Greek Or Italian? Pittsburgh-Area European Festivals Kick Off Weekend

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Shish kebab is on the grill, as Ypapanti Greek Orthodox Church celebrates its centennial.

It’s the 34th annual Greek food festival for the parish in East Pittsburgh. Festival co-chair Mary Doreza says the congregation has been united by food and friendship for 100 years.

“At that time, it definitely symbolized the community. It is still thriving as a church, as a parish. A very welcoming one. Love to have people come and visit.”

Kitchen chief Lucy Koutsaulis says the volunteers cook food that’s 100 percent Greek. Almost.

“It’s all authentic. It’s authentic Greek food. The only thing we have that’s not authentic is french fries. The kids want french fries.”

Except for young Ian Emro. He polished off seven gyros in a single day.

It’s a great weekend for ethnic food in the Pittsburgh area. From the Greek festival in East Pittsburgh, to Italian Days in Bloomfield. Bocce courts are busy, and the line of vendors on Liberty Avenue is a half mile long.

“About eight or nine blocks,” organizer Sal Richetti concurs. “Over 200 vendors. Everything from food vendors to craft vendors, all kind of Italian vendors. Anything and everything you could imagine, Italian wise.”

A spirited round of bocce can work up an appetite for Tambellini’s meatballs or pizza by Angelo’s, where owner Joe Posteraro says the festival is huge boost for Bloomfield.

“It puts your name out there.”

For Antonio Lombardozzi’s landmark restaurant, it’s the biggest weekend of the year.

“Christmas in summer,” he smiles.

Greek or Italian? The weekend has two days. Why not both?

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