Family matters at home led to a late start on a shopping trip to the western edge of the Valley this past Saturday. We thought we’d avoid Highway 22′s congestion so we drove the northern route, across open countryside, through Northampton, and south down MacArthur Road. Since our last trip along that northern stretch a few years ago, we noticed several new businesses have opened, including a large . Judging by the parking lot, it’s much appreciated. Our offspring would smile to see that is still going strong. When they were younger, they had many fun times there.

It was around noon so we stopped at the Whitehall Family Diner. Stepping from the car, we were slapped by a cold rush of November wind. Winter is coming!

From the road, the restaurant makes an impressive and shiny appearance. The traditional diner feel continued as we walked inside. We were greeted with a bright display case filled with tall frosted cakes and creamy pies. Fresh looking green and white ceramic tiles covered the floors.

We asked for a booth. The hostess escorted us to one in front. We were struck by the hard seats, a minor discomfort and one we would overlook for a good meal.

The waitress brought us two steaming coffees then took our order from the extensive diner menu.  Noontime so my husband chose lunch – a cheeseburger and fries. Craving breakfast, I ordered a cheddar and bacon omelet. As we waited, we discussed matters ranging from the to the recent in the Valley. Folks, lock your cars!

Our meal finally arrived. His cheeseburger was large but the cheese seemed slapped on as an afterthought. Scarcely melted. Small serving of fries. He later said his entire meal was bland and tasteless. “Institutional” is the word he used. In all our years, I’ve never heard him say that about diner food.  I agreed, though. My omelet was a decent size but in the center the cheese was still shredded and almost cold, not melted. My potatoes sprawled across the plate giving the appearance of more than were actually there. Not that I wanted more. They had a slightly “old” taste. Toast and jam were good, as was the coffee, although we seemed limited to our original two cups.  No refills.  Overall, barely a fair meal with moderate to poor service.

Our meals, including cheeseburger and fries, a bacon and cheddar omelet, homefries, and toast, and two cups of coffee came to just under $15 (plus tip).

The Whitehall Family Diner is located at 3026 MacArthur Road in Whitehall, PA. It is open 24 hours.