In North Dallas, lies a beautiful, popular and richly historic gem. And no, it’s not a literal gem like you would find in lavish jewelry. But rather, it’s a rather large complex with breathtaking architecture and decor just off Hillcrest Drive near the decently upscale subdivision of Richardson. Here’s the interesting part, though.

 

Instead of a Smithsonian museum, it’s actually a Greek Orthodox church. Ever since 1956, The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church has hosted an annual festival of everything authentically Greek. Greek culture, Greek arts and crafts, and most importantly, Greek food and live cooking demonstrations.

 

(Greek Food Festival Dallas/Facebook)

Imagine if you left the very complicated roads of Dallas and jumped straight into a portal to Greece. That’s what The Dallas Greek Food Festival is. You leave behind everything stereotypically American if only for a few hours. Almost Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but replace chocolate with baklava.

 

Pulling up to the festival itself last Friday night, it was a madhouse. Endless amount of people, from every imaginable walk of life was present in numbers I’d only seen previously at Austin City Limits. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but still. It was very obvious walking throughout the grounds that throughout the 61 years of generously hosting this festival, The Dallas Greek Food Festival has gained quite a following.

 

In the Marketplace or “Agora” located in the social hall of the church, you could find a wide collection of handmade arts and crafts as well as fashion accessories. My personal favorite was the Good Luck Elephants, a hanging object with tiny cloth-donning elephants or maybe the Byzantine products. Also, the Agora was located right next to the cooking demo on pastitsio or Greek-style lasagna, so it’s location was quite convenient.

 

Approximately four times throughout each day of the weekend-long festival, there are live cooking and sampling demonstrations of many classic Greek dishes such as a tzatziki lesson and a demonstration on stuffed grape leaves, also known as dolmathes.

 

Inside the church with a beautiful painted rotunda on the ceilings almost in the same sense as The Sistine Chapel. Within the many ceiling paintings, you could find many, if not all, of the saints in the Greek Orthodox culture. The ceilings were completely consumed by these breathtaking murals of faith and the murals had a legend below them to be able to see which of the many saints pictured above is which.

 

Outside was the piece de resistance of The Dallas Greek Food Festival; the food itself. Spread across the festival, there were pastries in the entryway while the main courses were in the “taverna” which had constant musical and dancing shows accompanying it. Literally every type of Greek food that wasn’t saganaki was present. Everything from spanikopita to loukoumades and every dish in between was present in the “kouzina” or food court. We split the “Athenian Festival Feast”, which contained Greek-roasted chicken, lemon potatoes and stewed green beans.

 

Everything couldn’t have been better and more delicious. We enjoyed everything so much that we purchased a piece of baklava to go home with us. If only we had purchased six pieces of baklava for $12 per the deals in the Agora. Oh, well. There’s always next year at the 62nd Dallas Greek Food Festival.

 

Did you go to The Dallas Greek Food Festival? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff because I look forward to hearing about it.