When it comes to Greek food, it's not all Greek to me. Names like spanakopeta, moussaka, pastitsio speak to me just like the Sirens spoke to hungry sailors in the Odyssey. But without the evil overtones. Except for the Ouzo hangover and maybe the calories.
But back to order of the day, specifically the 54th Annual Greek Food Opa! Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. Stuff dreams are made of. Or, in this case, stuffed dolmathes - better known as grape leaves.
Opa indeed! (Opa is a common Greek expression used while eating dinner; as in - Cheers to the Chef!) I like that in the Greek culture, at least according to Wikipedia, exclaiming Opa! is sometimes accompanied by plate smashing. Now that's my kind of dinner...dinner with an exclamation point and no dishes to wash!
So here's the skinny on this my favorite Pittsburgh food festival that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. The line at St. Nick's is literally outside the door at the dinner hour. We're talking blocks-long, waiting for the ATM to withdraw money long. (Note to the EU: can you please help Greece out with a loan? If for nothing but their incredible culinary deliciousness?)
So how do you go to the front of the line? By ordering online! That's right, the forces behind the "Best Food Festival" (voted by City Paper readers) have an online order form where you can easily place and pay for your takeout order and go to the line where there's, well, no line.
Sadly, you'll have to wait until 2016 to use this insider's guide to ordering Greek, as that yummiliscious festival took place in May. But it's not too late to get your taste buds ready for the Ambridge Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church's 22nd Annual Food Festival coming soon - July 15-18. Or the 31st Annual Greek Food Festival of the Presentation of Christ 'Ypapanti' Greek Orthodox Church, August 20-23. Or the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church's Food Festival, September 2-6.
Lynne Glover is a Pittsburgh native and bridge lover. She’s been known to stop in her tracks to collect a particularly nice rock (or pinecone) and finds joy in the simple act of looking up. She’ll turn 40 next September. Again. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter