Every anniversary is worth celebrating in business

By: LindaLou Haines
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A second anniversary! Why is that such a big deal? It’s a second anniversary for an eatery – that is a big deal. And, it’s a second anniversary for an eatery that specializes in an ethnic food – Greek. Once again, I want to say congratulations to all the new eateries in the Colfax area. It is a risk to open such a business at any time and especially now in a troubled economy. A special congratulations to Elan Vitkoff for her second anniversary of operating a café at 30 N. Main St. and for her first anniversary since she turned the café into the MIX & MINGLE GREEK BISTRO at that location. I have enjoyed Greek/ Mediterranean food for years since discovering it in downtown Philadelphia many years ago at a restaurant known for its belly dancers. To help Vitkoff celebrate her second anniversary I stopped in for lunch last week and had my favorite, the Culture Plate. This is a great choice for those who can’t make up their mind what to choose. It includes two dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with a rice and herb mixture) with a tzatziki (a seasoned yogurt sauce); two falafels (a spicy mixture of garbanzo beans with herbs) with a hummus sauce (garbanzo beans with tahini and spices). The Culture Plate also includes crisp pita chips for dipping. Vitkoff’s traditional recipe Turkish coffee is an exotic treat with a dash of cardamom spice. For those of us who love chai tea, the cardamom-spiced Turkish coffee is a special delight. And, I don’t even usually care for coffee! I topped off my meal with my favorite decadent dessert: baklava. Several Mediterranean countries claim the origins of baklava. However, even today they agree on its ingredients: “A rich, sweet pastry of layers of phyllo dough filled with a mixture of butter and finely chopped nuts (walnuts and pistachios), then sweetened with honey.” Did I say “Heaven”? The Bistro is open four days: Thursday through Saturday, 12 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 2 to 7 p.m., 305-4050. And, now with daughter Sophia back in school, Vitkoff’s new “right hand” is Jean Andrews, who is new to Colfax. In the past we have talked about Vitkoff’s highly praised gyros (“the Greek Burrito”), all the musical events that she hosts and the community activities and fundraisers that she is involved with. For more on all that, I refer you to her new website: Now, if after all my going on about Greek food didn’t entice you, try DINE N DASH cafe, 1516 S. Canyon Way, which just opened yesterday. Owner Stacy Williams and her crew have worked hard to turn the former Mom’s Kitchen into her own version of “comfort gourmet food.” Open 7 days, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., 346-1000. And, they’ve got WiFi. They are serving all your favorite breakfast and lunch specials, plus natural beef. That’s the kind from free-range, “happy cows.” I’m told you can really taste the difference in the beef. At a pre-opening party, I enjoyed a scrumptious Mediterranean omelette that was stuffed with tons of healthy goodies like sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and spinach. And, the home fries – ah, perfect in taste and texture. Friend Mindy had a bacon avocado mushroom burger that she loved. CONTEST: What business recently hired four additional staff? Four! E-mail answers to me only by noon sharp Monday, Aug. 29: A gift certificate for that business to the winner to be picked in a random drawing of correct answers. Finally, check out my haircut from Mike Anderson at Colfax Barber Shop, 218 S. Auburn St. He does all the up-to-date boys’ and men’s styles, plus short cuts for women. Tuesday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 346-7093. Soapbox time: SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES! Locals have been wanting a Colfax pharmacy. Well, we have one now in the Sierra Market: Leader Pharmacy, 346-3714. If we want it to succeed, we need to take our business there. E-mail me your good business news: