Monday, May 21, 2018
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Middle Eastern food highlighted in St. George Festival

Those wonderful meat pies with lamb and beef filling are back. The Syrian/Lebanese specialties are being prepared with great care by volunteers for the Ladies Benevolent Society of St. George Orthodox Cathedral for the upcoming annual festival.

Middle Eastern food will be featured at the St. George Orthodox Cathedral's 31st annual Middle Eastern Summer Festival Thursday through Sunday on the church grounds at 3754 Woodley Rd.

Prepared by parishioners of St. George, the foods include stuffed grape leaves, raw and baked kibbee, green beans and meat over rice, meat pies, salad, french fries, All American Hot Dog, Chicken Tawook, Lebanese gyros, falafel, hummus, kafta burgers, and fatoosh.

Also featured will be a pastry booth with Lebanese pastries, ice cream (including baklava ice cream) by Cold Fusion Creamery, rice pudding, zalabee (fried dough), fresh-squeezed lemonade, and frozen drinks.

Food demonstrations are planned for Sunday afternoon. Preparation of stuffed squash or koosa taught by Chuck Cassis will be at 2:30 p.m., and khiad laban (cucumber-garlic-mint yogurt salad) taught by Judy Kanag will be at 3:30 p.m.

Festival hours are:

Thursday: Carry-out and picnic lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival is open from 5 to 8 p.m.

Friday: Carry-out and picnic lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival is open from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Saturday: 4 to midnight.

Sunday: 1 to 7 p.m.

Admission Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is $3. Children 10 years and under are admitted free. There is no admission fee on Thursday.

Children's games and live entertainment, the marketplace, Coffee House (with Turkish coffee), tours of the cathedral, and an Orthodox bookstore also will be featured. Information: Call the church at 419-475-7054.

When celebrity chef and cookbook author David Rosengarten was in Toledo for the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio's second annual A Toast to Health on June 29, he visited the Beirut restaurant.

"He came in for lunch with the other chef (Pano Karatassos of Kyma in Atlanta)," said Labib Hajjar, owner of the restaurant. "Chris Tracy (of Calphalon) and Mary Jones (of the Chef's Garden) were also here. It was like Who's Who in here."

Mr. Hajjar talked with Mr. Rosengarten about the Beirut menu during lunch, and after Mr. Rosengarten left Toledo, he called Mr. Hajjar the following Tuesday. The result was an article in David Rosengarten's Tastings about Lebanese food and his visit to the Beirut. Mr. Rosengarten noted the great textures in the foods, specifically hommus bi tahini, and praised the baba ghanouj, fatoosh, and kibbee, and gave the recommendation that Toledo is a great place to add to anyone's summer itinerary.

Tastings is a free e-zine available each Wednesday on the Web site

"Just put in your e-mail address," said Mr. Rosengarten in a quick phone interview from his New York office. Subscriptions for the online newletter Rosengarten Report can also be made at the Web site. Annual fee is about $50 for the Rosengarten Report.

Submissions for the 18th annual Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards must be made by Sept. 28. Cookbooks published for fund-raising purposes by nonprofit organizations in 2006 and 2007 are eligible.

Cookbooks that have sold 100,000 copies, regardless of when they were first published, are eligible for induction into the Walter S. McIlhenny Hall of Fame.

Each organization should submit four copies of the cookbook along with a completed entry form and documentation of how the proceeds benefit worthwhile community projects. For an entry form and further awards details, visit

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau is sponsoring the third annual culinary event, Coolinary New Orleans - A Celebration of Dining in America's Most Delicious City. Participating restaurants will offer special three-course lunch menus for $20.97 or less, and three-course dinner menus for $30.07 during the months of July, August, and September.

Among the participating restaurants are Brennan's, Emeril's Delmonico, Emeril's Restaurant, Galatoire's, Bubba Gump, Antoine's, the Pelican Club, and the Rib Room.

For information, visit Be sure to verify with the restaurant of your choice when special menus will be offered as participation varies.

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