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On a frigid day in early January, my son and I drove to The New Williams Family Restaurant in Easton for a late morning breakfast.  As the host seated us, I noticed that the décor has been updated since my last visit, a few years ago. The walls and woodwork sported tasteful paneling, there were new booths, tables, and carpeting.  Even saw a few flat screen televisions scattered about.  Overall, a warm, inviting feel.

We asked for a booth and were led to the front window overlooking William Penn Highway. Our waitress was young (isn’t everyone these days?), prompt, and friendly.  She stepped away to get our coffee and my son and I skimmed through the extensive breakfast menu.  By the time she returned with our coffee and glasses of water, we’d settled on our standard fare – scrambled eggs and homefries.

Outside, winter gray clouds hung overhead but inside the dining room was warm and comfortable.  While we waited for our meals my son and I chatted, catching up with the events in each others life.  All around us came the gentle hum of others doing the same.  The manager and staff moved easily around large restaurant, greeting customers like old friends.  It seemed evident that The New Williams Family Restaurant has a very loyal and regular clientele.  We may soon be among their numbers.

In no time, the waitress brought out our food on warmed plates.  Our eggs were nicely scrambled and the potatoes browned, as we asked.  Although his bacon wasn’t quite as crisp as he normally likes, he said it was still tasty.  We both especially like the toast made from grainy whole wheat bread. It was fresh, hot, and flavorful.  I ordered mine dry then skimmed it lightly with strawberry jam. Delicious!  Although there was no carafe, throughout our meal the engaging waitress kept our coffee cups filled.

Our meal came to just over $13 (not including tip) for two coffees, and two platters that included eggs, homefries, and toast, and one order of bacon for my son.  A pleasant breakfast in a pleasant spot.

The Williams Family Restaurant is located at 3630 William Penn Highway, Easton, PA 18045-5119.  (610) 253-8281.   They are open daily from 5am-10pm.  Stop in for breakfast – soon!  You’ll be glad you did.

Sara

Williams Restaurant on Urbanspoon

We woke early this morning, a regular weekday habit that doesn’t go away on holidays.  With just our immediate family expected for Thanksgiving dinner this year, and not until early evening, we decided to go out for breakfast.  M. and I donned our warm winter jackets, hopped into our car and drove west toward Bath, PA and the Town & Country Restaurant.

My decision over what to order was made before I stepped from the car.  The large sign announced “Pumpkin Hotcakes.”  What better choice could there be for a Thanksgiving Day breakfast?

With its homey country decor, the restaurant felt warm and inviting.  The smiling hostess immediately showed us to a bright booth off to the left.   We asked for coffee and water then settled in to study the extensive breakfast menu.   Lots of standard breakfast fare but we also saw a few surprises.  The Godfather Omelet was topped with marinara sauce.  The chili egg dish looked perfect for a cold winter day.  But I couldn’t get those Pumpkin Hotcakes out of my mind.

A friendly waitress took our order then disappeared into the kitchen. We skimmed through sections of the morning paper.  Stores will open earlier than ever for Black Friday sales, some as early as 3 AM.  (Why go to bed ?)  A few department stores are offering Black Friday specials on Thanksgiving Day — online orders only but with free shipping.  Amazing.  Many retailers vying for fewer dollars.

As our waitress brought our food we realized the restaurant was filling up.  Others, old and young, were sitting down at the counter, and at tables and booths.  Glad we got there early.

M. had ordered his latest favorite — poached eggs, bacon, wheat toast.  His large eggs were hot, the bacon crisp, and the toast nicely browned.   I’d ordered only two pumpkin pancakes; I could have been satisfied with one.  They were huge, hot, and delicious.  The pumpkin flavor was subtle with the cakes moist and filled with flavor.  The waitress had offered me a choice of syrups — regular, lite, and sugar free.  I used the lite syrup sparingly.  Truly wonderful.

