Grill serves up food famously

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Tony’s Famous Grill sports a banner that reads &uot;An American Diner,&uot; but this grill is not your average restaurant.

Not only is the restaurant open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it also serves us some of the best foods to be found in the city.

Kristina Streets, 10, brings her dad John to Tony’s every chance she gets. On Monday she dipped chicken planks in sauce as her dad was enjoying a late breakfast.

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&uot;I like to come here because the food is really good no matter what you order,&uot; said Kristina.

&uot;You are treated well here and the service is good, too,&uot; said John Street. &uot;It’s a good family atmosphere and you can get anything you want at anytime.&uot;

Tony’s Famous Grill was the dream that came true for Tony Tsaras, who emigrated from the Greece in 1960. He worked for a time in Ohio and ended up in Chicago to compete with some of the best chefs in the country. He was a success in that &uot;Toddlin’ Town&uot; and operated one of the city’s most successful restaurants until his children’s needs demanded more of his time.

He gave up the business and began working in the construction industry. When the children were grown, he returned to his passion, the preparation of quality foods, opening another &uot;Tony’s Famous Grill.&uot;

Tsaras and his son, John, and son-in-law, Alexander Aboud, are all working together at the grill at this time, however, that arrangement is scheduled for a change in the future.

&uot;I am helping John and Alexander learn everything I know about food preparation and the restaurant business,&uot; said Tsaras. &uot;I plan on retirement someday, and then I will turn the diner over to John and Alexander. They will continue to use the Tony’s Famous Grill name.&uot;

Tsaras said it is his goal to have his son and son-in-law continue to operate the restaurant in the same manner that made his Chicago diners so successful.

&uot;I want them to put the customers first and make sure they continue to serve the best quality foods,&uot; said Tsaras. &uot;Our customers return here for the good food and we do not want to change that.&uot;

Those quality foods include prime cut steaks, freshly ground 100 percent pure beef patties for hamburgers and the freshest ingredients they can find for their breakfast meals.

While Tony’s Famous Grill also serves top sirloin and N.Y. strip steaks and center cut pork chops, deep fried large shrimp and filet of flounder, delicately seasoned Grecian chicken, and spaghetti with meat sauce, they serve breakfast 24 hours a day.

In fact, walk into the immaculately clean, spacious diner, take a booth or opt for a stool at the counter and order any food from the full-color six-page menu at any time of day or night.

While steaks, chops and seafood and bountiful breakfasts are standard fare at Tony’s, the grill offers us a wide variety of sandwiches.

Everything from deli style barbecue beef, Philly cheese steak, Rueben sandwiches and a steak sandwich with six ounces of top sirloin. That’s just part of the sandwich list that covers an entire page in Tony’s menu.

Those menus are handed to customers by the diner’s wait staff and unlike some restaurants, you don’t have to serve yourself or stand in a line for a hamburger that’s been drying out under a heat lamp.

Tony’s Famous Grill is staffed by a dozen of the most gracious waitresses around and they know how to get an order to a customer while it’s still steaming.

Graciousness is the order of the day at Tony’s. Tsaras and company opened their diner in late November 2001 and every customer who enters the grill is greeted by some of the most pleasant people in the food industry.

Take Laura Lyon, for instance. She has served customers at the diner since January and she said she truly enjoys her work.

&uot;This is a great place and we have a lot of fun even though we’re working,&uot; Lyon said. &uot;We get some of the nicest people in town to dine with us and Tony or John always take the time to ask how they like the food and they enjoy interacting with the customers.

Tina Boals was part of the staff the day the Famous Grill opened and she’s still enthralled with serving what she termed &uot;the best&uot; clientele.

&uot;Everyone who comes to eat seems to truly enjoy their meal and that makes people happy,&uot; Boals explained.

&uot;They love the food and everyone also enjoys the juke box and the music it provides. I’ve had five years experience in the food service business and Tony’s is the best place.&uot;

Tony’s Famous Diner is located at 2872 Pruden Boulevard (Route 460) next to the Holiday Inn.