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Eating my way through the St. Demetrios Greek Festival

July 24, 2009 - Andy Gray
My favorite summer festival in the Mahoning Valley is the St. Demetrios Grecian Festival, which runs through Sunday at the church’s Community Center on Atlantic Street N.E. in Warren.

Why is it my favorite? The food. I eat Italian food year round so I don’t need the Italian-American Heritage Festival in Warren to get my fix. I’m a bigger fan of Irish music than its cuisine, so there’s nothing I crave despite my own Celtic heritage. And I don’t need an Oktoberfest to enjoy a beer and a brat.

But the Greek Fest means an opportunity to taste those delicacies that aren’t so readily available the rest of the year.

The rest of the Gray family ordered gyros, but I can get those other times of the year from John and Alex Vlahos, my favorite food vendors. I like their gyros so much, I wrote a haiku about them:

Ye-row, no jai-row

Whatever name you call them

Vlahos makes ‘em best

No, Thursday was a chance to get those treats that only the Greek festival offers.

Somehow, I don’t think that workout yesterday at the Niles Wellness Center is going to be enough to offset the grilled lamb on pita; the creamy, savory square of pastichio; the honey-soaked Greek donut (only one, though) and the baklava I sampled last night (or the baklava and kataifi that I brought home for today).

And that didn’t leave room for moussaka or the stuffed grape leaves or one of several other wonderful foods available at the event. Hopefully, I can make a return visit by Sunday.


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