I've tried a few additional places and been back to some old favs, so here's an update. These are places I've been for lunch or dinner in the past few months. I've had a lot of family and business-associates in town, so I've eatn out a lot. Any new info on Berks and Lancaster is appreciated!!!
RECOMMEND (no particular order):
1) 5th St. Diner (N of Reading) - very good prices, very good gyro, great soup and service. Nice, cheap, and clean place to go.
2) O'Malley's - (Mt Penn area) - also cheap, good fish and chips, and decent homestyle food.
3) Viva (Wyomissing) - was not totally impressed the first couple of times there, but the last 2 have been excellent. They have a big menu with some reliable and interesting choices. Appetizers are especially good.
4) Judy's on Cherry (Reading) - everything here is just outstanding. Quite possibly the best restaurant in Berks. A nice menu of well prepared food, good bread and very good deserts.
5) Fairgrounds Farmer's Market (Reading) - Someone on this board described is as a "Foodtopia" and they were exactly right. All kinds of local treats and some other genre's as well. Whoopie Pies and pecan rolls, roasted peanuts, and milkshakes. Oh yah, and very good smoked chicken, meats, and cheeses.
NOT RECOMMENDED (no particular order):
1) Chef Alan's (West Reading & Fairgrounds mall)- Has faded out of my list of regulars. Everything seems to be mediocre - food, service, and even cleanliness. I would no longer recomend this place at all.
2) Covatta's Brinton Lodge (Douglassville) - Really nice atmosphere, an old inn of some sort, with beautiful furniture and fireplaces. Food was iffy at best for the price, especailly for lunch. Service was pleasant but slow.
3) Lily's on Main (Ephrata) - What can I say - it's just not worth it anymore. Food just isn't that great, and the service is terribly slow. They just don't seem to get that it cannot take 90 minutes for lunch. Oh well.
4) Donecker's (Ephrata) - Note that this was a banquet, but the food was blah, and the portions lousy. Perhaps the restaurant is better, but why would I risk if if the banquet food is so bad?