By Lisa Cohen
For over 16 years, the Olympia Flame Diner has been serving its customers the friendliest homemade food in the area. The Katsenos family acquired the diner, which was previously a breakfast restaurant, in 1991 and they have only built upon their strong local base of customers over the years. “It’s a family place with good service, good food and good employees,” said George Katsenos, whose father originally bought the diner. And, by the number of regulars that come to eat here, they are doing it all right.
Although the menu is extensive and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, the best seller is the Greek salad, served either with or without chicken ($8.95 with chicken, or $3.95 without). Also the Gyro Platter ($9.95) is a favorite, and comes with many sides to choose from. Prices at this local spot are very reasonable, and a children’s menu is available for simple breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
Originally from Toronto, the Katsenos family moved to Florida in 1986 and has been in the community since. Previous experience in the restaurant industry led the family to buy the building to create the Olympia. Customers can have a good breakfast for under $5, and a home cooked dinner for under $10. There are not many places that offer such a selection at these prices. “We have been here 16 years, and that speaks for itself,” said Katsenos.
Most of the employees at the diner have worked there for over six years, and three employees have worked at this same restaurant location for over 25 years. “It’s almost like you’re eating at home, and the employees know most of our customers by name,” said Katsenos. Customers are a mix of young and old, families and those daily regulars. Even the snowbirds visit consistently when they return to South Florida.
In addition to a comfortable, home-like diner atmosphere, the restaurant also offers take-out and every dish is homemade. “Our soups are made fresh and customers always get a home-cooked meal at affordable prices,” said Katsenos. Not much has changed at Olympia in the last 16 years. Much of the menu and recipes have remained consistent. Yes, off-the-menu specials are always offered, but consistency is this restaurant’s specialty. “We have so many regular customers and they like to see continuity,” said Katsenos. If it works, then why change it? The customers at this restaurant would have to agree.
Greek specialties galore, such as Spinach Pie ($5.95) and Dolmades ($9.95) fill the menu, but also seafood dishes (from $9.95), deli-style sandwiches (from $3.95), and burgers (from $3.50). There is something for everyone on this menu, and it definitely is affordable. They also offer beer and wine selections and homemade desserts to finish off the meal. The Baklava ($2.95) is a long-time favorite.
The Olympia Flame Diner is located at 80 South Federal Highway, just south of Hillsboro. They can be reached at 954-480-8402.