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Some of our breakfasts out just happen.  Others are planned. M. arranged yesterday morning’s trip, but didn’t at first reveal our destination.  He had his reason.  Through the gray drizzles we drove Portland signnortheast, up through Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, and Bangor.   Soon we were driving into Portland.

From the road, the blue, white, and silver siding of the Portland Family Restaurant seemed to sparkle, particularly in the dreary summer rain.  The fact that it was mid-morning and neither of us had yet gulped down any coffee made it doubly welcoming.  As we entered the diner, we could already smell the aroma.  We were greeted by a smiling hostess, and a round dessert case filled with appealing pastries.  We asked for a booth and were escorted into the larger of two rooms where we were seated at the last available window booth.  At a table nearby, a mom and dad with their four sons happily enjoyed pancakes, eggs, and bacon.

Over cups of steaming coffee, we scanned the plastic-covered menus.  Portland Family RestaurantThe Portland Diner has a broad selection of breakfast foods and specials – omelettes, French Toast, pancakes, corned beef hash, Delmonico steak and eggs, and even blintzes.  An item called Holly French Toast caught my eye.  “It’s a thicker French Toast,” said our waitress.  How could I resist?   M. ordered his much favored Eggs Benedict.

As we waited for our food, we chatted idly over the newspaper.  Our anniversary is coming up soon, within a month.   Being married for as many years as we have, there’s a comfort factor in conversation.  We catch each others’ subtleties and hidden quips almost telepathically.  Portland breakfastIt’s scary sometimes.  And yet, amazingly, he can still surprise me.

The pleasant family of six at the table next to us were finishing their meals when our food arrived.  I was awed by the sight of the three huge pieces of Holly French Toast dusted lightly with powdered sugar and surrounded by crispy browned bacon.   After a quick click with my camera, I opened the syrup for dipping.  Light, luscious, and flavorful!  The saltiness of the bacon was a perfect complement.  M.’s Eggs Benedict looked almost too perfect.  The dish proved to be as good as it looked, he said.   Our waitress kept our coffee cups and water glasses filled.  Her friendly smile added to the homey atmosphere.

Our total bill came to less than $14 (plus tip) Duckloe'sfor M’s order of Eggs Benedict, homefries and juice, my Holly French Toast with a side order of bacon, and our two coffees.  Quite reasonable, especially given the excellent quality of the food and service.

We walked out into the steamy August heat, got into our car, and left the parking lot.  M. drove up the street to Duckloe Brothers’ Furniture, his purpose for the trip.  Since we first visited their showroom some twenty years ago, we’ve talked of the exquisite simplicity of their New England Windsor Arm Chairs.  And our anniversary is on the horizon. 🙂

The Portland Family Restaurant is located at 398 Delaware Avenue in Portland, PA.  570-897-5600.  Stop by for an enjoyable meal.  And afterward, wander over to Duckloe’s to see true American craftmanship.


Portland Family Restaurant 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.  😉

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!


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.


Bert's Steakhouse & 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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