ORINDA (KRON) — Just before noon Friday, the line at the Europa Deli in Orinda was already snaking out the door for a St. Patrick’s Day tradition.
For the last 20 years, they have been serving up as much as 1,000 pounds of corned beef. This year it may be a ton.
“Every year, it kept increasing from five-to-750-1,000. Last year, we did 1,500, and this year, being on a weekend, we figure we can do 2,000 pounds,” deli owner George Boukis said.
That 20-year tradition has patrons playing hooky for the opportunity.
“We took off work to come down here for the corned beef sandwiches, might not go back to work,” one customer said.
It takes a bit of effort to cook up 2,000 pounds of corned beef and 500 pounds of cabbage.
“We start from the night before, we stay up all night, it’s a very grueling process but somehow we manage to get through it,” Boukis said.
And should you question the authenticity of two Greek brothers serving up this most traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal, one only has to look to one brother’s wife.
“My maiden name is Ryan…married a Greek though,” Boukis’ wife Lori said.
“Doesn’t matter what your nationality is today, everybody’s Irish,” Boukis said.