The Nazareth Diner is an institution in the . We’ve seldom driven by it when the large parking lot wasn’t at least half full; more often it’s packed. It’s a popular gathering spot for old and young, families and singles. The Diner is where we first ate after our move here (years ago) and is a dependable regular on our list of weekend breakfast sites.

When we arrived shortly after 9 o’clock this morning, the sky was already gray and heavy in anticipation of . On entering, we weren’t asked whether we wanted smoking or non-smoking. The restaurant went smoke-free a few months ago, in advance of the new Pennsylvania that will take effect September 11, 2008.

We were seated in the main dining room, mid-way along the back wall. The room was crowded with only a few empty tables. Although the sky outside was darkening, inside was cheerful and bright with the light from the many chandeliers. Waitresses and busboys bustled efficiently around the room – taking and delivering orders, clearing tables. Soon a pleasant young waitress set glasses of iced water, two cups of coffee, and a carafe for refills in front of us then took our order.

As we waited for our food, my husband and I sipped our coffee and skimmed sections of and . We discussed a few of the articles. A sad story on mortgages and the nationwide foreclosures caught our eyes. Too much money easily available, too many willing to loan it out. Many excuses, few reasons. A gloomy topic for a gloomy day. We moved on.

Within minutes, our kindly waitress was setting our food in front of us – eggs, bacon, homefries and whole wheat toast for him, French Toast and bacon for me. As always our food arrived hot and filled with flavor. It’s strange how such a basic food as French Toast, bread dipped in egg batter, can so vary between restaurants yet still be so good. The Diner’s version is on thick bread, lightly dipped and grilled. Quite tasty. The bacon was more fatty than usual, but still good. All in all our meal was satisfying. The service was superb.

While we ate the staff started to fill the lunch buffet with iced salads and veggies. The steam tables were turned on. Our waitress checked on us now and then, unobtrusive and pleasant.

Our bill came to a total of $13 (plus tip) for eggs, bacon, homefries, toast and an order of French Toast and bacon, plus coffee. Reasonable. When we left the restaurant, Hanna’s rain had started to fall, but we walked away with a homey feeling inside.

The Nazareth Diner & Restaurant is located at the intersection of Highway 248 and South Broad Street in Nazareth, PA. It is open 24 hours a day.

Have you eaten breakfast at The Nazareth Diner? What was your experience? Please go to the top of the article and click Comments.