Loukomathes Image: wikipedia

Holy saganaki, it’s finally here.

I’ve been counting the days until the Denver Greek Festival. The early summer event is happening this weekend, June 17-19, at the The Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Metropolis Cathedral of Denver. There’ll be Greek inspired jewelry, art and cookbooks. Greek dancers will grace the stage and Greek music will fill the air. But, what I’ve been so stoked for all month is the Greek food.

Denver has its fair share of Greek restaurants, but there’s nothing like chowing down at a local festival. The sounds and smells of summer have finally come to life, the music sets a festive vibe and stuffing your face with baklava and gyros just seems apropos.

Each vendor offers its own Greek speciality. The usual suspects will be in attendance – soulvaki, gyros, saganaki (flaming cheese, please!) and sweet, flaky baklava. Last year, my palette was introduced to new Greek flavors. Of interest were loukoumathes best described as honey drizzled donut holes. Hang on to some napkins, but this dessert is not one to skip.

The liquor tent will be pouring Greek beers and wines as well as Greece’s most popular libation: ouzo. The anise-flavored liquor is usually served with a small appetizer, such as a feta-laced salad or lightly fried calamari, similar to Spain’s tapas.

The golden dome of the cathedral sets a picturesque backdrop to the summer festival kick-off. The only missing element is the crashing waves of the

Assumption of Theotokos Cathedral

Mediterranean — or maybe Herculean men in togas. I’ll raise my ouzo to that.


Click here to learn more about the festival and the charities it benefits.