Our bill for breakfast — his two eggs, three slices of bacon, wheat toast, and my two large pancakes, plus our two cups of coffee — came to just over $10 (not including tip).   A reasonable price.  With its warm, inviting atmosphere, friendly and efficient service, and good home-cooked food, the Town & Country in Bath is well worth a visit.

The Town & Country Restaurant is located at 350 S. Walnut Street (Hwy. 512) in Bath, PA.  610-837-7220.  They are open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also provide take-out orders.   Today they are serving a special Thanksgiving Day Buffet from 11 AM to 7 PM.

Sara

P. S. This evening we will gather with those closest to us.  We’ll dine on roast turkey and stuffing, on sweet potatoes, cranberries, and green beans.   After the table is cleared, if there’s still room in our bellies, we’ll fork in some pumpkin or cherry pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream  We’ll talk, and laugh, and take joy in our time together.  Family, friends, food — reasons aplenty to be grateful.  May you and yours find happiness together this Thanksgiving Day!   Blessings and a warm thank you to all.


Town & Country Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The winter of 2010 seemed endless. Life grew more complicated when illness struck.  Weeks flew by.  I wondered when things would return to normal.  But then the snows started to melt.  Seasonal rains and warming temperatures coaxed leaf buds and flowers into bloom.  Spring arrived, in all its glorious beauty.

This morning M. announced that it had been too long since we’d been on one of our diner dates.  My improved health was reason to celebrate.  He asked where I wanted to go.  I pulled out my wish list of Lehigh Valley Restaurants.  “You choose,” I said.  He glanced at the list then said “the Queen City Diner.”  We’d first heard of it from a friend who raves over their warm service and yummy pancakes.  Just the ticket on this drizzling spring morn.

Queen City Diner is about a half hour drive from our home.  Highway 78 to Exit 57 then north on Lehigh Street.  Strangely, I felt almost giddy on our drive.  Nothing like a lingering illness to make one appreciate the little things in life.  The diner sits across the road from a CVS Pharmacy, just north of the Queen City Airport.   We took one of the last parking spots near the back of the building. Inside, the restaurant was packed but our wait was short.  Our cordial hostess quickly showed us to a booth next to the front window.   The staff bustled through the crowded dining room, taking orders, serving food, clearing tables and counter.

Our waitress delivered a carafe of coffee with two cups, and glasses of water.  She gave special instructions on using the carafe.  We browsed through the extensive breakfast menu and specials.  Assorted omelets and other egg dishes, stuffed waffles and French Toast and, of course, pancakes.  So much to choose from, and all of it looked GOOD!  I almost ordered the sweet potato pancakes, our friend’s favorite, but decided the blueberry pancakes had more appeal this morning.  M. chose a bowl of oatmeal, followed by eggs, bacon, and hash browns.

As we sipped on our coffee, we glanced around the 50’s style diner decorated in the traditional diner colors of dark pink and turquoisy-green.  The roomy booths each held a small table top juke box.  We resisted the urge to plop in some coins for music; the aisles weren’t big enough to dance.   The room was filled with patrons of all ages.  Families and couples sat comfortably enjoying their morning out.  The delicious aroma of fresh cooked breakfasts drifted from the kitchen.

Our friendly waitress delivered M.’s oatmeal first, as he’d requested.  It was a large bowl, hot and steaming. He poured on a little milk and began to eat.  Soon the rest of our food arrived.  My short stack of blueberry pancakes looked very good, and tasted even better.  While the blueberries were only faintly apparent from the top, when I cut into them I found they were each packed with delectable juicy blue.  Perfect!

M.’s hash brown patties were browned and crisp.  The picture seems to show only one hash brown, but two patties were stacked — thick, and delicious.   His poached eggs were slightly over cooked for his taste, but the inside yolk was still runny and a rich yellow.  I pinched an end from his bacon and found it wonderfully crisp and salty.

