Indianapolis Greek Festival

My husband and I went to Greece last year and absolutely loved the food! When we found out that Indianapolis hosts a Greek Festival every year, we were pretty stoked to try it out.

In addition to the great food, you can also tour the church, attending cooking demos, listen to live music and shop in the market place. If you have kids, there are bounce houses and lots of other family entertainment.

Last year, I got the sampler platter which included tyropita, spanakopita, vegetarian dolmathes, Greek meatballs, hummus, red pepper hummus, tzatziki, feta, olives, and pita bread – all for $15. For dessert, I had LOUKOUMADES , which are deep fried dough that’s been dipped in honey and cinnamon. Those were TO DIE FOR.

You can view the whole menu here.

The Greek Festival also has a nice free shuttle bus service to and from the church if you don’t want to pay $5 to park at the church itself. This year you park at the Lids Corporate Office at 10555 Lids Way in Zionsville.

Indianapolis Greek Festival starts this Friday, Aug. 24 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 26. It takes place at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 3500 W. 106th St. in Carmel.

Indiana State Fair

I kind of forgot how much I love going to the fair. It was a summer staple growing up – I was a 4-H farm kid and showed my mini lop rabbits for 10 years at the Gibson County Fair. A few of my other projects made it to the state fair and we came up a few times to see them, but other than working at the library’s booth, I don’t think I’d really had the fair experience for about five years.

Hanson played on the free stage Friday night and a bunch of my Kentucky crew came up for it, so we decided to make an afternoon/evening out of it and had so much fun!

I tried the lemonade strawberry boba first thing and it was kind of like an elevated lemon shake-up. It’s supposedly new to the fair this year. The bobas at the bottom of the drink are squish liquid filled creations that didn’t really dissolve, so I had to fish them out at the end to get them all.

I also had the best funnel cake known to man. This booth is over by the midway area and has a bunch of different flavors like red velvet and mint chocolate chip. It was by far the best thing I ate at the fair and I almost finished the whole thing off by myself.

The fair also has an upscale beer/wine garden of sorts this year. Maybe it was there last year too, but for those who enjoy an adult beverage, there are moonshine lemon shake ups, alcohol infused ice cream and sangria along with local Indiana brews to choose from.

Also new to the fair this year: the Subaru skyride. I couldn’t get anyone on it with me but enjoyed my solo ride from one end of the fair to the other.

I also got some fried okra, so I wasn’t just eating sweet foods. Verdict on that: not great. My homemade okra is way better. Should have gone with something else, like the inside out grilled cheese, which was on my list to try but I got too full before I found it.

Then it was time for the main event: Hanson! It was SO NICE to not have to travel very far to see my favorite band. I don’t think they had played in Indy since 2011 and it was long overdue. Hanson, if you’re reading this, us Hoosiers are tired of fighting Chicago traffic to see you at the House of Blues.

The place was really full – the usual crowd was there at 3 p.m. waiting out in the hot sun (not doing that anymore) and there was actually some seating, which is rare at a Hanson show. We however, did not get to sit down because by the time we were done doing fair things, all seats were taken and it was standing room only.

Great show, great set list and lots of energy from my favorite band. Come back next year!!

Condado: Indy’s Newest Taco Spot

My brother-in-law came up for the day on Saturday and we always like to try new places, so when I heard that Condado was opening up in Broad Ripple, I texted him right away and suggested we eat there.

It wasn’t too crowded when we got there, so we didn’t have to wait for a seat – surprising since the place had only been open a few days. A lot of the seating is shared seating at open tables with bar stools but there are a few more private tables which seemed to be seating larger parties.

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The menu has a great variety, especially for vegetarians and ordering process is pretty fun. Remember scantron tests back in grade school? The menu is like that – you fill in the little bubbles next to what you want, then the wait staff scans it with a machine and it sends your order to the kitchen.

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We split an order of chips, queso and salsa verde. The chips, in my opinion, were lacking – they were more like Taco Bell chips than authentic, homemade from tortillas. The queso and salsa verde were very good though, however I think Bakersfield downtown beats them on both. (Condado is opening another location on Mass Ave next year, so we’ll see how they fare with Bakersfield as competition)

It took a little while for the tacos to get there, so I took a few photos of the fun decor inside. It seems like they tried to give it a local vibe and painted the murals inside to reflect the Broad Ripple neighborhood influence.

On to the main event: the tacos! I had read other bloggers experience were not great on opening day. Some of their entrees were skimpy portions but I did not have that experience. Perhaps the bugs got worked out a little by the time I got there?

My first taco was chicken, cheese, salsa verde and chimichurri on a flour tortilla. Pretty basic but I think I liked it the best! The second taco I got was the ju-ju shell, which was a combination of hard and soft with chorizo and queso. I added more chorizo as a protein, along with cheddar, salsa roja and cilantro-lime aioli. I also added on beans and rice, which I threw on top of the tacos and ate altogether. Yum!

So in conclusion, my experience at Condado was great. I will be going back. They aren’t the best tacos ever (Torchy’s takes that prize) or even in Indy (I still love Bakersfield) but they do have their own vibe that I really liked.