WASHINGTON, DC – Kostas Fostieris, who owns the Greek Deli in Washington, DC, just a few blocks from the White House, is just as passionate about Hellenism as he is about the food service industry.
Recently, he introduced a new menu item, Macedonian-Style Pork, to which a customer of Croatian origin said it should be called “Skopian-Style.”
Realizing that his response could forever alienate the customer, Fostieris nonetheless replied: “The recipe is Macedonian, as is Macedonia, and this name is non-negotiable.” As expected, the customer left without ordering.
“We should not discount our national affairs, Fostieris said. “I deliberately added 'Macedonian Style' to kick-start the dialogue and remind everyone that we are determined to give our own fight even if we lose some customers.”
Fostieris was born on Andros to Antonios and Angeliki, who had four other children. At 16, he left for the School of Engineering in Piraeus and, at age 20, became a sailor. After graduation, he served on the Themistocles, an anti-torpedo ship, for two and a half years.
On one of his visits to Piraeus, he met 18-year-old Irene Marmaras, who was on vacation, and happened to be visiting his aunt's house. Her parents came from the same village on Andros and had their own restaurants in Maryland.
They fell in love and after six months they married at Nikaia. They came to the United States and Fostieris initially worked at his father-in-law's restaurant and thirty years ago he bought his own restaurant.
Kostas and Irene Fostieris have two daughters, Angeliki and Maria, and six grandchildren Elina, Konstantina, Konstantinos, Riana, Elias, and Alexandros.
Greek Deli is often frequented by Secret Service agents among other professionals in the NW section of Washington. DC Eater recently reported that one day, then-President Obama’s motorcade passed by the restaurant, and Secret Service agents who are regular customers shouted out: “Kostas, Kostas!”