Food

Country Cooking with a Greek Flair

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What do country-fried steak, homemade biscuits and baklava have in common? Sounds like a strange combination, doesn#t it? Well, if you#re in Buford, this unique trio is the result of a quaint little restaurant called the Fireside Caf?.

Irene and Mick Klonaris came from Greece to the United States in the early 1970s and soon opened a restaurant in Chamblee that remained for 18 years. After moving operations to Buford more than five years ago, Gwinnett County has been privileged to enjoy their southern, country cooking with a few Greek specialties thrown in here and there.

The charming building on Lee Street in Buford opens bright and early for daily breakfast specials. Typical favorites like omelets, pancakes and biscuits are on the menu, but you won#t want to pass up the breakfast sandwiches, like country ham and cheese, either. A high recommendation also comes for the fried potatoes. They#re not hash browns, and they#re not French fries, but they go perfectly with breakfast.

According to Irene, the restaurant gets regular #to go# orders for large quantities of their special biscuits. A nice down-home alternative to bagels or doughnuts, these would be perfect for casual business meetings or family gatherings.

A buffet-style lunch is standard on weekdays with favorites like country-fried steak, fresh vegetables and dessert. But one of the most popular items is the Greek-style baked chicken. Covered with Greek spices and roasted in the oven, the chicken #melts in your mouth,# says Irene. And she#s not just bragging, either. Actually, husband Mick does most of the cooking, not Irene, although she does add a special touch to a few of the Greek items like baklava or Greek lasagna.

A true family operation, the Klonaris# two daughters have also worked in the restaurant from time to time with their parents. #When they were on a break from college or when we needed extra help, our daughters would work with us,# says Irene.

This type of family atmosphere, along with the good food, keeps people coming back for more. With a steady flow of regulars, Irene says she sees some customers twice a day. #Some people come for breakfast and lunch,# she adds.

As cold weather heads our way, look to the Fireside Caf? for some winter comfort food. The rustic fireplace inside the restaurant will help warm you up, too!

Fireside Caf?

4685 S. Lee Street

Buford, GA

770-945-8132

Hours of Operation:

Monday # Friday: 6 a.m. # 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: 7 a.m. # 1:30 p.m.

Sunday: Closed