This weekend, a Far West End tradition returns to St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church off Sadler Road in Short Pump. The 26th annual Lebanese Food Festival promises an eclectic mix of authentic food, dancing and culture. Event organize estimate more than 20,000 guests will visit over the course of the festival, which runs from Friday through […]
This weekend, a Far West End tradition returns to St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church off Sadler Road in Short Pump. The 26th annual Lebanese Food Festival promises an eclectic mix of authentic food, dancing and culture.
Event organize estimate more than 20,000 guests will visit over the course of the festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday. The festival is the largest annual food and cultural event of its kind in the Far West End.
“Each year the festival grows as newcomers join guests who have been coming for many years,” said Monsignor George M. Sebaali, St. Anthony’s pastor. “We love sharing our traditional homemade food, the live music and folk dancing performed by members of our church, and our Lebanese culture with our friends and neighbors.”
“Parish members of all ages play a role in making our guests feel like they have made a brief, pleasant visit to Lebanon,” Sebaali continued.
Preparations for the festival started in January. More than 20,000 meat, cheese, spinach and spinach and cheese pies will be prepared, with sales averaging one every six seconds over the three festival days. There also will be thousands of stuffed grape leaves, stuffed squash and cabbage rolls. Raw ingredients for the festival include more than 6,000 pounds of beef, chicken and lamb, 4,000 pounds of flour, 1,800 pounds of rice, 1,600 pounds of cabbage and 18,000 pita bread loaves. Many popular items are prepared fresh right before festival-goers eyes, including zalabia (a dessert made fried dough strips served with a special sweet sauce), shawirma (sliced tender strips of marinated beef or chicken broiled on an open flame and served on pita bread), and shrimp and beef shish kabob.
There also are numerous vegetarian items, including falafel (fried spiced vegetable patties served with lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce on pita bread), homus bi tahini (a dip made of ground chick peas delicately flavored with sesame oil, lemon juice and Middle Eastern spices) tabouli (a salad made of parsley, cracked wheat, onion, tomatoes, oil and lemon juice), bubbaghanooge (a dip made from baked eggplants, Middle Eastern spices, lemon juice, garlic and sesame oil), and loubiyeh (string beans in a spiced tomato sauce) served over rice pilaf.
There are many other menu items, including a large selection of cookies and other desserts as well as Lebanese beer and wine.
More information, including the complete menu and directions to the church, is available on St. Anthony’s website.