Belmont Greek Festival 2006

On Sunday September 3rd 2006, a friend and I headed to the Belmont Greek Festival around dinner time.

The festival was nearly identical to last year's: much space devoted to food and drinks, some space devoted to music and dancing, and a little space devoted to items for sale. And, like last year, as the night wore on, the crowd got younger in age until I was (or felt) older than most people there.

I wish I'd remembered how good the gyros were last year. These were the last things we had this year and they were excellent, clearly heads above everything else. Simply thinly sliced grilled meat served wrapped a terrific circular piece of bread (puffy and so vaguely naan-like but with a moister and less oily texture).

Before the gyros we tried a number of merely okay or decent items: fasolatha (thick hearty tomato-based soup), pilaf, souvlakia (grilled skewers of lamb), tiropita (baked filo dough filled with cheese), moussakka (eggplant and beef lasagna - this was huge and I always find it too meaty). Nothing we'd especially endorse.

We also tried three desserts. As expected, the loukoumades, deep fried honey balls dipped in honey, were definitely the best and worth the wait in the long line that sells them (and doesn't sell anything else). As for the other desserts, kataife, a exotic-looking version of baklava, was okay. It didn't have enough "content" -- too much air around the shredded pastry. (Look at the dessert pictures to see what I mean.) The other dessert, galactoboureko, was decent: filo dough filled with custard and topped with -you guessed it- honey. There is a theme in Greek desserts. :>

It was a nice way to spend two and a half hours. It didn't feel that long because we were always wandering around and looking at things or relaxedly waiting in some food line or another. And I learned one neat fact from the brochure: the independent market across the street from my apartment building is Greek.

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