French toast at Twin Brothers Kaffe

FRENCH TOAST — Twin Brothers Kaffe County Gourmet menu items include french toast, which features creamed cheese and juicy sliced strawberries between two slices of toasted bread that's baked on premises.

Authentic baked goods and scrumptious savory items are what first attracts people to Twin Brothers Kaffe Country Gourmet at 4640 U.S. Highway 17 in DeLeon Springs. 

My visit began with a 10-minute drive from Downtown DeLand to one of the few dining options in DeLeon Springs. Arriving at the quaint cafe, I was greeted by the whimsical patio seating, framed by an archway overtaken by nature. The building’s lime-green exterior was an eye-catcher.

Seated inside and wrapped in the bright orange-colored walls of Twin Brothers, my senses were drawn to the aroma of freshly baked pastries and brewing coffee. 

Options ranged from a quick muffin for the road, to the cafe’s take on the Reuben sandwich, featuring house-brined corned beef and German red cabbage. 

“We use the best products on the market, no preservatives,” owner and Chef Jimmy Buzza said, when asked what distinguishes his restaurant’s food. He added, “Fresh every day.”

As the seasons change and bring different produce, new baked goods are added to the menu, allowing for a wide variety of items throughout the year at Twin Brothers.

With an array of choices and an indecisive mind, I finally settled on stuffed French toast with freshly squeezed orange juice. French toast has always reminded me of lazy Sunday mornings with my family.

Customer deciding what to get at Twin Brothers Kaffe

CHOICES, CHOICES — Melinda Beller of DeLand has a hard time deciding what to choose from the many baked delights available at Twin Brothers Kaffe Country Gourmet, next door to Karlings restaurant in DeLeon Springs.

Chef Jimmy brought the breakfast classic to a new level with a perfect balance of flavor. Cream cheese and juicy sliced strawberries come together between two thick slices of bread baked in-house. The edges are golden and flaky, with a soft center, generously dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a mouthwatering strawberry sauce. 

Beyond the brunch selection, conversation and friendly faces bring regulars back time and time again. 

Lily Buzza, wife of Chef Jimmy, greets customers as they eye the display cases. She offers regulars their usual orders. Every so often, the door will open and someone offers a salutation to Chef Jimmy through the curtained-off kitchen as he prepares dishes. Everyone who steps into Twin Brothers is treated like an old friend stopping by to catch up over a cup of coffee. 

Longtime patrons Christine and John Davis first encountered Twin Brothers Kaffe after moving to Pierson several years ago.

Christine’s explanation for what keeps them coming back: “Jimmy is a phenomenal chef. … His ability to do pastries and entrees; it’s such a wide variety.”

Chef Jimmy has been devoted to the art of cooking for more than 35 years, and he and his wife have started two successful businesses. Just a few steps away from the bakery is their restaurant, Karlings, a restaurant specializing in seafood and German cuisine. 

Chef Jimmy and Lily Buzza opened the bakery next door in 2013 with the hope of bringing something new to their customers. They saw no authentic European bakery here. 

“We saw the need in Volusia County,” Lily Buzza said.

The bakery is named after the couple’s twin boys, Burley and Elliot, who are now 13. In the summertime, the twins make and bottle their own lemonade to be sold in the cafe, and they occasionally play live piano in Karlings Inn.

Although I went solo for my meal, I didn’t leave without some pastries to share with my family. At the mention of Twin Brothers Kaffe, my mother begged me to get her a watermelon muffin. “Better yet, get me two,” she said.

More baked good on offer at Twin Brothers Kaffe

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE — There’s no shortage of choices among fresh baked goods at Twin Brothers Kaffe Country Gourmet.

Mom spared only a bite for me, so I could describe the scrumptious creation. Baked using Chef Jimmy’s watermelon jam, the moist treat has a light and natural sweetness that defies description.

For my dad, who rarely eats sweets, I nabbed an apple turnover at the recommendation of Lily. The crisp and flaky dough complemented the sweet fruit filling, which was resplendent with  a warm cinnamon spice. 

At the bakery, alongside displays piled high with fresh baked goods, is an assortment of sauces and other condiments. These products made by Chef Jimmy — such as the key ingredient in the inimitable watermelon muffins — are available to purchase.

— Rodriguez is a student at Stetson University who is interning with The Beacon during the spring semester.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant for her to profile? Send an email to info@beacononlinenews.com.