Our total bill (excluding tip) came to just over $11 for a short stack of blueberry pancakes, a large bowl of oatmeal, two eggs, two hash brown patties, three large pieces of bacon, two slices of toast, and two cups of coffee with carafe.  All prices on the menu were most reasonable, among the best we’ve seen in the Valley.   Service was cordial and efficient.   Definitely a place to visit again, and again!

The Queen City Diner is located at 1801 Lehigh Street, Allentown, PA 18103.  Telephone 610-791-0240.  They are open 24 hours a day.   Propietors are Ody & George Draklellis.  I hope you’ll try them soon!

Sara

Queens City Diner on Urbanspoon

Last year, a few months after I started this blog, our son recommended we compare four diners along Union Boulevard, east of Airport Road.  Some call the area “diner row.”  In January 2009 we visited his first recommendation, the Golden Gate Diner at 1318 Union Boulevard.  In June we ate breakfast at the Top Diner at 1019 and, in mid-August, we ate at Izzy’s Family Restaurant, at 920.  Somehow it seemed fitting to end the year at the newest of the four, the Union Diner & Family Restaurant, located at 2302 Union Boulevard.

The Union Diner opened about two years ago.  I read that the building had previously operated as a Pizza Hut; the signature windows are still intact.  The interior, however, was fully remodeled with new tiled floors and booths.  On this snowy morn, the diner was nearly empty.  My son and I were offered our choice of seating.  We chose a booth along the front wall.

A smiling waitress brought menus that included a large list of the usual diner breakfast options.  She soon returned with our coffee and tall glasses of iced water with straws.  We placed our orders for one of the breakfast specials – eggs, homefries, bacon.  One advantage of eating out on a weekday, other than choice of seating, is the prices on the specials.

We sipped steaming hot coffee, chatted, and looked around.  The dining room, still with that new feel, appeared sparse, almost barren;  only a few red ribbons still celebrated the holiday.  A sign above the dessert case near the front announced “Under New Management.”  After only two years?  As I mulled it over, through the west window I saw two men across the street pushing snowblowers.  They seemed in rhythm as they came together then parted along their separate paths.

Our food was delivered promptly and with another smile. I was disappointed to learn there was no strawberry jam for my toast.  The cordial waitress said they only offer grape and mixed fruit jellies.  Both my son and I found the scrambled eggs to be the tastiest part of the meal, moist and fresh.  The home fries were golden crisp and not too greasy.  Bacon was tasty.  The coffee wasn’t quite as strong as I like it, but our watchful server kept our cups filled.

The total cost of the meal was just under $7 (plus tip) for the two of us. A real bargain for two orders of scrambled eggs (2), homefries, 3 slices of bacon, whole wheat toast and coffee.  As mentioned, an advantage of eating out on a weekday morning. I have to wonder if an added 50 cents would have provided the strawberry jam most diners offer. No matter.

I’m told there will soon be new menus and a new name for the Union Diner.   Members of the same family that now own the increasingly popular West Side Diner at 19th and Tilghman will rename this one the East Side Diner.  It will be interesting to see what other changes might be in store.

At the start, I mentioned the four diners along Union Boulevard.  All four diners served good, tasty breakfasts.  Service at all was great, with the Golden Gate and the Top Diner leading the way for friendly, attentive service.  Izzy’s and the Golden Gate carried the day for the strongest, old time diner charm and atmosphere.   Izzy’s coffee was tops, strong and robust, with coffee at the Golden Gate a close second.  My opinions only.  Please comment with your thoughts.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2010!

Sara

Christmas calls. Late this morning we headed north up Highway 33 to the Poconos on our annual trek for Christmas greenery.  As we drove across the mountain at Wind Gap, we were awed by Saturday’s gift.  Trees and bushes everywhere were covered in a luminous Christmas card white.  Along Route 209 in Brodheadsville, about five miles west of Highway 33, we happened upon the Meadowbrook Diner.  We decided to stop for breakfast.

