| Events |

A Taste of Greece Festival In Chandler: All Greek and Good Eats

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

There are a few Greek festivals in the Valley and this weekend saw the celebration of A Taste of Greece festival held at Chandler's St. Katherine Church. The three-day event might not be the biggest Greek fest, but delivers on authenticity and spirit.

See our slideshow of the event.

All of the food at this extremely food-centric event is made by church members, which covers everything from stuffed grape leaves to the sweet, flaky baklava.

See also:17 Food Festivals in Metro Phoenix: Chow Bella's Fall 2013 Guide

At the Indoor Dining Hall festival goers could choose from a variety of hot Greek specialties. A la carte options included pastitso, a layered, baked macaroni dish with tomato-cinnamon meat sauce and béchamel sauce; moussaka, layered eggplant and potatoes with meat and béchamel sauce; or spanakopita, a spinach pie made with onions, cheese and herbs inside a filo dough crust. This is also where you could find the very good stuffed grape leaves, or dolmathes, which were served with lemon sauce.

The highlight of the indoor dining options would be the chicken and lamb dinner plates which included your choice of meat, rice pilaf, green beans, pita bread and salad for either $12 for half a chicken or $14 for lamb. We opted for the lamb shank dinner which meant a hearty portion of tender lamb that was nearly falling off the bone.

Outside were even more eating options as well as a small stage and a handful of vendors.

We skipped the Greek sausage (called Loukaniko) and Greek fries smothered in melted feta cheese, but couldn't resist the Saganaki, commonly called flaming cheese. Pan fried with lots of flair and served with a squeeze of lemon juice and pita, this dish is as much about the show as the taste -- which is very salty. And because you can't have Greek food without gyro, you could also have your choice of chicken or lamb gryo, though these options weren't the best offerings at the fest.

One of the most popular tents had to be the pastry tent, where hand-made sweets of all varieties were available for purchase. Of course there was baklava, the popular dessert of layered buttered filo pastry, spices and walnuts all drizzled with honey syrup. But this was also an opportunity to taste some less-familiar Greek desserts like Kourambiedes. These simple buttered cookies are topped with powdered sugar and are known as the national cookie of Greece. There was also Tsourekia, a traditional sweet Greek bread; Karithopita, a spiced walnut cake with honey lemon syrup; and Ravani, a semolina cake with syrup and orange zest.

And for a not-so-traditional sweet treat, go for the baklava sundae, which doesn't include any baklava at all we were surprised to discover. Instead this dessert comprises of a heaping mound of vanilla ice cream with baklava-like filling poured on top. The mix of spiced honey and nuts made for a delicious way to beat the lingering heat.

For good eats without the lines you usually associate with festival season, A Taste of Greece Festival takes the cake...er, baklava. Between the small size, easy parking situation (free parking at a nearby school with a free shuttle service) and homemade Greek cuisine this event offers plenty of reasons for a return visit.

For more information about the event visit the A Taste of Greece festival website.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.