Saint Sophia Greek Festival Fed a Community

This past weekend's Saint Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral provided just as delicious cuisine, but with a warm, old country feel.

This year marked the 33rd of the family affair, which cost $5 to enter. There were tables of jewelry for sale, chatty teenagers, and elderly ladies, who ruled the roost at food stations. The thing that brings Mediterranean culture together is what you can put in your mouth, though so without further ado, the food and piks of the event.

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Besides the gyros and kabobs being served outside, there were homemade traditional Greek plates inside. The moussaka and pastchio both were topped with the lightest, most flavorful béchamel custard. They were served in the perfect size (oversized) squares. With each platter you could choose either rice or lemony potatoes with herbs and a hint of cinnamon (the potatoes ruled), and a small Greek salad.

The requisite lamb was on the menu, and you could grab either a leg in brown gravy or a shank in Greek-style tomato sauce. Soutzoukakia maybe hard to say, but a grunt in the direction of these meatballs got them onto your plate. For the non-adventurous there was chicken oreganato and the phyllo treats tiropita and spanakopita.

The desserts were sweet and plentiful, but even though you'd be stuffed to the brim and satisfied, it was worth it to pick up some deep fried dough balls, loukoumades, sprinkled with honey, cinnamon, and walnuts. Feta, halvah, manouri, and jams like pergamot peel were also on sale to bring home to keep your kitchen Greek.

Yesterday was the last of the three-day affair, and it was well worth the visit. If you've never been to a church festival, you're missing out on one of the most wonderful, healing, community events around. St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral is located at 2401 SW 3rd Ave. (Coral Way & 24th Road). Make sure to check it out next year!

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