M. was intrigued by a sign on the restaurant’s west side and started to park there. I soon convinced him that it probably wasn’t intended for us.  “Maybe when we retire dear,” I told him.  With a deadpan expression, he replied “We’ll trade in your Jeep.”  He winked then swung the vehicle into a more appropriate spot.

The Meadowbrook is not a large diner, but it has a cozy country feel.  Inside, we were told we could sit where we wished.  The small restaurant was packed but there were two booths available; we chose the one next to a window.  As we waited for our waitress and M. settled himself with the morning news, I noted the smooth efficiency of the staff.  Waitresses took orders and the bussers cleaned tables.

When the waitress set our menus on the table, we asked for our usual coffees and water.   We skimmed through the simple menu offerings – standard egg dishes, a variety of omelets, pancakes, and Belgian waffles.   Our waitress set down our coffee mugs and water glasses, then took our order.  I’d decided on a Belgian waffle.  With an apologetic smile, she told me they’d run out of the Belgian waffles.  Both M. and I settled on eggs and bacon.

The coffee was well-prepared, not too strong, but with a fine, robust flavor.   As we waited for our food, a co-worker of our waitress stopped by with a refill.  We browsed the newspaper, and enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere.

Soon our waitress arrived with two large plates of food.  M. had ordered sunny-side up eggs and I’d ordered scrambled.  The homefries were a bit buttery, but otherwise were thinly sliced, fresh tasting, and hot.  Nicely browned, too.  Our bacon was crisp, and the eggs were tasty and cooked to order.  All in all, a comfortably good diner breakfast.

Our total bill came to just under $17 (plus tip) for two orders that each included 2 large eggs, 4 slices of bacon, toast, a large serving of homefries, and 2 coffees with ample refills.  Overall service was friendly and efficient, and the atmosphere was homey.

The Meadowbrook Diner III is located along the south side of Route 209 in Brodheadsville, roughly 5 miles west of Highway 33.  Phone – 570-992-5205.

Sara

Meadow Brook Diner on Urbanspoon

The blacktop in front of the diner glistened from an early morning rain. Palmer signOverhead, a light breeze puffed away the clouds, changing the sky from soft gray to powder blue.  A few Saturday morning errands with my son included a stop at Jiffy Lube for an oil change.  While the car was being serviced, the Palmer Diner seemed convenient for some hot coffee and a bite to eat.

My son stops in occasionally but it had been a while since I’d been there.  The restaurant looked refreshed since then – the floor tiled, the booths newer.

We took a booth next to the window.  The lone waitress, a sweet looking girl, brought over two menus.  While she left to bring our coffees and water, we reviewed the offerings of standard breakfast fare.  The coffee was delivered in a stainless steel carafe (by now, you may know how I love carafes!)  then took our orders.

As we waited for our meals, we caught up on each others’ lives – school, work, and outside interests.breakfast 326 Eating out for breakfast, however infrequent, allows a mom to catch up with her adult child’s life. Sitting captive in a diner forces conversations one might not otherwise have. :smile:

Our food didn’t take long.  Soon our friendly waitress was setting our rectangular plates in front of us.  My son had ordered a standard for him – eggs, bacon, homefries, and wheat toast.  I’d ordered one of my usual favorites – French Toast with a side order of bacon.

The plates were new looking.  More important, they were hot, assuring us of warm food.  Palmer Diner breakfastOur bacon was crispy and flavorful.  His eggs were nicely scrambled.   My French Toast was average, a little drier than I normally like, but still tasty.  Nice presentation.

Service was excellent with our waitress stopping back as needed to check on us.  The interesting metal coffee carafe held ample refills of fresh-brewed coffee.  Tables were cleaned promptly.  Overall, our visit to Palmer Diner provided what we wanted – friendly service, decent food, and a clean and friendly atmosphere to visit.

