Ahh, the Atlanta Greek Festival! I've been a regular visitor to this festival for a number of years, and the atmosphere is pretty much the same every year - crowded! I definitely like the option of purchasing my ticket online in advance with the $1 discount incentive. I also like that the festival has expanded into a four-day event because that allows more people to come at their leisure. My favorite change to the festival, however, was the elimination of food tickets. Traditionally, as soon as you walked into the festival, you were supposed to buy food tickets with cash (later they accepted credit cards) and then purchase food with those food tickets. This easily caused confusion among some people and was a hassle to do in general. Fortunately, the food purchase process has been streamlined! You can go up to the food tent with cash or credit card, and they'll ring you up right there with their fancy, shmancy iPad. AWESOME!
I usually order the combination plate but this always leads to overeating on my part, so I went in with the strategy of getting a single protein plate. I chose the souvlaki (pork) because I hadn't had pork in a while. My friend got the chicken plate, and we shared some protein with each other. Now that's being economical! ;o)
Both plates were pretty good, and I admit you can't beat the price. The chicken has been tender and moist for the past couple of years, a vast improvement over my first foray at this food fest. The pork was a little tough to get off the skewers but nothing my incisors couldn't handle. I need to learn how to make spanakopita - it's my favorite offering out of everything in the plate. Spinach and cheese? Yes, please!
We stayed for maybe two hours, tops. We perused some of the shops inside the Cathedral; we left empty-handed though. The weather was gorgeous but the number of people there got to be something of a drag. It was a nice outing, and I bumped into another friend of mine while we were there! That's always nice. This festival is ideal for families because all of your kids can be in one place. Plus, there's a designated kids' area. Another bonus? Shuttle buses take you from the Cathedral to the parking lot at the Century Center Office Park.
For those of you who wish to bypass the actual event next year, there's a drive-thru option available. :o) You have to drive directly to the Cathedral instead of to the designated parking area.