FESTIVAL & r & & r & The Hellenic Ideal & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & O & lt;/span & ne of my favorite food traditions in Spokane is the annual GREEK FESTIVAL AND DINNER, set for this weekend at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on North Washington. The sit-down dinner, complete with braised Beef Kapama in spiced tomato sauce and imported Greek orzo pasta tossed with browned butter and myzithra cheese, is a delight, with music and dancing to complement the food.
But I love to drop in when the casual outdoor grill is firing. Tireless volunteers prepare skewers of heavenly seasoned grilled souvlakia (Greek shish-kebabs made with chicken or pork) and gyros and serve them up in pitas. Side dishes -- Greek salad, dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) -- are available to round out an inexpensive meal. I usually bump into people I know while waiting in line, or while sitting in the crisp early fall air at the communal tables underneath the big tents in the church parking lot.
Then for dessert, I make my way inside to the church hall and pick up some of the homemade Greek pastries baked by a group of dedicated -- and food-loving -- parishioners over the last several weeks. There are diples, rolled dough that's deep fried then drizzled with honey; and the sweet and spicy melomakarona (a friend of mine calls these yummy morsels "Mellow Macarenas"), rich with walnuts and more honey; the kourabiedes, light buttery cookies rolled in a thick layer of powdered sugar; and of course the honey-sweet many-layered baklava. And while I'm there, I buy some raffle tickets and take a chance on several food gift baskets filled with Mediterranean specialties.
Good food, good company, good music and a fun community atmosphere -- now there's a belief system I can sink my teeth into. -- ANN M. COLFORD
The Greek Festival and Dinner at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1703 N. Washington St., is Thu-Sat, Sept. 27-29. Lunch and pastries available from 11 am, dinner served 4:30-8 pm. Dinner tickets are $12; $6, children 11 and younger. Call 328-9310.
TAKE-OUT Easy As Pie
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & f you live in Spokane Valley, you've probably seen their bakery and shop -- first on Pines, now on Sullivan. Or maybe you've spied their pies in deli cases and on dessert menus all across the area. Now, north-siders have a WHITE BOX PIES location close at hand, tucked into a tiny storefront on Wellesley near Monroe.
"We opened in July," says employee Elizabeth Rhoades. "Local residents and businesses have been coming in -- our neighbors at the Department of Ecology have been some of our best customers."
The shop has no eat-in space at the moment -- there's barely enough room for three customers at a time -- although two small tables outside on the fringes of the parking lot will do in a pinch as long as the weather stays mild. For now, business is all take-out and catering.
In addition to the pies for which they're known, White Box offers lunch fixings including sandwiches ($7, whole; $3.50, half), quiche, pot pies (beef or chicken), pasta salad and soups made from scratch. The flavor of the day was chicken noodle vegetable when I visited, and my cup was filled with chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, roasted red potatoes and shell pasta in a savory broth.
There are pre-made sandwiches to grab and go -- roast beef and cheddar, turkey and Swiss, tuna or the stacked Dagwood -- or you can get one made to order on one of the bakery's house-made croissants. (Hint: Try the turkey and provolone with cranberry sauce and cream cheese on a croissant.)
And then, of course, there are the pies. The shop always has three varieties available by the slice ($3); or you can just go ahead and get a whole pie -- you know you want more than one slice anyway. For fall, the pumpkin pie ($9) is delightful, and the mixed berry -- made with blueberries, marionberries, raspberries and strawberries -- is always a hit.
"We use all fresh fruit, nothing canned," says Rhoades. For the huckleberry pie ($21), all the fruit comes from local sources. Bestselling varieties -- including cherry, blackberry, strawberry rhubarb, huckleberry peach and huckleberry apple -- are usually readily available. Most varieties are $11. Or, you can call a day ahead to place a special order.
There are also four-inch mini-pies and mini-cheesecakes ($4), pecan wedges ($2) and four kinds of Nanaimo bars ($1). And, yes, the pies come in a white box.
-- ANN M. COLFORD
White Box Pies, 1101 W. Wellesley Ave., is open Tue-Sat 10:30 am-6:30 pm. Call 324-8850.
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.