This September, take on food truck fare, spinach pie, baklava, and more at churches and parks throughout the city. You’ll find all the details you need on the upcoming food festivals in our roundup below.
Sept. 8-10. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saint George Melkite Greek-Catholic Church
Immerse yourself in a new culture at this annual festival featuring Middle Eastern cuisine and live entertainment. Chow down on delicacies such as stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and Middle Eastern pastries, and shop on-site vendors with hand-crafted olive wood, Byzantine icons and literature, glass jewelry made from the church’s original stained glass, and Saint George Church’s cookbook Our Favorite Recipes. Proceeds from the festival will benefit local charities including Pathways of Birmingham Women’s Shelter and Three Hots & a Cot, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans.
What To Order: The festival’s mother-and-son-chairman team Annette and Jeremy Ritchey recommend The Oasis (pictured below). It comes with half of a baked chicken, spinach pie, three grape leaves, rice, beans, Arabic salad, and bread. (Side note: Our editors would order this plate just for the salty grape leaves and tomatoey green beans that are in a flavor league of their own, but the other stuff is good too.) What more could you ask for?
Sept. 15-17, 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Experience the Greeks’ legendary zest for life by sampling authentic Greek cuisine and watching Greek dancing. Begun in 1972 by the Ladies Philoptochos Society, this yearly event has blossomed into one of the premier cultural events in the Southeast. Proceeds from the festival are donated to local charities. The lines get crazy long, so our editors recommend arriving early or ordering take out. If you do wait in line, you are guaranteed to see people you know from ever stage of life in Birmingham, and you can end the evening with a tour of the church’s cathedral.
What To Order: The B-Metro team recommends the Pastichio (pictured above): layers of macaroni, ground beef in a Greek tomato sauce, topped with a layer of cream bechamel sauce. It’s served with spanakopita (spinach pie), tiropita (cheese-and-egg-filled fillo triangle), Greek-style green beans, a Greek salad, and a roll. Not included: a spray of Windex.
Sept. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Celebrate Birmingham’s growing culinary scene on wheels with this annual food truck rally hosted by the Railroad Park Foundation. It’s Birmingham at its best with lawn games and activities set up throughout the park and live bands taking the stage that include Raquel Lily, Ryan Sobb, Taylor Hollingsworth, and Gabriel Tajeu. Coca-Cola products and Good People brews will be available for you to enjoy with your mobile cuisine.
What To Order: The B-Metro team couldn’t pick just one food truck recommendation.
- Digital Editor Katie Turpen: Cantina on Wheels’s Cuban Taco + Garlic Fries. This tasty taco comes packed with roasted pork shoulder, cilantro mayo, dill pickles, and Manchego cheese. Pair it with Cantina’s hand-cut fries tossed in garlic sauce and topped with queso dip, and you’ll find yourself in foodie heaven.
- Managing Editor Madoline Markham: Shindig’s Delizioso + Big Spoon Creamery Ice Cream Sandwich. Chef Mac Russell sandwiches a delectable salmon patty between a house-made sweet potato roll with smoked mozzarella, basil yogurt, and balsamic onion. (But really anything from the truck is guaranteed to wow you. They even make vegan meatballs that will impress meat lovers.) Top it off with an Octane Coffee Caramel ice cream sandwich from Big Spoon Creamery. You won’t regret it.
Sept. 25, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
You can sample food and drink from 35 of Birmingham’s best restaurants with the backdrop of the historic Sloss Furnaces at this Birmingham Originals event. It supports Jones Valley Teaching Farm, a nonrpofit that builds and designs teaching farms and partners with schools to provide students with innovative and rigorous hands-on food and nutrition education.