Gentle readers within driving or flying distance of Cincinnati are not so gently urged to get themselves to the annual celebration of Greek culture, meaning mostly food, at the Holy Trinity St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Winton Road in Cincinnati's Finneytown suburb. Those who have been there before know why. Those who haven't need to find out.
SWNIDish tips for the event:
- Wear comfortable clothing, especially shoes.
- Arrive early to avoid the crowds, sort of.
- Bring one canned good per person, which substitutes for the small admission charge and provides a better sense of charitableness (the nonperishables are donated to the Free Store Food Bank).
- Bring cash for food purchases. We recommend lots of cash because we recommend lots of food.
- Park at St. Xavier High School and take the free bus shuttle to the event. Parking nearby is run by neighboring Protestant churches seeking to exploit the ignorance of the rabble that free parking with direct bus service is available, an approach ironically inconsistent with the concerns that gave rise to the Reformation on which the existence of these churches depends.
- Start with the one-price dinner. Any selection of main dish will be most satisfying. Just pick something that you can't pronounce. The side dishes are most excellently worthy of consideration also.
- End with an order of loukoumathes. You will plan to share them but then wish that you hadn't.
- In the middle, take the guided tour of the church. You'll learn lots of interesting stuff about Greek Orthodoxy. Those who learned some New Testament Greek will note how simple is the Greek of the liturgy as printed in the prayer books, though it is impenetrable to Modern Greek speakers. The tour is also a nice way to take a break from eating, which can be resumed post-tour.
- Plan to watch some of the folk dancing, especially the little kids.
- Take home some pastries for enjoyment in the coming days.
- Throughout, interact warmly with the warmly interactive folk who staff the food concessions and serve the deliciousness with pride and love.
- For best results, skip the alcohol, rides and raffles, which interfere with pure gustatory enjoyment.
- Resume worry about weight loss on Monday. Or after you've finished your take-home pastries.