The annual Lebanese Food Festival returns to St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church near Innsbrook this weekend for its 32nd year. The festival, a celebration of Lebanese food, dance and culture, kicks off Friday, May 13th.
The event is one of the area’s largest annual food festivals. Crowd favorites include meat, spinach, and cheese pies prepared in a hand-folded dough, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed squash, shawirma, roasted lamb, chicken, shrimp and beef shish-kabobs.
Vegetarians will have plenty of great options to sink their teeth into as well, including falafel, humus, tabouli, laban, babbaghanooge, and loubiyeh (green beans) served over rice pilaf.
This year’s event will introduce two new dishes prepared on site, za’- atar-manakis, which is an oven baked flatbread seasoned with traditional Middle Eastern spices, and lahm-bi-ajaeen, a flavorful flatbread covered with spicy ground beef mixture and oven baked.
Authentic wine and beer pairings, available for purchase on site, complete the meal. A festival favorite is Almaza genuine Lebanese beer, imported from Beirut, according to organizers.
Dessert options include the ever-popular zalabia, (hot Lebanese sweet dough covered with syrup), kataif, (wafer thin pancakes folded around a filling of cheese, cream, and nuts).
Festival goers will enjoy traditional live Lebanese music and dancers in colorful costumes as they perform folk dancing carried down from generations. The dancers range in age from preschoolers to adults.
If you’re in a hurry, the Lebanese Food Festival offers call ahead pickup. You can fax your order to 804.273.9914 or call 804.270.7234. Parking is free and ATMs are available on site. More information is available on St. Anthony Maronite Church’s website.
The church is located at 4611 Sadler Road, near the Innsbrook Corporate Center.
Click here for a cool behind the scenes look at the festival our own Susan Howson put together last year.
Photo: Bill Bangham