Saganaki - Fried Greek Cheese Flamed with Brandy

Saganaki – Fried Greek Cheese Flamed with Brandy

Orange County’s 36th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 27-29 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church (4949 Alton Parkway, between Culver Drive and Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92604). More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, authentic Greek dancing with lessons and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens.

Festival hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 27; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 28; and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 29. Festival admission is just $3 per person with free admission on Saturday, June 28 from noon – 5 p.m. for seniors older than 65 years. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free (with parents or an adult) throughout the three-day festival. Free festival parking will also be available, with complimentary shuttle buses transporting guests from public parking sites in Irvine.

Greek cuisine and hospitality will be the focal points as the festival will feature authentic recipes for traditional Greek dishes, delicious pastries and a variety of beverages, highlighted with a wine “Taverna,” offering Greek wine and beer. The traditional Greek menu will include Chicken, Lamb Chops, Greek French Fries, Gyros, Pastichio (Greek lasagna), Loucanico (Greek sausage), Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), Saganaki (Greek brandy-flamed cheese), Loukoumathes (Greek doughnut holes), Greek Salad, Calamari and more. There will also be a Greek coffeehouse set up to serve Greek and American coffee drinks in a traditional Plaka setting with Greek dance lessons offered free to all. The Philoptochos, the church’s philanthropic group, will bake around the clock during the weeks leading up to the festival to prepare traditional Baklava and other exquisite pastries.

A family-friendly affair, the festival will be lined with boutique shops, a variety of games and a full-scale carnival. Event attendees can also enter an opportunity drawing for the chance to win one of three premiere prizes, with a Grand Prize of $3,000 and 2nd Prize of $1,200 and 3rd Prize of a 60” television.

Check out our visit from the 2012 Taste of Greece here!

For more information on the “A Taste of Greece” festival, please visit www.IrvineGreekFest.com.

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