A sneak peek at the Mediterranean Festival at St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church

Saturday, May 15, marks the 89th time we will have the Mediterranean Festival at St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church.

To give you some backstory on the event: Nearly a century ago, the founders of the church came to America bringing with them their faith, traditions and family recipes. For generations these recipes were passed down through families of St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church’s parish. These recipes were the highlight of the Mediterranean Festival event thrown at the church for diners around the city to try. People could get their hands on delicious foods from the countries where their faith and heritage was rooted, including Lebanon, Syria, Greece and Egypt.

While last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic, one of the treasured culinary traditions is back for another year when the Mediterranean Festival returns at 344 S. Martinson.

Things will be different this year, though. In past years, the festival was a two-day event with the food being à la carte. This year, things will be drive-through and carryout only. But they will have the Mediterranean market open inside where you can pick up breads, pastries and larger to go meals.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Festival goers can choose from two $15 plated meals and one $5 dessert plate option as seen below:

Some friends and I stopped in to get a sneak peek at what to expect. We tried both plated meals and the dessert sampler. Everything was phenomenal. All the food was homemade. There was a full staff of people volunteering their time to make everything happen. What’s cool about these type of events is the food has a different spin on it. While there are some great options around town for Lebanese, Mediterranean, Greek food, you name it. These dishes are from family traditions passed down through the ages; it has its own story and unique flavor.

We sat there and dined on the food while listening to the history of it. I think an event where you get to eat food and learn the story of it could do wonders. It was cool to be a part of and do something beyond just eating the food.

I had the opportunity to take home some breads and hummus. No lie, their bread was a work of magic. I had Talama, Za’tar and Cheese Bread. By all accounts from me and my friends, they were a new level of deliciousness.

Another big plus of the event is 10% of proceeds go to The Treehouse. I had never heard of the cause until recently. It’s an organization in Wichita helping economically challenged moms and children with basic necessities and programs. They offer compassionate physical and emotional support and positive Christian relationships. Diapers and formula, parenting education, spiritual support and an inexpensive thrift store with books, toys and clothes up to youth size 8 are just a few of the resources The Treehouse provides to women.

If you love different ethnic foods and supporting food events with a cause, The Mediterranean Festival at St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church is right up your alley. Remember it takes place at 344 S. Martinson from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. unless they run out of food.

To learn more about the event, visit their Facebook page.

Have something fun to do in Wichita that would be worth us coming out to write about? Let us know simply by e-mailing us with your information. We are always open to suggestions.

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