- Volunteer Greek dinner team in 2018
After a two-year hiatus, the popular Greek takeout dinner cooked by parishioners of Burlington's Dormition Greek Orthodox Church returns on Saturday, June 18. "This is our comeback tour," joked volunteer Nick Pitt, who estimated that the church community has prepared the fundraiser meals for "easily 20 years."
For $20, customers get a choice of grilled chicken souvlaki, beef and pork gyro, or vegetarian falafel, all served with pita bread, rice pilaf and Greek salad. Orders can be placed ahead of time or at the church at 600 South Willard Street on the day of the dinner from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., or until supplies run out. Proceeds benefit the church.
- Chicken souvlaki on the grill
Before the pandemic, the congregation held two dinners each year; at the one around Easter, it typically sold as many as 500 meals, Pitt said. The group plans to make about 400 this month. Squares of flaky spinach-and-feta spanakopita ($6) and syrup-soaked baklava ($5) will also be available.
Sotos Papaseraphim, 77, will lead a cooking crew of 10 to 12 volunteers. The retired restaurateur once owned the Lincoln Inn in Essex Junction and Niko's Souvlaki, a Church Street cart.
The team will start on Wednesday by marinating the chicken in a mixture of olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano. "Garlic is the secret," Papaseraphim divulged.
Asked which meal choice is his favorite, Papaseraphim chuckled and said, "I like them all. That is the problem I have."