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By Shannon McLoud
When you walk into Kountry Kitchen you feel like you’re home. Could it be the large hutch that greets you, or the waiting area that has a game of checkers waiting to be played? Or is it the institution itself, because after 20 years with the Declos family that is what Kountry Kitchen really is, a Smithfield institution. I stopped by right after the lunch rush one day and found the Declos family hard at work. One brother was waiting tables, one was on the line, and I was greeted by a young girl; turns out her dad is one of the brothers. Kountry Kitchen is about family from the front door to the line. The business is owned by four family members, Marie and Pierre Declos, who are natives and restaurateurs from France and, and their nephews Thierry and Lionel Declos. This family business right off of Smith Ave has been feeding hungry diners for 20 years, and in that time they have not only seen their family grow, but the many families of Smithfield that come in for the All American Combo, or a plate of fresh crepes.
“Family is everything. All our girls grew up here.” co-owner Thierry said to me, and his brother LIonel echoed the sentiment explaining how when one of his daughters comes home from college, she’ll pick up hours at the restaurant.”I get to spend eight hours at work with her at work. Nothing better.” His younger daughter has now begun to work at the restaurant as well. And not only their family is involved, but the staff has the longevity and intimacy to be considered family. When the brothers bought the restaurant 20 years ago, they had a contest to redo the Kid’s Menu. A young girl named Liz redid it, and today you can find her waiting on customers, as she has done for the last 12 years.
The family ties don’t just end there, take one bite of their famous crepes, and you’re going down the Declos’ Memory Lane, as the recipe was handed down from their grandmother. Kountry Kitchen is where you’ll want to take your family out for a Sunday morning breakfast. They’ve been feeding Smithfield families for 20 years, and with ideas to expand with bringing back dinner eventually, and plans for a outdoor patio, there is no end in sight!
Clearly you don’t have to travel to Providence for exciting menu choices! From chocolate peanut butter waffles (yes, you read that right) to specials that include Cheesy Polenta and Eggs, to hot toddies and mimosas, this spot is a foodie’s delight smack dab in the middle of Smithfield!
When you see the lot full, and you frequently will see it full, don’t just drive by! This spacious spot holds 180 diners, and the wait, even when the lot is full, is rarely over 15 minutes. There is an extra dining area that can be used for meetings, or events. And although the restaurant closes at 2 (for now) they hold events after hours. Your event planning isn’t confined to the breakfast hours. From one look at the walls filled with accolades, to the thank you plaques from local sports teams, Kountry Kitchen is a part of the Smithfield family story, as much as it is a part of the Declos family story. Congrats on your twentieth year!