Greek Church makes Grab ‘n’ Go once again
Last November, as the pandemic canceled its 47th annual summer festival in Oak Park, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Barbara performed on take-out gyros as a replacement fundraiser. The gamble paid off – no doubt thanks to the event’s well-organized pickup protocols, salty gyros and sweet baklava, and the excuse for supporters to visit the church itself: white glory and vibrant architecture and landscaping in the midst of our Mediterranean foothills.
“The fall event was phenomenal,” says Nicole Botaitis, president of sold-out fundraising. “A lot of people had never been to church or seen the gardens, so it was really cool to be able to share with the community of Santa Barbara how special the Greek Orthodox Church is. We are rolling out the same model, but increasing the hours and days. We replace the gyros with souvlaki, and instead of baklava, we make loukoumades, which are amazing Greek donuts.
Considered a street food in Greece, souvlaki are skewers of chicken or pork; marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and oregano; grilled over a fire; then served with pita bread and tzatziki, the tangy yogurt-dill-cucumber-garlic sauce. They can be ordered individually, as part of a sharing platter, or as the centerpiece of a multi-sided combination meal.
Like last year, these smaller products are spanakopita (spinach and filo pies) and dolma (rice wrapped in grape leaves), while new offerings include cubed feta straight from the brine and fasolakia. “It’s a dish of green beans cooked in tomato with more garlic and olive oil,” Botaitis said. “We are trying to target people who eat meat as well as vegetarians.”
Loukoumades are for dessert. “These are little donut holes that are fried quickly, then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with nuts,” Botaitis said, noting that they can also be ordered nut-free. “They are addictive; they are delicious.”
This year’s three-day pickup at the church, located at 1205 San Antonio Creek Road, is Memorial Day weekend, May 29-31, but orders must be placed by May 16. Prices range from $ 3 for feta and $ 8 for a souvlaki pita to $ 50 for combo orders.
Place your order at greekgrabgo.com.
Every day, the staff of the Independent from Santa Barbara works hard to separate the truth from the rumor and keep you informed of what is happening throughout the Santa Barbara community. There is now a way to directly activate these efforts. Support it Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy +.