Greek Festival.

If you live in the southern California area, you should head up to Camarillo for the Greek Festival this weekend. It's small, but the dancing is fun, the people are friendly, and the food is frighteningly good. And if you need some help deciding what to eat, well that's where I come in.

GYRO: Gyro is actually the name of the meat that is typically served in this pita delight. From what I know, it's a combination of lamb and beef that's been slowly cooked on a rotating spit for a long ass time. As it cooks, the outer layers are sliced off. Add some tomato, lettuce, onion, and tzatziki sauce, and you've got a fucking Greek treasure.

SAGANAKI: Saganaki is basically a flaming cheese. When you order it at a restaurant, the waiter will dazzle your balls off by dousing it with some unknown alcohol and lighting it on fire. Americans love this kind of stuff. When you order it at the Greek festival, it probably won't be on fire because they will be serving it up en masse. But I can guarantee it's still going to taste like the bomb shizzle. If you're a greasy-cheese connoisseur like me, this is right up your alley.

TZATZIKI SAUCE: Greeks use tzatziki sauce like Americans use ketchup. This shit goes with everything. The recipe usually consists of Greek yogurt (there's a difference, trust me), lemon, garlic, cucumber, olive oil, and dill, but it can probably vary depending on who's making it. This sauce really does go with everything, so don't be afraid to dip any of your favorite Greek savories into it.

BAKLAVA: This is the sticky sweet dessert that everyone is familiar with. If you happen to be reading this and you're actually NOT one of my family members, then there's a chance you don't receive a box of this every Christmas and have no idea what it is. Baklava is a dessert made up of crispy phyllo dough, chopped nuts, cinnamon, and lots of syrup. If you're not into ooey, gooey sweets, this might not be the thing for you. But if you're anything like me (lucky you), you're going to want a few for the road.

GALATABOUREKO: This dessert is similar to baklava, only it has custard instead of nuts. It uses phyllo dough and has syrup, but it's not crispy. If you have issues eating softer foods like cooked peaches or cooked mushrooms, you might want to skip this one. But if you like custards, give this lesser known treat a shot.

KOURAMBIETHES: This is the safest route if you're not feeling very adventurous. They're basically airy shortbread cookies, covered in powdered sugar. If you're bringing the kids, these are a surefire crowd pleaser. Just make sure not to inhale as your biting. I've made that mistake more than once.

Lastly, no Greek party would be complete without a beer tent. See? There's something for everyone.

Admission is only $3. And if you go the festival link above, you can even print out free admission vouchers so you can visit my friend, Manolis.

So don't forget this weekend: Drop that zero and get with a gyro.

DISCLAIMER: If any of this information was incorrect, I apologize. It was based on my extensive knowledge of hostessing in a Greek restaurant and eating my way through the entire menu.


Bonnie said...

I don't eat things that I cannot pronounce.
I can't pronounce any of this.
I'm sad.

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Erin said...

Evil temptress. I just visited google to see if there are any greek festivals in my area and there were, like, three of them, and I missed them all. Must find a gyro, asap.

Anonymous said...

I'd been a little skeptic of Greek food until my office ordered it for a lunch meeting and then I was hooked! I really think that I could dip anything in tzatziki and it'd be delicious.

Nikosmommy said...

This is great! Where were you when we needed coverage of our local Greek festival this past weekend!?! My hubs and I volunteered for 2 days and worked our arses off. 10,000 people dropped by and it was a blast. The food is fabulous too!
It's without a doubt one of the best festivals in our city all year, though I might be biased cuz I married a greek and my last name has 14 letters and ends in 'opoulos' .....

Nikosmommy said...

P.S. I eat Tzatziki every SINGLE day and have for the last 10 years. It's one of my fave foods and I truly do put it on EVERYTHING!

M. Hicks said...

Please tell me the email food sythesizer is going to be linked to your blog soon! I always read your posts way to late at night and want to scream because none of these things are in my cupboard!
Greek food is my weakness. I'm making some dolmathes this weekend, so I can read you in peace.

Veronica Marcetti Dimick said...

Yum yum yum!! I love me some Greek food. Excellent Greek food Cliff Notes!

Cake Betch said...

Saganaki rules. So do Baklava (which I just found out were Greek, I always thought they were German?). The last time we went to a Greek joint they served Spicy Whipped Feta with pita... OMG. Amazing. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Sandra said...

Ya ya go ahead and brag about eating your way through the whole menu. Now I'm craving Greek food AND I'm starving. Not a good combo at 11:39pm.

Deborah said...

What about falafels? Or am I a weirdo because I love them.

And that sauce? Mmmm!

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

BONNIE - what? you don't eat anything you can't pronounce?!?! that's unfortunate. you're probably missing out on a ton of good shit. :)

ERIN - lol, i'm pretty sure i've never been called an evil temptress before. anyway. if you're hard pressed for a gyro, you can always go to Daphne's. their gyros are pretty legit considering it's a chain restaurant. look them up- i see there's one in sunnyvale.

NIKO - you should offer to do a write up like this for your local newspaper next year! maybe it will promote new visitors who don't really know what the food is like. or you could always blog about different menu items and link back to my page. ;) (see what i did there??)

M.HICKS - hey, i've never attempted making dolmades. you must be a sophisticated chef. how did they turn out? do you mostly use grape leaves and ground beef?

VERONICA - thanks! i figured it might be helpful for people who are intimidated by all the confusing names.

CAKE - yes!! saganaki DOES rule! especially when it's bubbling hot and i end up burning my mouth off bc i can't wait for it to cool.

SANDRA - having a healthy appetite and working in restaurants is a bad combination! trust me.

DEBS - yes! i like falafels too, but for some reason, they're a little too spicy for my fine palate. i can only have like two falafel balls, with lots of tahini, in one sitting.

Anonymous said...

The Greeks make the BEST food. When I was in Greece I never wanted to leave. You forgot to mention other tasty treats such as chicken suvlacki (sp) chicken on a stick, and Greek salad! Mmmmmm

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