The 31st Greek Festival is being held at the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff this weekend. The festival is definitely worth your time -- don't be surprised if you leave saying, “Opa!”
I'm not Greek (go figure, with a last name of Martin), but it doesn't take someone who's Greek to appreciate the culture, sounds and tastes of the country. Organizers said the highlight of the festival is the popular Greek combination dinner that features souvlakia (barbecued shish kebab), spanakopita (spinach pita), pastitso (Greek lasagna), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves with rice), pilafe (Greek rice), and an Athenian salad with olives and feta cheese.
It doesn't disappoint, but you might want to think about sharing the $14 plate with a friend, because it is a lot of food.
Don't forget the dessert. The festival offers a wide variety of Greek pastries, with a section where you can sample Greek desserts, including the popular baklava. Traditional drinks are available, but if you're looking for something Greek, there’s great imported beer.
The festival also features live music and booths with traditional Greek goods. There's also a chance to win a car: The festival is raffling off a 2010 Mercedes Benz C300 sedan. While your'e there, take a church tour to view the interior mosaics and marble, from 1-4 p.m.
The festival is at 3459 Manchester Ave., right off Interstate 5. Ample parking is available at Mira Costa College next door. All proceeds benefit the church building fund and charities throughout the community.
The festival started Saturday but is also taking place on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.