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The Breakfast Table

The May sun slipped into my kitchen window greeting me with a soft smile.  I was about to brew a pot of coffee when a thought whispered.  Go out.  I’ve learned to listen to such thoughts.  So, I tucked my Kindle e-reader into my purse, grabbed jacket and car keys then stepped out into the fresh Saturday morning air.

Life changed for me with M’s sudden passing.  It happened more than a year ago without warning, too soon for us to be parted.  We had so much left undone, and unsaid.  In the early days of shock and grief, a dear friend offered sound advice.  Go out to eat occasionally, she said, with family, friends, or with a good book.  Just go out.  I’ve often followed her suggestion.  It’s eased the loneliness and helped me re-enter the world.

For this weekend’s outing I chose The Breakfast Table, a charming restaurant on Tatamy Road in Palmer Township.  It had been a long while since I’d been there, but the eatery hasn’t lost its interior charm.  237At the front of the sunny dining room with its French country décor, the hostess greeted me warmly, offering a table of choice.  I took one along the wall.

A cheerful waitress brought me a glass of iced lemon water and steaming mug of black coffee.  The single page menu held breakfast items on one side and lunch on the back.  There was a broad assortment for breakfast –  French toast, pancakes, Quiche, breakfast burritos, Panini, several omelets, as well as the more traditional eggs cooked to order, steak and other meats, and fruit.  I opted for scrambled eggs, healthy fruit (in lieu of their delicious breakfast potatoes), whole wheat toast and thick strawberry jam.

Soul String

Soul String by Casey Clifford

As I waited for my food I pulled out my Kindle and continued reading SOUL STRING, Book I by Casey Clifford.  SOUL STRING tells the tale of a grad student, Brenna Jane (B.J.) Kelley, and her long-lasting relationship with Professor Caleb Forrester.  It opens on the campus of the University of Madison in the turbulent 1970’s.  It’s the first novella in a series that will span twenty years of B.J.’s life and career, a time of change for women in both the academic and the business world.  Clifford’s voice drew me in with her compelling description and tidbits from another time.  A truly intriguing read – can’t wait to finish this novella, and continue the saga.

My food was delivered by the pleasant waitress.  I took out a moment to take a quick picture for this blog then enjoyed the flavor of the eggs and fresh fruit.  I continued reading.  Around me I heard the cordial chatter of other diners enjoying their visits and meals.

234My scrambled eggs were moist and flavorful.  I spread my wheat toast with thick, homemade jam.  The fresh melon and strawberries were cool and sweet.  The coffee was both fragrant and hot.  As I ate, I saw large plates of blueberry pancakes and thick French Toast topped with cream pass by, headed toward another table.  I almost envied the diners, then took another bite of strawberry.

I had ordered two scrambled eggs, two slices of whole wheat toast with jam, fresh fruit, and coffee.  The substitution of fruit for potatoes added $1.25 to my meal, for a total of just under $8.00 (plus tax and tip).   The restaurant accepts only cash or check – no credit cards.

The Breakfast Table is located at 1315 Tatamy Road in Palmer Township.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 to 2 for breakfast and lunch.  Sunday hours are from 8 until 2, breakfast only.  Closed on Monday.  Charming atmosphere, friendly service, delicious food.  What more can one ask?  I wholeheartedly recommend a visit.

Sara

Breakfast Table on Urbanspoon

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An errand in Easton on this drizzly Saturday took us south on Sullivan Trail in Forks Township, PA. We decided to stop for breakfast at the Forks Diner, just down the road from Braden Airpark.

As we entered the diner, a young hostess asked us if we’d like a booth or table. “A booth,” I said.  Booths are quieter, more intimate, and it had been a long while since M and I had been out together on a breakfast date. Breakfast out with one’s husband allows time to talk and we had much to discuss.

We’d just opened the menus when our waitress appeared, a middle-aged woman wearing glasses and a comfortable smile. She quickly brought glasses of water, cups and saucers, along with a filled carafe of hot coffee then gave us time to browse the list of offerings. We saw a huge variety of omelettes, along with French Toast, pancakes, and the usual other breakfast foods. This morning M treated himself to steak and eggs. I opted for eggs and bacon. Both dishes came with homefries and toast.

While we waited, we sipped steaming coffee. Not overly strong, more to M’s taste than my own, but it tasted good on this gray morning. We browsed through the newspaper, commenting on an article or two. Salary freezes and lay-offs caught our attention.

Our food arrived promptly. M’s steak was more pinkish brown than the rare he’d asked for, but his eggs were poached nicely. My scrambled eggs and bacon were flavorful. The potatoes were crisp, as we’d asked, but they tasted old, like they’d been cooked up yesterday. Not sure I’d order the homefries again. Our wheat toast was evenly browned and hot.

