The tents have been taunting me for two weeks. Next to my old apartment, giant tents have been gleaming in the sunlight for two weeks. The signs for the Newport News Greek Festival went up around the same time. I was actually glad that I didn’t have to be out of my old apartment for another two weeks, because it meant I could park in my spot and go to the festival. This location is one of the few good things about my old home.
I went with my BFF and another friend, C, to move out some more of my stuff. (In my original imagining, it would all be out and we’d be cleaning. That was a pipe dream, my friend.) We’re down to the last bit, but my fiancé is getting a little frustrated and even I wonder where it all comes from. I can pack it in, that’s for sure!
(I’m trying to downsize. Trying being the operative word)
We attended the Festival in the Fall and while the food was delicious, we were underwhelmed by the rest of the offerings. Everyone insisted that it was because it was the fall version. They assured us that the summer version was much better.
There was more traffic than I expected yesterday, because of the festival, which also had a drive thru built in the parking lot. I mean, let’s be honest, most of us (me included) were really just there for the food. And the smells… The scent of roasted lamb, honey and filo pastry, and spanakopita really were to die for. It’s probably better than I don’t live in that apartment anymore. Otherwise the sound of Greek music and those smells would be my undoing for three days!
Anyway, when we went inside the Hellenic Center attached to the church, there were about twenty vendors set up. Mostly jewelry and scarves, clothing, and a few other items. Some hand painted ceramic bowls that were really beautiful, and an entire table dedicated to the evil eye in any form you could want. Blue glass eyes glinted from rings, anklets, lanterns, key chains, and bracelets, among other things. The only thing that really caught my eye was a table of award winning olive oil. Expensive, but tasty. As I’m going back on the last trip to the apartment with my parents Saturday, I might come home with some of that. Really good olive oil is worth a little more. We’ll just have to ration it out. At twenty dollars a bottle, I don’t want to waste it!
After a very brief turn around the vendor room, to at least pretend like we were there to shop as well as eat, we headed for the food. This was all under in the giant tents outside. The smells were wonderful, and it was hard to decide what I wanted. Maybe that’s why they’d put the food out there – the scent would draw people in. The fiancé had already put in an order for a gyro, so I decided to just get two. On the return trip I’ll get the spanakopita and dolmades if I want them.
Once we’d made our choices, we headed back to the pastry counter. It is mouthwatering. Kouriambeithes, baklava, baklava brownies – so much I would love to eat, and probably shouldn’t. We all bought too much, but they were delicious. My kouriambeithe was a crumbly, powdery, messy delight.
As a whole, we decided, it wasn’t really so much better than Fall. But seeing as we were there for the food, that really didn’t bother us much. I’ll see what is different on Saturday. We were there early on the first day, after all. I’ll try to get some pictures on Saturday and add them in.
Hopefully another gyro will ease my fiancé’s pain as I bring another pile of stuff into the new place.