Southern Agenda

Greeking Out

During Birmingham’s Greek Food Festival (October 5–7), now in its fiftieth year, attendees devour some twenty-five thousand pieces of baklava, twelve thousand slabs of pastitsio, and a literal ton of rice (stuffed into grape leaves and sidled up to Greek chicken), all cooked by members of Holy Trinity–Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral. “It was created to give a taste of our culture, without the airfare,” says Elaine Lyda, a third-generation member. It also honors Greek immigrants, who a century ago gained a Birmingham food-scene foothold that grew into a stronghold of multiple Greek-owned restaurants, including Ted’s. That meat-and-three is celebrating fifty years, too, thanks to its South-meets-Mediterranean selections like mac and cheese alongside lemony Greek chicken. Owners Tasos and Beba Touloupis are proud of the milestone. “We see three generations eating here,” Tasos says. “We’re ingrained in this community.”