Food, Family Part of Eastern Orthodox Easter

By Daday, Eileen O. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 24, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Food, Family Part of Eastern Orthodox Easter


Daday, Eileen O., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

Wafts of roasted lamb greeted patrons Sunday when they pulled up to Yanni's Greek Restaurant in Arlington Heights.

That, and the sounds of the lively Greek music playing out into the parking lot.

Members of the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrated Easter on Sunday, and for the many who had fasted from meat for the 40 days of Lent, they were ready to celebrate.

For the second year, Yanni's threw an all-out, traditional Greek Easter feast, and families looking for a traditional way to spend the holy day came pouring in.

Outside the restaurant, chefs roasted pigs and 35-pound lambs on spits over an open flame, while also grilling long portions of opektika, pieces of the lamb flamed over a rotisserie to be served as an appetizer.

Once inside the restaurant, guests, estimated to reach 1,000 throughout the day, started with bowls of magiritsa, the egg and lemon-based traditional Easter soup, laced with more of the lamb.

"This is typical Easter dinner, with the soup and lamb," said Eleanor Christoff Williams of Rolling Meadows, who brought 17 members of her extended family to celebrate.

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