Our bill came to just under $12 (plus tip) for 2 eggs, homefries, bacon, and toast, and 2 slices of French Toast with a side order of bacon, plus two coffees.  Reasonably priced in today’s economy.

The Palmer Diner is located at 2913 Old Nazareth Road, Palmer Township, PA (across from Palmer Mall and just behind Jiffy Lube).  610-252-0164.  They are open 6 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week.  Their business card says they specialize in homemade food, and they provide a Senior Citizen Discount.

Sara

Palmer Diner on Urbanspoon

On this bright summer morning, with M. out of town, my son and I went out for breakfast.  He likes diners.  Two ofIzzy's Family Restaurant his local favorites are about a half-mile apart – the Golden Gate Diner (click to read about our January visit) and Izzy’s Family Restaurant.   Today we ate at Izzy’s.

The restaurant was crowded, normal for a weekend.  Although it’s not large, there is ample seating.  Dining room seating is cozy.  A young waitress quickly showed us to an empty booth, handed us menus and asked for our beverage order.  In a few minutes she returned with iced water and coffee, then took our food order.  The menu was varied with the usual egg dishes and several types of omelets, French Toast, and pancakes.

While we waited for our meals, my son and I browsed Baptism Daythrough a few sections of the Express-Times and caught up on family life.   Some of his older cousins are now parents and I showed him recent pictures he hadn’t yet seen of their children.  Seems not all that long ago when the toddler and baby pictures I was showing off to others were of him, of his siblings, and those cousins who now have children of their own.   Suddenly we’re into the next generation.  What precious children they are!   But, while being a grand-aunt is truly grand, I’m not quite ready to be a grandmother.  :wink:

Our food arrived in no time, served up with smile by our friendly waitress.   You know, I have a great admiration for good waitresses.  Izzy's Breakfast On their feet for hours they take orders, deliver hot plates of food, pour coffee, and see to the needs of demanding customers.  How do they do it?

Today both of us ordered scrambled eggs and bacon, served up with home fries and toast.  Both the homefries and bacon were crispy, just as ordered.  Tasty, hot, and delicious.  Our waitress kept our coffee filled – great coffee – and checked back occasionally to see if we needed anything else.  Friendly, with a nice smile.

Our total bill came to just under $10 (plus tip) for two orders of eggs, bacon, homefries, toast, and coffee.  In today’s economy it is comforting to know that there are still good quality restaurant meals around with reasonable prices and good service.

Izzy’s Family Restaurant is located at 920 Union Boulevard, Allentown, PA, just east of Airport Road.  610-437-9644.  They are open 24/7.   Stop by for a visit!

Sara

Izzy's Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Today the Borough of Palmerton held Summer Sidewalk Sales, but we didn’t know that when we decided to go to Bert’s Steakhouse. We’d planned a visit since May when a reader, Steve, Bert's Steakhouserecommended it. This morning seemed a nice one for our first visit to Palmerton.  M. was pleased the minute we started driving down Delaware Avenue and into town.  “Look,” he said.  “Angled parking.”  We both smiled.  Angled parking just makes sense!

When we entered the ’60’s themed restaurant it looked full.  Booths and tables were all occupied with only a few counter seats open.  Then we realized there was a large adjoining dining room.  It’s homey, country-style welcomed us and a sign told us to seat ourselves.  A waitress brought menus along with our requested coffee and water.   When I heard Gerry & the Pacemakers singing “Ferry Cross the Mersey,” I felt like I’d stepped back to a more pleasant place in time.  Always loved that song!

A featured item across the top of my menu was Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Vanilla Sauce.  Too good to pass up.  Bert's BreakfastM. ordered bacon and poached eggs.  Our food was soon brought by a warm and friendly waitress.  I found the vanilla sauce to be a perfect complement to the French Toast.  Too often I think syrup drowns the flavor of French Toast or pancakes.   This was light and lovely.  I’d also asked for a side order of bacon, browned and crisp when it arrived, with a delectable salty flavor.  Throughout the meal, our waitress kept our coffee cups filled in a thoroughly pleasant, non-intrusive way.

