Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise
Growing up in Archbald, Pa., my mother’s cooking consisted of Sunday breakfasts at Donovan’s or Sebastianelli’s. When I was finally old enough to branch out on my own, I needed a place to satisfy my own angsty teen hunger. Thus, Dino’s Breakfast & Lunch entered my life and became the go-to establishment for missing first period to grab an omelet instead.
It’s an establishment you may miss if you weren’t looking for it. It’s located off the road along the small commercial highway in town and it’s been nuzzled in between a million different local businesses (everything from barber shops to wicker furniture stores). The only thing that would cue a newcomer to the restaurant is one of those hokey, do-it-yourself signs that seemingly any business can order from some professional Oriental Trading catalogue.
Inside the place is very inviting though. It’s clean with lots of seating and the decor is perfectly understated (not enough to demand your attention but welcoming and noticeable). The waitstaff follows the same uber-friendly mentality.
Traditionally some of the cutest girls from my high school worked at Dino’s on weekends and during the summer. These folks also happen to be extremely personable and attentive wait staff that were extremely responsive to customer needs. On my latest trip, I went with a friend who had to take an unwanted phone call for about a half hour right after we ordered. No problem for the Dino’s wait staff. I got coffee refills and they took his pancakes to keep them warm in the back without me even asking.
The menu at Dino’s is a bit limited (basic omelets, a breakfast sandwich, 3-4 different pancakes) but their dishes are affordabe. I opted for the cheese omelet, coffee and toast special for $4 and change. Dino is usually there doing the cooking himself and the food has the homecooking feel you’d expect from that (those eggs were fantastic, oozing with cheese). I forgot to double check the hours, but it is Dino’s Breakfast & Lunch…and I’ve really only ever sampled the breakfast menu. Bring a few dollars and go early.
Dino’s is what you love about breakfast – familiarity (a menu full of quality done staples) and comfort (friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere).When you’re eating and you overhear the owner telling some regulars, “That lady always comes around out front. Says it’s the best place in town find 4-leaf clovers”… at least I know I’m at home.
The Final Tab
Pros: Great waitstaff, lots of seating, clean decor, quality flavor for cheap.
Cons: Limited menu
Four out of Five (Pancakes with sides | Some days you’ll seek it out)