By GREG PARLIER
In a city of Spanish influence, a small cafe tucked away in downtown St. Augustine has been serving up unique Polish and Greek fare for more than a decade.
They’ve done well enough to open a new location in 2015 at 9 Aviles Street, where they keep the authentic gyros, pierogies and specialty pastries coming, all in the authentic style of their Polish and Greek roots.
Owner Darius Dvierlatka and his wife, both Polish, spent several years living in Greece, where they have family, to attain the unique combination of influences found nowhere else in St. Augustine.
Gaufres and Goods can seat about 35 people inside the ’50s-style cafe or at five outside tables on Aviles Street.
They serve lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday, and focus on lunch the rest of the week, except Tuesday, when they are closed.
Gaufres serves seven Polish beers, as well as Greek selections and an extensive wine list from Greece, Bosnia, Croatia and more, but there is no bar.
While there is no kids’ menu available, Gaufres and Goods welcomes kids, who love the cafe’s famous waffles, served with seasonal fruits, nutella, chocolate, nuts or ice cream.
How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
It’s an authentic family-owned restaurant. We have a pastry case, and of course we have tables. It’s like a 1950s atmosphere with the original, old-fashioned tables and walls.
What is your food philosophy?
We have two authentic cuisine influences here: Polish and Greek. We have a wide selection of authentic Polish and Greek dishes, and beer and wine from there, too. We’re all Polish and Greek.
What type of cuisine do you specialize in?
Again, Polish and Greek. My wife and I are from Poland, and we lived in Greece for some time. We also have family there. We have unique, authentic gyros, with real meat, not like the ground lamb you find other places. We also have traditional Greek pastries and gaufres, or waffles, that are popular with kids. We focused on pastries and baked goods for several years, but now we are more focused on hot food, although we have pastries as well.
What is your signature dish?
We have great pierogies, waffles and pastries. Our signature Polish dish is probably the stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce and fresh green onions. Our signature Greek dish is probably a stuffed pepper with tomato and lamb. But we have unique specials daily.
What would you recommend for a first timer?
I would recommend that if there are two of you, one could get a Polish dish and the other could get a Greek dish. That way, you could have two cuisines in one meal. Plus, we have seven Polish beers, Greek beers and a significant, unique European wine list. There’s also the authentic gyros that no one else has.