Our total bill was under $12 (plus tip) for 2 eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice, and Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with vanilla sauce, a generous side order of bacon, and 2 coffees with ample refills.  Quite reasonable.   We wholeheartily recommend Bert’s for its quality of food, pleasant atmosphere, and excellent service!

After our meal, we strolled up Delaware Avenue.  We were pleased to discover the Palmerton LibraryPalmerton Library on the corner and took a self-guided tour.  The First National Bank, built in 1926, donated the building to the library in the early 1970’s.  It is well-maintained with a broad selection of books,  DVDs, and an incredibly helpful librarian.  A large round table holds several computers, all occupied today.  There’s a sizeable childrens’ section in the rear and a young adults’ section downstairs.  Upstairs are more books and a large conference room.  Special Note: The Palmerton Library is currently holding a basket auction with many nice baskets on display.  If you’re from the area and haven’t been there lately, go buy a few tickets and bid!

Across the street from the Palmerton Library breakfast 267is the municipal building with a small park next to it.  The park features an antique clock and one of the many wonderfully painted mules from Miles of Mules.  Charming!  We continued our stroll.  M. bought some clothing (really good sales!) and we picked up some locally grown fresh produce at a corner market.

Although we hadn’t planned on touring Palmerton, we really enjoyed seeing the community.  This borough carries a lot of charm and flavor, not the least of which is found at Bert’s Steakhouse! Thank you, Steve, for a great recommendation!

Bert’s Steakhouse is located at 416 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA.  610-826-9921.  They are open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm, and on Sunday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Sara

Bert's Steakhouse & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A cloud-covered weekend morning took us to Easton’s west side and Palmer Township’s City Diner for breakfast.  To area natives, City Breakfast Signrvthe City Diner is more than an old standby – it’s a landmark and, to some, almost a home away from home.  According to the Lehigh Valley Metromix, the diner, which opened in the late 1950’s, is among the oldest diners in the Easton area.  Owner “Nick Giacoumopoulos took over in 1980,” the site says, and their chef has been there for over twenty-five years.   Like a good cheddar, it appears to have aged well.

The front and side parking lots were almost full when we arrived just after ten o’clock.  We found a space near the back.  Inside, the restaurant staff hustled – taking orders, serving food, re-filling coffee, clearing tables.  I asked if a booth might be available and we were quickly shown to the lone empty one along the back wall of the front section.  I noted that tables and booths were spaced closely, but not uncomfortably so.   A pleasant waitress delivered our requested water, a cup of coffee and a cup of tea.

An easel blackboard in the entryway had listed, among other items: raisin French toast and a broccoli cheese omelet – two of my favorites.  City DinerrvStill, I browsed through the menu.  It contained the usual diner fare.  Not sure why but I chose simple bacon and eggs, as did M.

While we waited, we sipped our hot beverages and browsed the morning paper.  We were especially drawn in by Joseph Owens’ morning blog. As we read, voices around us hummed.  I heard the owner/manager deliver a fresh plate to another customer; M. said later that he seemed to be actively involved, keeping a watchful eye.

Our food arrived.  Except for the preparation of the eggs, we’d ordered basically the same platesbreakfast 190 – eggs, bacon, homefries.  Our bacon was crispy, as requested, with a nice salty flavor.  My eggs were well scrambled, moist, and delicious!  M.’s poached eggs were fine, although close to being overcooked.  Still, he said he recognizes restaurants’ concerns over the egg police and problems that arise from undercooked eggs.  Our homefries were crispy, as requested; flavor was diner average.  Toast was perfect, and still hot when delivered.

Our waitress provided friendly, efficient service.  For a wholesome diner breakfast, I’d recommend a visit.

