The El Paso Greek Festival served up a good time

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Special to the Prospector

Greek dolmades were served at this years Greek Fest.

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

On Sunday, Aug. 23, my stepmom and I made our way to the El Paso Greek Festival on Festival Street. Housed inside giant white tents next to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the festival was home to a variety of food, booths and baklava-a Turkish influenced dessert of filo layers with crushed nuts held together by honey.

Curious to experience some traditional Greek food for the first time, we got a little bit of everything they had to offer.

There were two major booths you could order á la carte from. At the first one, my stepmom and I ordered a spanakopita, which is basically a Greek pie stuffed with feta cheese and spinach, dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with rice and keftedes, Greek meatballs.

We ventured over to the other booth to get the second part of meal, which consisted of Greek french-fries and gyro. We then settled down underneath the second tent to enjoy our food and watch the dancers perform.

My favorite item we ordered has to be the gyro; lamb meat, lettuce, tomato and sour cream piled on top of pita bread. The spanakopita was a tasteful fusion of spinach wrapped in a delicious breading while the dolmades were bitter, but tasty.

For dessert, my stepmom and I ordered baklava. I had never tried it before, but it was so good. It was flaky and sweet and had an entirely new taste compared to the desserts I’m used to. All in all, the food at the festival tasted amazing and was all decently priced.

One of the best things about the Greek Festival, though, was the dancing. While enjoying my food, a trio of dancers entertained the attendees. The leader of the dancers has trained and has taught dancing all over the world including Greece, Morocco, Egypt and Turkey. The quality of her dancing really conveyed this. She could move parts of her body while keeping another part completely still, and I know it must have taken a lot of training for her to be able to move like that for an extended period of time.

The other two dancers were also very talented and seemed to truly enjoy what they were doing. All three of them wore traditional belly dancer garb, including belly dance hip scarves with coins and two-piece bedlah costumes. They kept all of the guests entertained as they enjoyed their meals.

Attending the Greek Festival was a wonderful experience. It was a nice peek into Greece life through their delicious food and beautiful dancing, and it was so nice to see so many people embracing and exploring this culture at the event. I look forward to attending next year. In the mean time, I hope I can find somewhere that serves baklava as tasty as the batch I bought at the festival.

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]l.com.