This weekend is the annual International Greek Food Festival at Little Rock's Greek Annunciation Church out on Napa Valley Road. It's the 28th year for the event. I've been going since it was pretty darn small -- and since I was pretty darn small. And I've learned a few things.
and let someone else do the parking while you go about your eating and relaxing.
A third thing to know about: the festival is a great place to shop. There's the market, which offers Greek cooking specialties such as oil, vinegar and olives. There are Greek costumes, toys, those fascinating little dolls that live inside other dolls, scarfs, lamps, paintings, jewelry and more. This is a great place to shop for that person in your life who has everything.
Another thing to note -- while there's a lot of food available to eat right there, you can also take home frozen pastichio (think Greek lasagna), tirapetes (cheese-filled triangles) and spanikopita (spinach and cheese filled triangles). Over by the end of the pastry section there's a man with a cooler who will sell you frozen goodies to put in your freezer and cook up later. The kids will never know how you managed that fancy Greek cooking months from now!
There's also the drive-thru. See, the International Greek Food Festival is the state's largest food festival, and there's a big demand on what's available. For some, the only reason they go is for a hot gyro plate. You can get a gyro, a k-bob, hummus or pastries without ever leaving your car.
My last bit of advice -- go often. There are so many things to see and do at the festival, it's hard to choose just a few. Go shopping. Come back and eat and enjoy the entertainment. Return the next day. It's a unique experience and it's tasty, too.
I just gotta mention -- that pastichio platter is $10, comes with a block of pastichio, a square of spanikopita and some Greek salad and a half a pita. The pastichio? It's light and airy on top and full of flavor, thanks to a homemade bechemel sauce that ties cheese, ground beef and pasta together.
For more information on the International Greek Food Festival, check out the event website.