December 12, 2008

Ari's Place

By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

Ari's Place is the culinary point of interest on the downtown square in Canton.
Its' cuisine served in the style of a Greek or Albanian diner you'd find in Chicago.

"That phrase doesn't mean we serve Albanian or Greek food. Its' the philosophy that goes behind the diner. As far as serving an all–American cuisine; like waffles, pancakes, different types of skillets, of course biskets and gravy," said owner Ari Leshi.

Sounds easy, but Leshi is no clod in the kitchen. He's more like an iron chef.
Ari is flame–roasting meat, vegetables and seasonings. Here is his advise to the novice cook at home: just when you think you're on the brink of watching it all burn:
Add a sauce:

"When you put the sauce in, it softens it up and pulls it off the pan. And that is where the majority of the flavor is at that moment. And then it gets dissolved into the actual sauce," said Leshi.

The eating area is a classic joint: Lots of small tight booths crammed with fans of Ari's food.

"Good food. Big portions. Always satisfied," said customer Georgine Callihan.

"We come here quite often. It is good food. And it is fast. –Especially the breakfast. Most of us are having breakfast they bring it out right away," said customer George Coussens.

"I love to eat. (laughs) And this is a good place to eat. (I like to eat, too) I know you do," said customer Donna Locke.

My hand is ready to work a fork for breakfast at dinner.
Breakfast is served all day long at Ari's.
I order Butches Skillet: smoked ham, bacon, sausage links, sausage patties, smoked sausage, top sirloin slices, mushroom, onions green peppers and American cheese. In my limited culinary career... this is the first time I've consumed every meat on the breakfast menu at once. With eggs over easy and toast, its' a great way to start or finish your day.
Photographer Larry Faulk orders the biscuits and gravy omelet. The eggs, potatoes, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy all suffocate the buttermilk biscuits. Larry is proud to wash it all down with a cold Dr. Pepper.
Our bill with drinks: $21.87 plus tip. Ari's is an excellent all–American Greek or Albanion dinner... smack dab in the middle of Canton.

Ari's place is open seven days a week starting at seven A–M.
He closes at 2:30 on Sundays.
Ari is hoping to expand with a liquor license in the near future.
29 E. Side Square

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