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Events & Festivals 7

Oakland Greek Festival - mini report

Charlie T | May 19, 200603:50 PM

Just got back from the Greek Festival. We arrived at ~10:30am. Everyone was still setting up so we wandered and tried out what was ready. Walked around to the left and had a spanakopita (spinach & feta filo triangle). $3, very good. The next thing almost ready was the lamb/souvlaki table. They weren't good to go yet, but they cut us off a piece to try. The flavor was good, but was just a little past the way I like lamb, and by the time they were serving it 45 mins later, everything looked overcooked. There was also a whole lamb on a spit, to be served at 6pm, tickets must be purchased in advance at the lamb table.

Next up was the gyros tent. $5 and probably the best thing we had of the day. Very tasty and juicy, good yogurt sauce and onions, tomatoes in a soft warm thick pita.

By this time the dining room was ready. Big rows of tables and chairs, everything served off of a line of steam tables. We had:

lamb shanks - $6, big serving but tasted like poorly reheated leftovers. Texture wasn't that great, and had that musty, old gamely lamb taste.

lemon herb roast chicken - $5, had a choice of white or dark and took the dark. This is the best thing we tried off the steam table. Tender and moist meat, but would have been better a little crisper on the skin, with the fat rendered a bit more.

macaroni and egg casserole thing over ground meat - $4?, uninteresting, rubbery top and sloppy bottom.

beef and pearl onions in a slightly sweet tomato sauce - $5, got a tiny portion, about 4 tablespoons worth. unremarkable.

little cup of olives - $1? nothing great.

I'd suggest skipping the dining room/steam table experience. Would have tried the dolmas, but they were sitting in a giant tray of congealed olive oil, seemed like they had just come out of the fridge.

We went back around outside and would have gotten the calamari, but Barbara got turned off by the giant frozen bags of calamari. Who knows, maybe they would have been good. I got a greek sausage. The sausage was kind of charred, then tucked into the same pita that the gyros used. No toppings or condiments in sight.

The lamb chops? were being served at this point, so I asked someone how they were and got the answer "tough" and "small portion". So we skipped them.

Lemonade sounded good, and we ordered one for $1. It's the pink stuff from concentrate and they said they were still trying to figure out the mix ratios. Had a funky chemical/grapefruit aftertaste, so we tossed it.

On the way out we got a combination pastry selection to go, $7.

The location was great, awesome view. It looks like the dancing/events later this afternoon/evening could be fun. Lots of beer/wine available.

Link: http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandg...

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