Daisy Hill Market Offers Gas Station With a Gourmet Chef

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- It's not unusual to grab a fast bite when you stop for gas, but a sit-down, three-course meal? Since 2005, Daisy Hill Market in Salisbury Township has been filling up customers, as well as their cars, according to a report by the Salisbury Patch.

The six-pump station, at 1848 E. Susquehanna St. in Allentown, Pa., is backed by a spacious convenience store, grill and deli with tables inside and out. The c-store bistro serves hot meals and fresh-made sandwiches, salads and desserts. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Owner Dimitri Bozikis said everything is made fresh daily, and his menu is extensive. His biggest problem, he said, is that people just don't expect such quality and choice at a gas station.

Regular customers, however, have grown accustomed to the eatery's special touches, such as: baby spinach leaves on the chicken gyros ($5.89); 100 percent Black Angus flame-broiled burgers ($5.49), the high-protein salads made with broiled chicken, nuts, hard-boiled eggs and beans ($9.95), or dessert parfaits made with bourbon-soaked chocolate brownies ($3.95).

New customers will be surprised by the size of the menu. There are at least six versions each of flame-broiled burgers, flame-broiled hot dogs, cheese steaks, panini, wraps and salads. And there are just as many choices for breakfast, too, from the one-egg sandwich ($1.79) to the Mountain Man Sub (four scrambled eggs, a Black Angus burger, ham, home fries and American cheese in a 12-inch bun ($6.99), according to the newspaper report.

In addition to all the regular menu items, there's a long list of rotating specials each weekday including Tex-Mex on Monday, Italian on Tuesday and All-American on Friday. On Pennsylvania Dutch Wednesdays, for example, the featured breakfast wrap is the Dutch Morning ($3.99) made with smoked turkey, broccoli, mushrooms and cheese. The hot dog of the day is the Dutchman ($3.09), with sauerkraut, mushrooms and spicy mustard. Platter choices ($8.49) might include a pulled turkey barbecue, oven-roasted pork, or ham and green beans.

Thursday is Greek Day -- fitting since Bozikis was born in Greece. He grew up in California and Connecticut, where his father worked as a chef. Bozikis was working in New York City as a food product developer when he met his wife, Katina, a native of Bethlehem, Pa.

After the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the couple decided to move to Pennsylvania to raise their family. They found an abandoned gas station for sale at the intersection of Susquehanna Street and Emmaus Avenue in Salisbury Township, and built Daisy Hill Market.

Ever since, they said they've worked to make their business unique. The market's coffee is 100-percent Arabica, made with Colombian and Tanzanian beans. Jars of jams, jellies and pickles stocked on a shelf close to the register are made in Kutztown, Pa. In the beverage department, there are fountain sodas and Tazo teas. Fresh orange juice from Florida is served from a Sun-Kist dispenser at half the price of bottled juice. The beverage case has surprises of its own, such as high-antioxidant Bai juices and Vita Coco coconut milk combinations, the report noted.

"We do try to offer things that are a little healthier," Bozikis said.