Tag Archives: Baklava

A Visit to “Greek Town” in Historic Tarpon Springs, FL

1 Jun

Lively gossip outside the Halki Greek Market along Athens Street.

These bright purple eggplant were eye-poppingly beautiful.

Sea salt imported from the motherland of Greece.

This meat and cheese counter gave me flashbacks to my grandparents’ small town grocery store (Justice Grocery) in Hopewell, VA.

The world famous spongedocks at Tarpon Springs, FL.

Locally harvested sponges of all shapes and sizes are sold on the sidewalks.

A statue dedicated to the brave FL sponge divers from days gone by.

We brunched at Costas Greek Restaurant in Tarpon Springs.

The bread is baked fresh daily by a little Greek bakery just down the street.

This “gi-normous” sesame seeded loaf (just $2) came home with us.

Stuffed grape leaves topped with a tart lemon butter sauce.

The tangy grape leaves were packed with rice and spicy meat inside.

We also dug into a massive wedge of flaky spanikopita (spinich pie).

We were totally stunned at the portion size of these pan-fried smelts — massive! Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Then devour the whole fish (bones, tail … everything!). We found that dragging the smelts thru a little extra virgin olive oil was also pretty darn tasty. No rules, people — just enjoy. “OPA!!!”

Our two boys loved dipping this crispy calamari into the bowl of cinnamon-scented, red marinara sauce provided by the fine folks at Costas. Nice touch!

This decadent, honey-drenched dessert treat (“Kataifi”) put an exclamation point on our late morning feast. We plan on returning soon to sample some flaming cheese and chargrilled octopus tentacles (they look simply delicious!).

To learn more about the Historic Tarpon Spring Spongedocks, please take time to peruse their community website …


Sarasota’s Annual Greek Glendi Festival

13 Feb


I dropped by the local Greek festival at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Sarasota for lunch today. Honestly, I was surprised at how many people had the same idea on a beautiful Friday afternoon in SW FL. The entry fee was $4 for adults — kids under 12 are admitted free.


I immediately bypassed the arts & crafts exhibits and motored with purpose towards the food tents. The heavenly aroma greeted me long before I laid eyes on the bountiful variety of Grecian grub. After a brief period of deliberation, I decided on the Spanakopita plate, which set me back all of $5. The platter included a massive square of the spinach and phyllo dough treat alongside a generous cup of diced tomatoes, chopped cucumber & green pepper, and kalamata olives doused in a zesty Greek feta dressing.



The dessert choices at the festival were equally plentiful. I decided on the honey drenched, nutty beauty seen below. The delicate pastry exterior was just perfect and the rich filling was a nicely balanced blend of sugar and spice. I took time to really savor the treat, which cost $3. A Greek combo performed on a nearby stage, so I enjoyed a bit of a sideshow while I devoured my dessert.   


Sadly, I can’t go back to the festival this weekend, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. For more information on Greek Glendi, visit their web site at www.StBarbaraFestival.org