ARMENIAN FEAST FEST The 66th annual Armenian Food Festival returns to Oakland this weekend. Taking place 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Friday, and noon to midnight, Saturday, at St. Vartan church, the annual celebration of Armenian culture features an array of tempting foods, including dishes like chicken or lamb shish kebab and luleh (ground lamb and beef) kebab, beoreg (baked phyllo pastries stuffed with meat or cheese), sarma (stuffed grape leaves) and imam bayildi (stuffed eggplant). Full dinner plates will be available until 8 p.m., but some items will be available for purchase all night, including dessert pastries and lahmajoon (Armenian “pizza”) packaged to-go. While food is the main attraction, guests at the fest will also get a taste of Armenian culture, with live music and dancing, church tours and cultural displays. Admission is $3 ($1 for kids 6-14; free for 5 and under). St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce St., Oakland
Apparently they had a health department inspection and had to make a bunch of changes, which I guess is why the festival didn’t happen in October as usual.
The line for the steam tables was insane, we got there at 7:00 and got our food at 8:15. I think in the future I’ll skip that line and buy a bunch of frozen koofta to go.Or maybe I’ll just learn to make them myself.
The cream kadayif are also great and only available at the to-go counter. They ran out, said to come back in 15 minutes, so we got them warm out of the oven. Damn.