WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s festival season and this weekend is one of NEPA’s most popular. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre is holding its annual Mini Greek Food Festival this week, a 15-year tradition that takes months of food preparation to get just right.
“Don’t even get me started with all the milk and cheese grated cheese we buy, and chickens by the hundreds. It’s a big deal,” said Theresa Karambelas, a volunteer at the food festival.
Among the options? Manestra, gyros, greek chicken, pastitsio, a layered ground beef with sauce on top, stuffed grape leaves, baklava, and more.
Chefs say the presentation is just as important as the taste.
“And those of us who eat with our eyes, which is most of us, we don’t want to send things out of this place that don’t look appetizing at because we don’t like to throw things together. We like to present it just as nicely as we would if we had it at home or so,” Karambelas explained.
I had the opportunity to taste test a few things and I can definitely say the galaktoboureko was my favorite, its made with layers of phyllo filled with custard and drizzled with sweet syrup on top.
“How did you enjoy that?” Karambelas asked.
“That is just as delicious as it looks,” said Eyewitness News Reporter Gianna Galli after tasting a galaktoboureko.
With the holiday weekend coming up, the festival is offering a Mother’s Day plate filled with Greek pastries for only $15.
“They’re already wrapped up so they have either an assortment of pastries or baklava, that’s the two popular ones that we have selected. Then you can just pick it up and go and you’re ready to go for Mother’s Day. So it’s another treat,” said Tom Iliadis, President of Church Council and Cook.
The church is counting on people to come out and enjoy a homemade cooked meal.
“It’s really humbling to see the folks, their dedication to the church, their dedication to the community, and their dedication to each other,” said Iliadis.
“We thank you for all your support because the church can’t continue without this,” Karambelas added.
The festival kicked off Wednesday and runs through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Dining options will be take-out only and pre-orders are recommended, though not required at least two hours in advance of your pick-up time.