In Campbell, cuisine calls
The menu at Daniel's includes Spanish, Romanian and American cuisine.
By MARALINE KUBIK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CAMPBELL -- When Marina Tatarciuc came to the United States from Romania in 1975, she had a dream.
Someday, she said, she would have her own business, succeed as an entrepreneur and contribute to the community.
Starting with a concession trailer, Tatarciuc worked to build her business, serving sausage sandwiches and traditional breakfast foods -- sausage, bacon and eggs. Eventually, she opened a little restaurant near Cleveland and expanded her menu to include corned beef and roast beef sandwiches.
When she and her husband moved to Youngstown eight years ago, they went into the jewelry business, selling gold and sterling silver chains, bracelets, rings and earrings, watches and diamonds from a rented storefront on Glenwood Avenue in Youngstown. But Tatarciuc's dream still wasn't complete. She wanted her own place to do business.
When she spotted a vacant two-story commercial building at 124 12th St., Tatarciuc said she knew the building had potential.
Her dream came true completely Oct. 1 when Tatarciuc opened Daniel's Caf & eacute; on the street level of the building she and her husband bought and renovated. They plan to relocate their Glenwood Jewelers to the second floor of the building by the end of this month. Of course, Tatarciuc said, she'll rename the jewelry store Campbell Jewelers to reflect the move.
Like any successful entrepreneur, Tatarciuc said she knew Daniel's Caf & eacute; would have to serve the kind of food customers want, so she surveyed the residents of surrounding neighborhoods.
"Everybody said you have to have Mami Gina's cooking," Tatarciuc said. So, she hired Gina LaViena, who came to America from Puerto Rico in 1952 when her father came to work in the mills. He also opened one of the city's first Spanish grocery stores, LaViena added.
"Mami Gina's famous for her Spanish cuisine," Tatarciuc said.
The menu at Daniel's Caf & eacute; is a combination of LaViena's Spanish specialties, Tatarciuc's Romanian favorites and American standards.
Spanish specialties include rice and beans, fried plantain with chicken, pork chop or steak, meat pies known as pastelillos, and alcapurrias, which are made by stuffing a dough made from green bananas, plantains and pumpkin with meat and frying it, LaViena explained.
Romanian dishes include schnitzel, which is breaded and fried pork served with roasted peppers, mititei, a type of sausage made without casing and mixed with secret herbs and spices, and Romanian scramble -- three eggs with bacon, onions, peppers and feta cheese.
Seven kinds of sausage, burgers, gyros, sandwiches and omelets complete the menu.
Tatarciuc said she also plans to feature daily specials such as stuffed cabbage and chicken paprikash.
Another new eatery
Tony Vavlas, a lifelong Campbell resident and 20-year veteran of the restaurant industry, recently opened an eatery in the city too.
Macaroni Tony's occupies the old Airport Tavern building at 797 McCartney Road.
Vavlas said that he remembers eating at the Airport Tavern as a kid, chowing down on fish, ribs and traditional "bar food."
Four Seasons Flea Market occupies the space where the airport once operated, Vavlas noted.
Having worked for a locally owned family restaurant and a large chain over the last two decades, Vavlas said he knew he could operate his own restaurant.
After driving back and forth past the vacant Airport Tavern building, Vavlas decided to go for it, providing his hometown with the one thing Vavlas said the city didn't have: a restaurant featuring a plethora of affordable Italian food.
Chicken parmesan is Macaroni Tony's specialty, but Vavlas said his menu includes a wide array of pasta dishes, and old-fashioned homemade sauce that is simmered all day. The sauce is made according to an old family recipe, Vavlas said. Tony Macaroni's also features one meat-and-potato special daily, he said, and fish specials on Fridays.