I live in Philadelphia but sometimes are up in the Northeast Scranton and Wilkes Barre area to visit family. Always on the lookout for a local place to eat that gets what breakfast is all about: good food, not expensive, friendly service.
SO last weekend I found myself at a place called Chuck's Diner in Luzerne (owned not surprisingly by Chuck) and if you live anywhere in this area or are visiting, this is a great choice for that first meal of the day. Last week I had a standard breakfast - eggs, sausage, toast, coffee, home fries - and this morning opted for the breakfast sandwich (your choice of scrambled or fried egg, cheese, meat on bagel, Kaiser, etc.)
So what sets this place apart?
1. Chuck. Anyplace that is run by someone who is right out there greeting and waiting on customers and warming up coffee, setting the example for friendly and responsive service is a leg up already.
2. There's nothing about the decor that is going to jump out and grab you but there doesn't need to be. Youre coming for the food and the atmosphere. BTW, I noticed the black and white local photos on the wall - a welcome change from corporatey-type stuff or cheesy prints - and asked Chuck where they came from. Kudos to future son in law who has added a nice artistic local touch to the side wall.
3. The food. Always a full cup of coffee that isn't so hot it burns your mouth; the home fries are OUTSTANDING (if you don't like greasy home fries, you wont like these, but IMO you shouldn't be picking home fries if you're going to freak out about grease). Chunks of potato, mixed with browned and blackened onion bits that add crunch and explosion of flavor. My egg sandwich today was superb: the Kaiser roll was lightly toasted, the bacon crisp and plentiful and the amount not so overwhelming that you stuff yourself but just right.
4. Friendliness. IMO, a breakfast place has to have genuine friendliness. I am not treated any different as a complete stranger than the folks I see coming in here who are known by name.
I'll be bringing my brother in town from Kansas here before the weekend is out!
Great job, Chuck's - keep it up.