The Forks Diner is larger than it looks with two sides for seating, along with a counter. It is slightly dated but still has a nice, friendly atmosphere and the booths allow private conversation. We enjoyed talking quietly in our high-backed booth, catching up on our daily work lives. I noticed others also engaged in similar quiet talk.

Throughout our meal our waitress was attentive but not invasive as she checked back occasionally to see what we might need. Friendly service.

Our total bill came to just over $17 (plus tip) for my meal of two scrambled eggs, homefries, three slices of bacon, toast, and coffee, and M’s plate that included a small steak, two poached eggs, homefries, toast, and coffee. Two could easily eat breakfast for under $10, depending on what was chosen.

The Forks Diner is located at 3315 Sullivan Trail Easton, PA 18040-7621. (610) 252-1028. I hope you stop by for a visit. Eating breakfast out is good for the economy, and maybe good for your relationship, too!

Sara

Forks Diner on Urbanspoon

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

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. 🙂

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

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

One of the unexpected joys I’ve discovered in creating this breakfast review blog are the emails and suggestions received from readers, like Valerie & Phil from Pen Argyl.  Recently they visited and commented on The Breakfast Table.  They wrote:

The Breakfast Table“My husband and I discovered a unique and charming breakfast and lunch eatery, The Breakfast Table …. located on Tatamy Road, at the intersection of Corriere Road, in Palmer Township.

The food is wonderful, the coffee excellent, the wait staff is very friendly, the establishment immaculate, the atmosphere is very bright and welcoming and, if you enjoy Sinatra, you will have a very pleasant breakfast experience.”

Valerie and Phil
Pen Argyl, PA

Thank you, Valerie & Phil!  Shortly after it opened, long before this blog, my husband and I enjoyed lunch at The Breakfast Table.  As I recall, it was every bit as charming and pleasant as you describe.

One recent afternoon I drove by to snap the above photo and saw their menu posted outside.  Along with traditional eggs and breakfast potatoes, selections include:  quiche, assorted breakfast burritos, omelettes, steak & eggs, Belgian waffles, pancakes and a lovely variety of sides.

The Breakfast Table is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.  They are closed on Monday.  A friend told me that her office reserved the restaurant for their evening Christmas party a few years ago so it may also be available for private functions off-hours.  Their street address is 2 Crown Plaza, Easton, PA.  Phone – (610) 252-8783.

Sara

UPDATE*** September 9, 2009

See another great review of The Breakfast Table at The Fork City blog (click here).

Sara

Breakfast Table on Urbanspoon

Café Verde resides in a quaint two-story row house in Phillipsburg, NJ, on the banks of the Delaware River.cafe-verde5 Over time, several readers have recommended it.  This morning, just as we were discussing where to go for breakfast, I received an amiable email from yet another reader noting Café Verde as a favorite.  Providence.  So, on this blustery April morn, my husband and I drove across the bridge to New Jersey.  It was worth the drive.  The restaurant delivered on all we’d heard.

The downstairs dining room looked quite cozy.  We would have gladly taken a seat there, but I’d heard that the upstairs had a view of the river.  We chose a table on the second floor, overlooking the Delaware. In addition to the pleasant view, the room was comfortable and pretty, painted in soft greens and blues.  Attractive art work from area artists adorned the walls.  A homey feeling enveloped us.

breakfast-1441Our friendly waitress soon brought glasses of water, and large mugs of black coffee with creamers.  She then disappeared to give us time to look through the menu.  The café offers a good selection of omelets, French Toast, pancakes, and sides.  We both chose the French Toast, made from thick Challah Bread.

When we first arrived we’d been alone upstairs but, while there, a family arrived, then a few other couples and friends.  It struck me as the perfect sort of restaurant to bring friends from out-of-town for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.   Quiet and comfortable but with a unique local flair.

We were just finishing our first mug of (sensational!) coffee when our meals arrived.  M. had ordered French Toast Deluxebreakfast-1473 – three pieces of Challah French Toast, two eggs, a slice of ham, bacon, and one piece of sausage.  He also asked for a side of toast for his eggs.  I chose two pieces of French Toast and a side order of bacon.  We agreed that the French Toast was among the best we’d eaten.  Light, thick, rich.  M. said the ham, sausage, and bacon were all choice quality, and well-prepared.  His eggs were large and poached just as he likes them, hot and runny.  Our coffee mugs were refilled at just at the right time.  The waitresses were friendly and attentive.  All in all, a perfect meal in a gracious setting.

The total bill came to $24.50 (plus tip).   We ordered too much, though, and the portions were large.  For the first time – ever – we brought home leftovers from breakfast. 😯  Still, it re-heated well, and was as scrumptious for a late lunch as it had been this morning.

As a final aside, I found this You Tube video about the restaurant.  (Click in center to run. )

Café Verde is located at 60 S. Main Street in Phillipsburg, NJ.

My sincere thanks to Carol, and to other readers, for directing us to this charming café.  I hope you will comment with your experiences.