The total bill for two orders of eggs, bacon (3 pieces each), homefries, wheat toast, one coffee and one tea, came to just under $12 (plus tip).  Reasonable in today’s market.

The City Diner is located at 1061 S. 25th St., Easton, PA (Palmer Township) – at the corner of 25th St. and Freemansburg Road.  610-258-5526.  They are open Monday through Saturday 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Sara

City Diner on Urbanspoon

Our son recommended we try the Golden Gate Diner. Golden Gate Diner Sign“It’s an old-fashioned city diner,” he said.  “Good coffee and good food.  I think you’ll like it.”  And so, on this frigid Saturday morning – the thermometer read 15°F – my husband and I set out for breakfast.  For such a cold morning many others had the same idea.  The lot was packed so we parked on the street behind the restaurant.  Inside we were shown to a window booth.

Our waitress brought glasses of water and coffee then gave us time to look over the breakfast menu.  The offerings breakfast-1192were standard – egg dishes including omelets, pancakes, French Toast, and assorted side dishes.  We decided on simple eggs and bacon.

The Golden Gate is not fancy but it has a type of charm I appreciated.  A comfort factor.  As we waited for our food, we relaxed in the retro decor and friendly atmosphere.  Laughter rippled from the adjoining booths.  Behind the counter, a green mixer whirred.  A busy waitress stopped by our table to refill our coffee.  The brew was rich and black,  every bit as good as our son had promised.

Golden Gate foodSoon our smiling waitress arrived in her bright red blouse, carrying four plates of food.  Two were for us, two for another booth.  She handled the multiple plates with ease.

We’d each ordered eggs, home fries, crisp bacon and whole wheat toast with strawberry jam.  The eggs were hot, moist, and tasty.  They were also larger than what we’ve had at a few other diners.  Nice. The potatoes were cooked well and fresh tasting.  My husband thought the bacon a bit salty, but the flavor was there.  The waitresses kept our coffee cups filled.   All in all it was a satisfying meal.

Our total bill came to $9.97 (plus tip) for two servings of eggs, home fries, bacon, toast and coffee.  A flavorful meal in a friendly environment (and under $10 for two!) is truly appreciated.   I recommend a visit.

As always, please click Comments above to share your experiences.

The Golden Gate Diner is located at 1318 Union Boulevard, Allentown.  It is a few blocks east of Airport Road on the south side of the road, directly across from McDonald’s.

Sara

Golden Gate Diner on Urbanspoon

Hartman’s Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Shoppe has a homey quality, unusual for such a large restaurant. Their decor is comfortable with wooden spindle-back chairs and wall-mounted antiques. Their home-cooked food is appealing and satisfying. Whenever we’ve visited for lunch or dinner, we’ve wondered why they don’t serve breakfast.

Well, now they do! As of this past summer, Memorial weekend we were told, Hartman’s started serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, from 8 AM to 1 PM. My husband and I couldn’t be more pleased.

As we drove north on Sullivan Trail this morning, the sky was slightly overcast and the road damp with remnants of last night’s rain. Our talk centered around Hurricane Ike. Four million without power. Makes one glad to live in Pennsylvania, although our thoughts surely go out to those in Texas.

When we pulled into Hartman’s parking lot shortly before 9 AM, we saw only a few cars. Then we spotted the large “Open” signs mounted on the doors. I wonder how many don’t know about the new weekend hours.

After we were seated, our waitress quickly brought our coffee and large glasses of water. The one-page menu is deceptive in its simplicity. While many places offer a long list of various omelettes, Hartman’s offers a 3-egg omelette with your choice of three fillings. But it was the Belgian waffles that caught my eye, especially the one with ice cream. Hartman’s is famous for their ice cream. They’ve been making it since 1906. For some reason – still wondering why – I went with my usual breakfast fare – scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, although I did order a blueberry muffin for a change of pace.

