If it’s one thing Elie Hodza knows, it’s food – she and her husband Vebi worked for Elie’s parents, Nick and Nancy Kamberis, at their Greek restaurant, before opening their own place.
It’s the aptly named Elie’s Cafe in Monona, Wisconsin, next to the capital Madison and is, said The Wisconsin State Journal, “an authentic throwback diner that provides a comforting bit of nostalgia,” adding to the comfort.
Her parents were Greek immigrants from Macedonia, her father coming in 1969 and her mom in 1976, operating the Green Forest diner at a truck stop from 1990-2009. Now they help out their daughter at her cafe.
Elie said her café survived the roughest part of 2020 with regular customers ordering takeout. Vebi said people come to Elie’s for “good food, fresh food. We don’t use frozen stuff, not much, maybe just french fries. We try to keep it as fresh as we can.”
Elie said her restaurant is successful because she enjoys the work. “I like what I do. I love people. I try to keep it clean. I try to keep a polite staff.” A good recipe.