Saturday, June 11, 2011

#203: St. Andrew's Greek Festival

Just a few minute south of the Michigan border and a 15 minute drive north of downtown South Bend, you can find a little corner of Greece this weekend.  St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church is celebrating their Mediterranean roots this Saturday and Sunday with a festival fit for the Gods of Mount Olympus.  You'll find carnival games and a climbing wall for the kids, traditional Greek dancing for the adventurous or musically-inclined, and then there's the food.... oh dear god, the food...

From spanakopita to souvlaki, baklava to kataife, and gyros to huge chunks of feta cheese, you will not leave St. Andrew's Greek Festival hungry.  This summer fest features all of the classic Grecian dishes.  Last night, we stopped by the fest for dinner, and between the two of us, we had a modest meal of spanakopita, Greek salad, gyros, a few pastries, and a couple beers.  Suffices to say that we both left very happy and very full.

Where: 52455 Ironwood Road, South Bend
When: Saturday, 12 pm to 11 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm
Cost:  General admission for the festival is $3 after 4 pm on Saturday and $2 after 2 pm on Sunday.  Children under 12 are free.
Tip: Gyros are only 5 tickets ($5) and the best deal on the menu by far. Of course, don't miss the pastries.  Do yourself a favor and take a break from your swim-suit-season diet.  This food is to die for.
Parking: Free - located to the north and west of the church

Missing out on the food at this event would be foolish, but failing to experience to energy and hospitality of South Bend's Greek community would be a serious mistake.  Not unlike having Polish sausage and noodles on Dyngus Day or corn beef and hash on St. Patrick's Day, enjoying a gyros and Keo under the blue and white tent at St. Andrew's is not just about food - it's about community, family, heritage, the good life, and yes, a good meal.  Like the banner on the back of the stage encourages "Experience the Greek life. Join the fun!"

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