Spring in Richmond brings a plethora of appealing festivals to go to, most of which are centered around food.
The first one Davy and I attended was the Lebanese Food Festival at Saint Anthony Maronite Church. We went last year and knew that we wanted falafel, chicken shwarma, and a spinach and feta cheese pie. We also tasted the meat pie, which had a savory filling of ground lamb (I believe) and onion, and agreed that it was even better than the spinach and feta version.
For dessert, we indulged in awamat, which are luscious fried dough balls with a sweet syrup coating, and they're available fresh from the fryer at the festival. I wanted to just look at the other desserts, because there was the possibility of bringing home some baklava, but we were sidetracked by the katayef.
From what I can tell, a katayef is sort of like a sweet empanada. There were three varieties to choose from. One was filled with sweet cream and topped with pistachios and syrup. The other two were stuffed, pinched closed, and fried. One had a walnut and honey filling while the other encased mozzarella cheese. Both were decadent and satisfying, but the cheese was by far our favorite.
This is how we felt during the last few bites:
Everything was so tasty, and it's probably worth going more than once to avoid a post-festival food coma, but those sweets are tough to resist.