New Orleans Greek Festival, the annual Memorial Day weekend festival on the shore of Bayou St. John, began in 1973. "It can be hard to fathom a year into the future, much less 47!" reads the 2020 Greek Fest website, exuberant about celebrating its 47th year. That year turned out to be beyond unpredictable. Greek Fest, like all other large-scale events, hit a detour. Instead of coming back as before, Greek Fest worked out a safe, convenient, and delicious alternative: Greek Feast.
Like the December Greek Fest before it, the upcoming Spring Greek Feast is a one-day venture. Diners place their orders in advance and, on March 20th, drive up to the Hellenic Cultural Center on 1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd. to pick up their authentic Greek dishes of choice. Ordering is made simple through the online ordering portal on Greek Feast's website. Select from a variety of different dishes, running the gamut from appetizers and entrees to desserts. We personally love that the menu allows you to get up to 100 orders of each dish (be right back, getting 100 orders of galaktoboureko). Be sure to place yours before the deadline on March 7, 2021.
Looking at the photos from the 2019 Greek Fest is bittersweet. In the cover photo, tents and people fill the lot flanking Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The first Greek Orthodox church in the Americas, its virescent Byzantine dome meets the Louisiana clear blue sky. It's clear that this event is as popular as it is important to the Greek community that is hosting it. Through the various pictures, a portrait of the day can be pieced together. A crowd gathers to watch a cooking demonstration, kids grin from behind their fantastical face paint, shoppers admire colorful imported items, and the food! There is so much ravishing, ambrosial, picturesque food.
So if for the second year in a row the wildly talented Hellenic Dance ensemble can't put on a show to an auditorium packed with an impressed crowd, well, at least there is that aforementioned food. Take a look at Spring Greek Feasts menu here:
Fakes (Lentil Soup)
1 pint of hearty, homemade lentil soup with carrots, onions, celery, and Greek herbs and seasonings.
Horiatiki (Village) Salad
Fresh cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, red onion, capers, feta, olives, oregano, and olive oil.
Maroulosalata (Lettuce Salad)
Ribbons of green leaf lettuce, green onions, fresh dill, and parsley sprinkled with feta. Dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Orzo with Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, parsley, capers, feta, red onions, and olive oil.
Appetizers, Dips, Seasoning
Spicy feta dip with roasted red peppers, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
Fage Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic, and balsamic vinegar.
Medley of tzatziki and tirokafteri (spicy feta dip), kefalotyri cheese, pita wedges, and dolmades.
4 oz. spice jar filled with salt-free special mixture of traditional Greek herbs blended especially for Greek Feast.
Lamb Shank w Lemon Potatoes and Greek Green Beans
Slow roasted lamb shank seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano. Served with lemon potatoes and Greek style stewed green beans.
A classic Greek casserole. Layered with eggplant, potatoes, meat sauce, and bechamel.
Bifteki Pita Wrap
6 oz. seasoned ground beef and pork patty served with red onions, lettuce, tomato, parsley, and tzatziki. Served with a side of oregano potato chips.
7" round pizza topped with roasted eggplant, onion, tomato, spinach, artichoke, feta, and mozzarella.
Breads, Breads, Breads!!!!!*
12 frozen ground almond-filled individual rolls ready for baking.
2 lb. loaf of rustic, homemade Greek bread made with whole wheat blend. Frozen to maintain freshness.
3 individual 7" rounds.
*Stylized enthusiasm expressed for this category belongs to the writer of this article.
A small (6 count) or large (12 count) box filled with the irresistible pastry. Layers of filo, walnut, cinnamon, and sugar mixture, sweetened with honey syrup.
12 frozen custard filled individual rolls. Ready to bake. Syrup included.
Decadent pastry with shredded filo, pecans, syrup, custard, whipped topping, cherry, and dusted with cinnamon.
Remember to place an order on the Greek Feast website page by March 7 in order to pick up your food on March 20.