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Events & Festivals 8

SFLS #21 – Greek Food Festival Chowdown

Melanie Wong | Sep 19, 200405:56 PM

On Friday, “solly” rounded up the lunch hounds to check out the opening hours of the San Francisco Greek Food Festival ( The upper left picture shows the eager chowhounds at the head of the buffet line. The lower left shot is my own tray with moussaka, pork souvlaki, dolmades, and a little cup of skordalia. The upper right photo is Derek’s tray loaded down with pilaf, pastitsio, lemon roast chicken, pork souvlaki, rice pudding, taramasalata, skordalia, Dutch crunch rolls (!), and diet Coke which set him back nearly $30. The lower right quadrant depicts baklava and the honey cookie. The church volunteers prepared the food.

As others have mentioned, the food from the buffet line was rather disappointing and mostly under seasoned. The filling for the spanakopita was a bit tired and listless. We liked the tiropita, which had almost too much cheese filling, better. The chicken could have been good but had lost something being held in a warming oven and on the steam table. The béchamel sauce topping on the pastitsio and moussaka had a nice nutmeg note. I liked the moussaka until I got to the potato layer on the bottom that was strangely sweet. The pastitsio was nice and meaty but lacked something. The taramasalata had an acrid, sour note.

Luckily, we overheard a woman at a nearby table rave about the stuffed bell pepper and we sent our late arrival, Malik, for a sample. This turned out to be the consensus favorite. Also good were the braised Romano beans, infused with savory flavors, that Alex had the good sense to order. The skordalia was nice with sweet garlicky goodness.

Besides the desserts depicted below, we also had galaktoboureko, kourabies, and the cylindrical thingie wrapped with fine birds nest filo. The chockfull of nuts baklava was the pick of the litter, and the others did not invite a second bite.

At lunch time, there's no admission charge even if you have a coupon. But the gyro, grilled lamb chop, and loukoumades stands were idle. Maybe those offered tastier treats in the evening.


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