If you read Alex Hochman's review of last week's annual Greek food festival in San Francisco, and realize that you missed all the other Bay Area Greek festivals (Oakland, San Jose, Concord, Belmont, Vallejo), don't despair: There's still one more. Launching today is the 39th Annual Greek Festival at Resurrection Church in Castro Valley, the last Greek festival in the Bay Area this season. It even comes with a cheesy promo video (see above).
Although you won't need a translator, here are a few common phrases to help non-Greeks be Greek for a day:
Kalimera = good morning; kalispera = good afternoon; yassou = hello or goodbye; poso kanei? = how much is it?; efharisto = thank you; parakalo = you're welcome; milate anglika? = do you speak English?Expect live music, dance performances, even free Greek dance lessons. And there'll be a wide variety of dishes built for savoring the flavor of Greek cooking.
Most order the combo plate: choice of lamb or roasted chicken, served with pastitsio (baked pasta), rice pilaf, green beans casserole (aka fasolakia), bread, and a Greek salad with feta cheese and olives. A la carte menu options include gyros, grilled halloumi cheese, pork souvlaki (skewers), macaronada (Greek pasta sprinkled with Mizithra cheese), spanikopita, tiropeta, and on and on. And nearly a dozen pastries like baklava, loukoumades (warm honey dipped puffs), and katajfi (shredded dough filled with nuts dipped in syrup) to go with Greek or American coffee. Stronger beverages come in the form of Greek wines, beers, brandy, ouzo and other specialty drinks. Opa!
Go online to print the Greek Festival coupon to get $2 off your meal.
39th Annual Greek Festival Castro Valley
When: Oct. 1-3; Fri. 5-9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. noon-7 p.m.
Where: Resurrection Church, 20104 Center (at Veronica), Castro Valley, 510-581-8950 Free parking at Creekside Middle School, 19722 Center (at Paradise Knolls);a shuttle will take you to the festival