Lebanese culture, food on display at weekend festival

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St. George Maronite Catholic Church – formerly St. Ann’s located on the Cranston curve adjacent from St. Mary’s Church – will uphold the city’s reputation for hosting fantastic food festivals this weekend.

Fresh from last weekend’s Cranston Greek Festival and the annual St. Mary’s Italian Feast a few weeks back, St. George’s will offer a “Taste of Lebanese food” beginning on Friday night and continuing until Sunday at its home at 1493 Cranston Street.

“People just love our food,” Ton Simon, who owns and operates Simon Consulting and is a long-time parishioner at St. George’s, noted. “If you like Lebanese food, we’ve got everything that will please your palate and pocketbook.”

One offering is baked kibbe – Lebanon’s national dish that is a mixture of beef, bulgur, wheat and traditional spices stuffed with lamb and baked. It’s served with salad and pita bread for $11.

In keeping with tradition, the three-day fun and food fest will again feature marinated beef and chicken shish kabobs cooked on propane-powered grills by the dedicated parishioners at St. George Maronite Church.

Kafta, which is beef grounded and mixed with onions, traditional Lebanese herbs and grilled, is also served with salad, hummus and pita bread.

Simon said this weekend’s menu will also include vegetarian, meat, tabouli and hummus, the latter being chick peas blended with fresh lemon juice, tahini and oil and served with pita bread for $6.

The menu will also include four pita wraps – chicken kabob, beef kafta, beef shawarma and falafel.

As Rev. Edward Nedder, the pastor at St. George Maronite Church – which was once located in Pawtucket until fire ruined the parish and forced the now welcome move to Cranston – said: “Our parishioners work tirelessly all year long to put this festival together, and we’re thankful for all the community support.”

This weekend’s festival is the fifth since St. George’s took up residence in Cranston and the “Taste of Lebanon” has been tremendously received by people of all ages who enjoy sitting under the “Big Top” listening to music, reuniting with old friends and enjoying a slice of Lebanese culture and food.

“We proudly invite everyone to join us for a weekend full of great food, company and fun for the entire family,” Father Nedder said. “We appreciate the many people who have joined us in the four previous festivals and look forward to seeing our many friends this weekend.”

The St. George Maronite Lebanese Festival will be held on Friday, from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m., Saturday, noon until 11:00 p.m. and Sunday, noon until 7:00 p.m.

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