Carrying ahead traditions of meals service, hospitality – Studying Eagle

Brothers Riz Chaudhry, left, and Oz Chaudhry within the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery, which they personal and function. (Courtesy of Dave Kline)

One among my core beliefs is that all of us have extra in widespread than now we have variations. Ergo, we’re all of 1 race, the human race. Irrespective of the place on the earth you journey and as numerous because the cultures could also be that you simply encounter, basically, all rational individuals maintain the traditions and charm of household, meals and communal gathering at instances of celebrations as particular, if not sacred.

Hand in hand with these values typically comes a want to be of service to household, pals, group and plenty of instances, relying on the life path chosen by a person, service to finish strangers.

This brings us to the subject of right this moment’s column, carrying ahead the traditions of meals service and hospitality.

Berks County is lucky to have many regionally owned and operated eating places to select from. Given the selection, I’ll usually decide to patronize a household run restaurant over a series owned and operated restaurant. I like to speak to the house owners and cooks about easy issues like their very own backgrounds, households and why/how they bought into the restaurant enterprise.

As a frequent patron of the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery, I used to be happy when former proprietor Hamid Chaudhry, (who purchased the restaurant from one other pillar of our group, Elsayed “Steve” Elmarzouky), retired and offered the restaurant to his cousins Oz and Riz Chaudhry. They like to be referred to as Oz and Riz so I’ll not get extra formal than that right here.

Elsayed from Egypt, Hamid from Pakistan and now Oz, born in Pakistan, and his brother Riz, born in Libya, got here right here to chase the American dream, and the primary two have tremendously succeeded. Oz and Riz are nicely on their approach to lasting success with their stewardship of the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery.

I benefit from the place due to its calming, communal-type ambiance and vibe. It’s uncommon that I’m within the restaurant and am not greeted by a buddy, member of the family or acquaintance that stops to speak a bit earlier than chowing down on one of many area’s most scrumptious buffets. Being within the restaurant feels as simple as being at dwelling to me, and with out query, the crew that runs the restaurant is genuinely heat and pleasant.

Taking up from their cousin Hamid, Oz and Riz might have simply ventured down a few mistaken turns or adjustments on the restaurant, however as a substitute, they firmly imagine within the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it.” They’re clever past their years, and I needed you to get to know them a bit extra.

Oz and Riz come from a household that was blessed with 11 brothers and sisters. As a result of their household being concerned with the petroleum enterprise, they moved to accommodate being round hubs of that trade.

Riz recounted that when he and Oz had been younger, they attended faculties constructed by American and Canadian petroleum corporations to coach the youngsters of working households from all around the world.

“Being in a world college at such a younger age uncovered us to seven or eight totally different nationalities and cultures at anyone time,” Riz stated. “We really feel very fortunate to have had that form of publicity to totally different customs, languages and such.”

“So, the place Riz was born, in Libya, there was an Italian colony, and we frolicked with these youngsters and their households who served Italian meals like pasta, solely with available Center Japanese components and toppings,” Oz stated. “It was nice.”

Riz jumped again into the dialog: “Yeah, and like most youngsters, we’d all swap lunches. Lunchtimes had been like a world meals competition. I keep in mind that I actually loved the sushi seaweed lunches that the Korean youngsters introduced.

“We additionally appreciated the Turkish meals that some youngsters introduced. You be taught lots whenever you share meals or break bread with individuals from different cultures.”

Whereas in faculty in Chicago, Oz and Riz had been roommates with Hamid.

“As freshmen, Oz and I watched as Hamid went off and bought a job working on the unique Drake Resort,” Riz stated. “He discovered a lot about upscale eating and the meals service trade. I had a medical subject background, however that background led to a facet undertaking in meals service, and Oz and I simply form of bought into it.”

Oz and Riz noticed the enjoyment that household gatherings and the meals and cordial ambiance that went with them and their curiosity within the restaurant enterprise and the meals service trade outgrew their pursuits in different profession paths. They’ve every devoted 10 years to meals, meals service and ensuring their patrons really feel welcome, appreciated and at dwelling.

“We did 5 years with Hamid at Dairy Queen on Route 724, 5 years right here on the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery, and now we’re into our sixth month of proudly owning and working the enterprise,” they stated, nearly concurrently.

After I spoke with Oz and Riz in regards to the enjoyment I get from their cordial restaurant and the scrumptious home-cooked meals they serve, they assured me that they get nice satisfaction out of seeing individuals are available in time and time once more.

I advised them that I feel their fried rooster is past examine, and I puzzled out loud, on objective, in the event that they guarded their recipe as a secret, just like the treasure it’s.

To my shock, they each smiled at me, and Oz stated, “There actually isn’t any unique recipe or secret. We maintain it easy.”

“You already know, it’s recent components,” Riz stated. “If there’s any so-called secret, it’s that we use farm recent to desk components. The rooster we purchase and use is seven days or much less from being slaughtered, and it’s all the time recent right here, by no means frozen. It’s the identical with our beef. We by no means purchase and put together frozen beef. It’s all the time made out of the recent, uncooked product.”

The greens served within the restaurant are Pennsylvania Most well-liked, PA First produce, direct from sources like farmers markets. The eggs come to Wyomissing recent from the Shady Lane operation in Lebanon. The dairy merchandise come recent from Guers Dairy in Tamaqua, Schuylkill County.

Soup is one among my meals passions, and Oz and Riz by no means disappoint. They all the time have two scrumptious, freshly made decisions of soup. My favorites embrace rooster rice and rooster orzo, to which I add freshly squeezed lemon juice, as a result of I feel it makes me wholesome.

I’m very fussy about how rooster soups are made. There ought to by no means be giant chunks of root greens like carrots. These ought to be sliced or cubed uniformly and really skinny. They’re there for accent taste, shade and vitamin, to not be a jaw breaker. Meat within the rooster soups I like finest is all the time chicken, not darkish meat. I do know a few of you’ll disagree with me on this, however I don’t like consuming a soup after which abruptly discovering a hunk of chewy tendon in my mouth. That’s gross.

My level right here is to share that Oz and Riz and their cooks put together from scratch soups to the very best customary of excellence. There’s no junk fill of their soups. I give them 5 stars and an A-plus.

I typically go to the restaurant simply to get soup, however then, as a result of the buffet value is so affordable, I simply collapse and go for all of it as a result of it’s all fabulous. With a bakery proper on the premises, all breads, doughnuts and such are made out of scratch each morning beginning at 5, and the bakery is deliberately positioned proper as you enter the entrance doorways so you’ll be able to simply observe that the bakery is for actual and cranking out an natural occurring of the magical mixing of recent components to make savory and candy goodies.

For what it’s price, I do see a number of our group’s males in blue within the place frequently. Possibly there’s some reality to the rumor that cops love recent doughnuts. In keeping with Riz, doughnuts are the restaurant’s most beloved product.

The Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery is open day by day from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., serving breakfast and lunch, ala carte or from the buffet. I requested the brothers in the event that they ever plan to open up once more within the night.

They appeared me, smiled and spoke as one: “We imagine in a piece and household steadiness. Closing at 4 p.m. provides our workers and us an opportunity to benefit from the work/life steadiness, so now we have no plans to stay open previous 4. It’s been a superb factor for everybody concerned. Our greatest satisfaction comes from serving clients, seeing smiling faces and being concerned with the group and group organizations.”

Now you realize extra about Oz and Riz and the legacy and traditions they’re upholding on the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery. Possibly I’ll see you there sometime quickly.

Dave Kline is an award-winning author, photographer, present host and producer, singer-songwriter, journey information and group advocate. Attain him at

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