koulourakia, and sweet breads are available by the box.
While the main event is definitely the delicious food, but there's also shopping inside featuring art, jewelry, clothing, and ceramics. Cooking demonstrations are available to learn how to make popular Greek dishes, and stop by Papou's Pantry for some authentic Greek ingredients. For the kids, there is face painting, games, and cookie decorating.
Were you at Greek fest this year? Let me know what you thought!