While waiting for our order, we chatted about various news stories – teachers’ strikes in Souderton, in Saucon Valley, and possibly in Northampton. And we talked of the upcoming football season and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ history. Suddenly, our friendly waitress was delivering our food.

My husband orders steak and eggs about once a month. It was time. As he sliced into his thin rib-eye, he said it was a little overcooked (it wasn’t bleeding), but still tasty. My eggs were moist and filled with flavor, among the best I’ve eaten in a long while. The blueberry muffin was still warm – light, homemade and filled with fresh blueberries. Delicious! The home fries were thinly sliced, different from most places. We’d asked for crispy and they were, yet not overcooked. Wonderful flavor.

Great service, great atmosphere, great food! What more can one ask?

Our bill came to just under $20 (plus tip) for a small rib-eye steak, eggs, toast, and homefries for him, and eggs, homefries, and bacon for me, plus two blueberry muffins and two coffees (with ample refills).

Hartman’s Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Shoppe is located at 5920 Sullivan Trail, Nazareth (Belfast), PA. They are open for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm. They are also open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Sara

P.S. I’m still thinking of that Belgian Waffle with ice cream. Maybe next time!

UPDATE - On December 14, 2009, Hartman’s Family Restaurant closed its doors, as reported by the Express-Times. Sad to see another restaurant close.

The Nazareth Diner is an institution in the Nazareth Borough. 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 Hanna’s coming rain. 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 smoking ban 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 The Express-Times and The Morning Call. 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.

Sara

Nazareth Diner on Urbanspoon

Often, going out for breakfast isn’t so much about the food as it is about the conversation while eating. I tried to keep that in mind during this morning’s meal.

Around 10 o’clock, we drove up Highway 512 toward Bath for breakfast at The Turn In Restaurant. It had been a few years since we’d last visited. Neither of us remembered much about our last visit. (A sign of aging?)

After being asked “smoking or non-smoking?” we were shown to a non-smoking booth next to the front window. The small rooms were crowded and the smell of smoke lingered. Still, our booth was bright, clean, and decorated with a vase of lavender silk flowers. The vinyl benches and Formica table top looked relatively new.

An efficient teen gave us iced water and menus. A minute or so later a tall, 40-ish waitress arrived with pad and pen. We asked for scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, whole wheat toast, and home fries. She brought my coffee, steaming but only moderately strong in a shallow white cup and saucer.

Over sections of The Morning Call and The Express-Times we talked about the recently announced vice-presidential candidates (Joe Biden and Sarah Palin), and some regional news stories.

Our food arrived on hot oval plates. We’d barely lifted our forks when the waitress returned to “top off” my full cup of coffee. Except to bring the check, it was her last visit. In her defense, she looked tired. This is one reason we tend to favor those restaurants that leave a small carafe of coffee on the table at breakfast. Customers are happier, and there is less work for the staff.

The toast was nicely browned but otherwise our meal was non-exceptional. The potatoes, though also browned, were heavy with the taste of onions. The bacon was plentiful, but too greasy. The eggs were small.

As we ate we continued to talk – about our son’s latest email advice, about local politics, and other matters of interest. Turning breakfast into a date gives us a chance to catch up on the week. We’re free from phone calls and morning chores. And we enjoy the drive, there and back again.

Our meal at the Turn In was inexpensive, only about $10 (plus tax and tip) for two plates of eggs, bacon, toast, home fries, and a single cup of coffee. Not bad. Then when we got up to leave, I saw that while the carpet was bright and flowery along the edge, the path between the tables was almost black. A real turn off. I do hope the owners will consider adding new floor covering to their wish list of upgrades.

The Turn In Restaurant is located at 162 N. Walnut Street in Bath, PA. It is open 24 hours.

Have you eaten breakfast at The Turn In? Please tell us about it by clicking on Comments at top of article.

Sara

Turn In Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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A thought

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?" ........... "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?" ...... "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet. ... Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.” ...... ― A.A. Milne
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