Thanks to a long-planned mountain trip, I'll miss all the Charlotte food excitement this weekend. So enjoy it twice as much on my behalf:
- The yearly Yiasou Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 600 East Blvd., until 9 tonight, plus 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $2 for adults, but it's free if you can show a ticket that proves you got there by bus or light rail. Charlotte food lovers know this one well: You can buy plates and Greek specialties, and they have an open-air market that includes Greek products. It is seriously fun, even if you don't drink a single shot of ouzo.
- Time Warner Cable BBQ & Blues, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday on Tryon Street from Trade to First streets. This is the contest and music festival that grew out of the old Brews, Blues & BBQ, which grew out of the Charlotte Shout cultural festival. It still includes a certified barbecue competition, cooking demos, pig racing and more. Nice touch this year: At the People's Choice Contest at 1 p.m. Saturday at The Green, you can make a $5 donation to Slow Food Charlotte and vote on barbecue samples made from locally raised pork. Nice. Details: www.charlottebbqandblues.com.
Enjoy. Meanwhile, I'll pass the time in the car imagining what would happen if you combined Yiasou and BBQ & Blues. Pork baklava, maybe? Smoked feta? It's starting to sound tasty.