DARTMOUTH — The food was king Saturday at the St. George Greek Festival at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, as befitting its ranking as a small church with the fourth best Greek festival in the state, accoding to the director.

By noon the festival was in full swing, with the school parking lot cross the street full, and with people lining up to choose from a wide selection of Greek dishes, some of which are hard to find anywhere else.

Pete Despres and his friend Eileen Murphy, both of Fairhaven, were enthused about the food, saying they come to this feast every year. He told The Standard-Times, “We hit all the ethnic festivals, the Polish, the Portuguese Feast,” but no one has as lengthy a menu as the St. George feast, with six appetizers, five traditional dinners salads hummus, and desserts spread across table after table.

Dr. John Tsonis, who is in charge of the festival for the fourth year, led the kitchen brigade that cooked as much and as fast as they could, sometimes struggling to keep up with the growing line of feasters.

“We ran out on Friday night,” he said. But things were back to a frenzied normal on Saturday.

Asked what is so appealing about this feast, he said, “It’s the way we prepare food. Its simple and it’s roasted to perfection." Tsonis noted that he personally makes the sauces and gravies that go into the food.

Tsonis heaped praise on the organizing committee, whose six members worked even harder in the few weeks before the event. “They really work like crazy,” he said.

Tsonis was joined this year by chef Markos Polizois, who was chef at the now-closed Edge restaurant in the South End of New Bedford, the former Davy’s Locker.

Radio host Phil Paleologos roamed the festival, greeting people and helping out where he could. “I go where I’m needed," from washing dishes to working on stuffed grape leaves, which are one of the few items not made at the church).

St. George Church on Cross Road was opened in 2009, replacing the 1937 church on Ashley Boulevard that the parish had outgrown. Church members conducted tours of the glittering new church for those who were interested, displaying the many framed icons hanging on the walls and altar.

“We don’t have statues, we have icons,” said guide Virginia Callas.

The feast continues through today, with the highlight of the three-day event being a performances Sunday afternoon by the Greek Pride of Rhode Island dance ensemble from Pawtucket.

Admission to the feast is free.

Follow Steve Urbon on Twiter @SteveUrbonSCT