Sara

Cafe Verde on Urbanspoon

Spring is nearly here. The greening scent surrounds us.  Birds flutter through budding trees and chirp at the coming warmth.  Although cool showers are predicted for Sunday, today is a brilliant, blue-sky day diner-2483with the temperature expected to reach 70°.  At 2 AM, it will be time to set our clocks forward and spring into Daylight Savings Time, an idea first conceived of by Benjamin Franklin in the dawn of our nation’s history.  All in all, an ideal morning to sample a fresh new restaurant.

Diner 248 opened recently on Highway 248 between Nazareth and Easton.  It sits across the road from the Hampton Inn, and occupies the former Jack Creek Steakhouse.  With fresh paint outdoors and in, varnished wood tables, tasteful floral carpeting and muted colors, the restaurant is both warm and inviting.   As we stepped inside, a cheerful hostess greeted us and showed us to a booth near a back window.

Our waitress introduced herself with a smile and left us with two menus. breakfast-1363She returned quickly with hot black coffee served in tall white mugs.  The breakfast menu at Diner 248 features an interesting selection.   From a meatlovers omelette to three types of Eggs Benedict to Peach Melba and Banana Nut pancakes, there’s something for all.  I was delighted to see Stuffed French Toast on the menu, three versions.  After first eating it at Morgan’s Restaurant a few weeks ago, I was tempted to order it again, as a comparison.  Maybe next visit.  Today my taste buds called for savory rather than sweet so I ordered a simple omelette.

As we waited, we flipped through pages of the local news.  Of special note – Penn State-Lehigh Valley, now in Fogelsville, will move into the closing Lehigh Valley College in Center Valley.  This doubles the space for Penn State-LV.  It also puts it on public transportation routes.  A good move for the Valley!

Within minutes our waitress brought our food. breakfast-1351 M. had ordered orange juice, traditional Eggs Benedict – toasted English muffins topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.  His eggs were nicely cooked, not hard as can happen if the chef isn’t watchful.  Not a problem here – 248’s chef is skilled.  My omelette was flavorful with finely chopped broccoli and the right amount of melted cheddar.  Both orders came with browned home fries.   Only warmer plates might have improved the otherwise most satisfying meal.  Service was great.  Our waitress was friendly, attentive, and kept our coffee mugs filled.

Our bill came to just under $17 (plus tip) for Eggs Benedict with home fries, a broccoli cheddar omelette with home fries and toast, one glass of orange juice, and two coffees with ample refills.

Diner 248 is located at 3701 Easton Nazareth Highway (Route 248), Easton, Pennsylvania.  Phone – 610-252-4300.   The diner serves breakfast from 6 AM to 2 PM daily.   While there, we glanced at their lunch and dinner menu.  It shows an intriguing variety of sandwiches, gyros, salads, entrees, and other dishes.   We plan to return soon!

Sara

Diner 248 on Urbanspoon

Saturday morning shopping took my husband and me to Easton. On our way, weTic Toc Sign decided to stop for breakfast at the Tic Toc Family Restaurant, located near the intersection of Highway 22 and 25th Street. It had been a while since we’d eaten at the Tic Toc, long before Pennsylvania’s restaurant smoking ban went into effect.

We arrived soon after 9:30 AM and were surprised to see that the parking lot was only about a quarter-filled. Unusual for a Saturday morning. Either the rainy weather or the economy seemed to be keeping people away.

Inside, the manager offered us a choice of booths in the now smoke-free restaurant. We chose one near the front window, looking out onto the damp Tic Toc Restaurantand dreary day. But the day brightened some when our cordial waitress set two cups of steaming coffee in front of us then took our order. The Tic Toc’s breakfast menu is a typical diner menu, and includes an extensive assortment of omelettes and other egg offerings, French Toast, waffles, and side dishes. The Belgian Waffles caught my eye today, while my husband ordered steak and eggs.

As we waited for our food, two silver-haired ladies and their middle-aged sons and daughters were seated nearby. What a wonderful sight, seeing them talking, laughing, and eating together. There is something special about taking elderly parents out for breakfast, both in their enjoyment and your own.

Tic Toc BreakfastOur food soon arrived. My husband’s steak was medium rare, as he’d requested. His home fries and toast were nicely browned, but he said the potatoes tasted of onions and his eggs were small. My Belgian Waffle was warm and tasty. The bacon, however, was greasy and overly chewy. Service was good. Although our waitress was busy with the large family and other new customers, she kept our coffee cups filled.

Our total bill came to just under $18 (plus tip) for steak, eggs, home fries, toast, a Belgian Waffle and side order of bacon, and two cups of coffee. The food ranged from fair to good. Our waitress was both pleasant and attentive.

The Tic Toc Family Restaurant is located at 2510 Northampton Street in Easton, PA. They are open 24 hours.

Sara

Tic TOC Family 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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