Review: Lebanese Food Festival at St. Anthony's Maronite Church on Sadler Rd. Glen Allen Va.
Hands down the best food festival in Richmond Va.
This is how an ethnic food festival should be organized and held. Only authentic, home cooked, dishes are presented with ZERO items purchased and prepared from the frozen isles at Costco, as was the case at the disappointing Jewish food festival recently held.
This was a day filled with dancing, music, and great food, in a family friendly atmosphere, basked in the sun of this beautiful day in Richmond.
Steam tables, grills, and ovens, where filled with traditional offerings for the meat lover and vegetarian alike, including Bubbaghanooge (roasted eggplant dip), Loubiyeh (fresh green beans stewed with seasoned tomatoes) Zataar bread (spiced herb blend w/ or without ground beef baked on flat Syrian type bread), Chicken and Beef Shish Kabob, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Stuffed Squash, Meat Pies, Roasted Lamb, Shrimp Kabob, Shawirma (think Gyro), Falafal, Baked Chicken and Rice, Baked Kibbi (think tender meatloaf with pine nuts, onions, herbs and middle eastern spices stuffed in the middle), and a plethora of middle eastern desserts, and a large selection of wine and beer.
I and my companion ordered baked Chicken and Rice, Stuffed Squash, Baked Kibbi, Loubiyeh, Spinach/Cheese Pie, Stuffed Grape leaves and Zataar Bread (don't have a pic of the Zaatar Bread-it didn't make it 10 feet from the line - it was so good!)
I can keep my opinions about every single item simple - EXCELLENT on every level.
This grand festival wraps up tonight at 10 pm, and finalizes Sunday 5/18/14 at 8 pm, so if you want a tour of the best middle eastern cuisine you can find in Richmond, GO!
The lines are long and parking spreads out through the neighborhood. If you have a vehicle with higher ground clearance parking is available along the grassy areas just off the main road by the church, otherwise you may have to walk just a little to the event.
Also, you can pre-order "To-go" by calling 804-270-7234, or 804-346-1161. (search online to download the menu) Everything except Kabobs, desserts and grilled items can be ordered, and you can pick them up and begin your meal, while everyone else waits in line. Then you can stand in the fast moving line for grilled items and desserts, with a belly that's not growling while viewing the vast array of deliciousness presented.
Stay for the traditional dancing and music to round out the experience.
St. Anthony's offers a lovely, inviting atmosphere at this excellent food festival, where all can enjoy this trip to Lebanon without leaving Richmond.