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Date Night - Week 13: Penny's Diner

Nothing beats a breakfast that you didn't have to cook, but they go above and beyond at Penny's Diner.

Our new thing is weekend breakfast dates. Ski season is over and with our Saturdays and Sundays suddenly free, Jeremy and I have been struggling to figure out what to do with ourselves…ah, the challenges of being workaholics. 

The breakfast kick started a few weekends ago when got a rare blue-sky day and Jeremy decided to fly us to DuBois for the pie at the Flight Deck Restaurant. (Dating a pilot is fun!) Anyhow, when we got to Beaver where we were to pick up the plane, we were starving and — long story short — it came out that Jeremy had never been to an Eat N’ Park. So we stopped in, had breakfast and pretty much decided never to eat cold cereal on a weekend again.

Last weekend, we decided to try a more local breakfast spot, at 4080 Lakeside Plaza on Washington Road, and it might be our new favorite place.

Penny’s is diner-y, but in a wonderful way:  oversized and loudly-patterned booths, blue-striped walls adorned with terrible towels, flat-screen televisions, and what appear to be caricatures of members of the wait staff above each booth. 

We arrived a little before noon and though Penny’s was busy, we were seated immediately, and despite the crowd we were waited on just as quickly. 

Penny’s serves breakfast all day, so while many around us were ordering lunch, we stuck to the earlier meal’s menu. I went back and forth between the Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream ($5.99) and the strawberry stuffed pancakes ($8.99), but settled on the pancakes, tempted by the strawberry and cream cheese filling. The pancakes come with bacon or sausage and home fries, but I passed on the meat options for some scrambled eggs. 

Jeremy took the very non-veg approach with the Farmer’s Breakfast Special ($8.99):  two buttermilk pancakes, three eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, and toast. 

I expected the pancakes to have the strawberry cream cheese filling in the batter, but instead they came out like a layer cake with the filling in between the pancakes. The pancakes were light and fluffy and the filling sweet — a perfect morning treat.  Jeremy’s breakfast was almost more than he could handle — I think a slice of toast and a piece of ham went uneaten, which should speak for the portion size! 

We talked about returning for a meal not involving my drinking chocolate milk;  there were some seriously unique options on the lunch and dinner menus. For starters, they offer a grits and mushroom dish (promising it to be “seriously delicious), spanakopita (Greek spinach pie),  and a variety of soups and salads, in addition to the traditional fries and onion rings. 

There are a list of burgers that rival the menu at Red Robin, and enough choices for subs, gyros, and hot sandwiches that everyone will find something that they like. I eyeballed the grilled cheese with pickles and tomatoes, though, to be honest, it’ll be a challenge to pull myself away from the breakfast menu with the veggie omelet, chocolate chip pancakes, and Belgian waffles reassuring me that breakfast is a meal that can — and should  — be eaten any time of the day.

It’s just a shame that I can’t show up in pajamas.

Andrea Bosco April 07, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Love Penny's!
Becky Brindle April 07, 2011 at 09:19 PM
I haven't gone to Penny's yet, but Sarah's description of the strawberry stuffed pancakes makes me want to go immediately!
Ed Di Gangi April 07, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Large-ish portions and plenty of meat as promised. I found the food to be pretty average, service indifferent at best and the out-the-door price of the meal to be high.
Candy Woodall April 08, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Pretty sure reading this just gave me diabetes, but it sounds de-lish!

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