Recently, I wrote a post In Praise of the American Barbecue. Today I want to extol the virtues of another all-American tradition, the diner – and more specifically, the Olympia Flame Diner in Deerfield Beach.
Ah, what can I say about the Olympia Flame except that I absolutely LOVE this South Florida landmark, where friendly service always accompanies consistently delicious food!
As you might have guessed from the name, this is a Greek-American establishment, where you’ll find ethnic favorites like spanikopita, hummus, gyros and stuffed grape leaves sharing the same menu space as typical American fare like burgers, omelets, pancakes and hash browns. I first became acquainted with Olympia Flame back in 1994, the year I moved to the Sunshine State and began spending a lot of time hanging out at the Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier — one of my very favorite places to soak in the magnificence of the turquoise ocean, sandy beaches and glorious sunrises.
Initially drawn to the diner for its fabulous breakfast food, I soon began to indulge my passion for Greek cuisine, burgers and tuna melts — only to happily discover the same high-quality preparation. As someone who’s very picky about my tuna, burgers, scrambled eggs and bacon, I can tell you that Olympia Flame knows how to serve ‘em up right. Ditto for their fluffy pancakes and French toast (a rare treat I allow myself every once in a while). So it’s no surprise that there’s always a line out the Olympia Flame doors on Sundays after church services.
Do you enjoy a good Greek salad?
Let me tell you, I’ve eaten in many worthy establishments including the divine Chris’ Taverna, but I’ve yet to come across a place that does a Greek salad as well as Olympia Flame (hold the anchovies and olives, please). They dice up the cucumbers and tomatoes just the way I like them, add perfectly sized slices of red onion, sprinkle just the right amount of fresh feta cheese and top it all with a vinaigrette dressing bursting with flavor. Absolute taste-bud heaven!
And the spanikopita? Tantalizing spinach and feta wrapped in delicate filo dough never tasted so good!
The same holds true for the stuffed grape leaves, which — just like the spanikopita — can be ordered as either an appetizer or an entree. Speaking of entrees, one of my favorite items on the menu is the Gyro Platter accompanied by the aforementioned Greek salad, copious strips of beef and veal, tomato and cucumber slices, fresh Pita bread and tzatziki sauce. Opa!
Do you enjoy a steaming bowl of homemade soup?
As with everything else on the menu, Olympia Flame excels in creation of this classic comfort food — from the tangy lemon chicken (my favorite) to the well-seasoned chicken orzo to the traditional chicken noodle and beef vegetable.
Comfy booths, tables and counter-seating aside, do you prefer to eat in the comfort of your own home?
No problem, just call ahead and they will have your take-out ready in a matter of minutes. I should know, I do this quite frequently, not having much time to cook these days. But seriously, given the generous portions and the reasonable prices, Olympia Flame makes it very affordable to savor quality food on a tight budget.
Oh and if you feel like taking your take-out to the beach, the fishing pier and ocean are just minutes away over the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge.