The Colony House – Mechanicsburg, PA

We visited the Colony House Restaurant on Feb 23, 2010. It is located at 125 West Main Street in Mechanicsburg. Although located downtown, they have their own parking lot. This place has been a fixture in town for many years, in fact their web site says that it was  a tavern as early as 1810. It was known as the National Hotel for over 100 years and was also known as the Paradise Bar in the 80’s( Bands & Rowdy) and is now the Colony House Restaurant. The front room in the restaurant has a very nice, modern atmosphere, however we were seated in the back room which is pretty plain-jane. The portion size was very good and Bill really liked the thick pieces of bacon. The home fries, sausage links and bacon were all cooked pretty hard, kind of well done. Bill doesn’t really like all that black and dark brown stuff in his home fries from being cooked so hard, but Craig likes it that way, so we differ on that point. The eggs were good diner style, over easy with pretty large yolks, they must use large eggs or bigger. So, the breakfast was good, with nice portions, but we both agreed that the highlight of this meal was the excellent service that we received from our waitress.

Category                         Bill                              Craig

Eggs                                2                                        2

Potatoes                          2                                      2

Sides                               3                                         2

Drinks                             2                                         2

Service                            3                                         3

Cleanliness                      2                                       2

Atmosphere                     2                                      2

Totals                            16/21                              15/21

The price was about $13.50 for two people, in our medium price range.

Waffle House – Carlisle, PA

We visited the Waffle House on February 16, 2010. Located at 1249 Harrisburg Pike in Carlisle, near the Miracle Mile. Open 24 hours. Neither of us had ever tried it, so we decided to stop in and see what they had. The place looks a little run down, inside and out. It reminds you more of a truck stop than a restaurant chain. They weren’t busy, and we had excellent service. We ordered from the laminated menu’s and our food came out pretty quickly. It was actually a pretty good breakfast and we both commented on how very good the hash brown potatoes were. Bill got his with onions and they were perfect. Craig ordered some waffles to go, Which were OK, Overall, a decent breakfast for the money, but probably not on the list for another visit. Remember the movie “Tin-Cup”.

Category                        Bill                        Craig

Eggs                                1                                1

Potatoes                           3                             2

Sides                               1                                 1

Drinks                             2                                2

Service                            2                                2

Cleanliness                      0                               0

Atmosphere                      0                             0

Totals                           9/21                              8/21,  

The price was about $14 for two, near the middle of our medium range.

Annie’s Breakfast and Lunch – Enola, PA

Note: AS of 9/7/10 this unique place is NOW CLOSED. We visited Annie’s Breakfast and Lunch on February 9, 2010. It is located at 6981 Wertzville Road, across from Vissagio’s. They are open from 7AM to 2PM, closed on Monday’s. We had never heard of this place before, just happened to see it while driving by, so we really didn’t know what we were getting into. From the outside it looks like a country diner, neatly painted and a nice sign, with a gravel parking lot and a bulletin board outside by the front door. We looked at each other and went on in. WOW! What a cool place! Decorated in a kind of country lodge style with a burning fireplace in the dining room, this place was the nicest we’ve been in. Nicest seating, best decorated, cozy atmosphere, super friendly staff (even sang us a song) and the food was very, very good. The same goes for the service, very friendly, attentive and quick. We couldn’t get over what a nice little place this was, truly a gem and apparently not well known (yet). We both have plans to take our wives/girlfriends there soon. Notable: They had very unique home fries, sliced as thin as potato chips and perfectly cooked.  The sausage is also very tasty for the perfect breakfeast.

Category                               Bill                          Craig

Eggs                                       3                                   3

Potatoes                                  3                                3

Sides                                      3                                    3

Drinks                                    2                                    3

Service                                   3                                   3

Cleanliness                             3                                  3

Atmosphere                            3                                 3

Totals                                 20/21                           21/21

The price was around $14 for two, in our medium range. Great place for the price!

Denny’s – Mechanicsburg, PA

Denny’s, located at 5505 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg was one of our first places to try. It was….Denny’s, pretty much the same where ever you go. They were busy, but got us seated quickly and the service was good. We both ordered our regular choices, 2 eggs, hash browns, sausage and Craig had the coffee. The food came pretty quickly and it was good. Bill likes to call this type of breakfast “factory food” because it is so consistent (even looks like the perfect picture on the menu), but again, pretty good. Overall we liked the place, although it has a very commercial atmosphere.

Category                          Bill                          Craig

Eggs                                3                                     3

Potatoes                           2                                  2

Sides                               2                                       2

Drinks                             2                                       2

Service                            3                                       3

Cleanliness                      2                                      2

Atmosphere                     2                                     2

Totals                           16/21                               16/21

The price was about $17 for two people, getting near the high end of our medium range.

Fay’s Country Kitchen – Carlisle, PA

Fay’s Country Kitchen, located at 203 South Hanover Street in Carlisle got our attention because of the familiar local name and plenty of good internet reviews. Our visit was on a typical Tuesday morning at about 9AM. There is no parking lot so we had to park on the street. They were busy and had customers of all ages. The big glass windows give you a nice view of the street, the seating area isn’t extremely large and it had a lot of tables crammed in, so it was definitely close quarters. There was a short delay before they took our order and the food took a little while, but not too long. Fay’s claim to fame seems to be the pancakes, which everyone raves about. The blueberry pancakes were exceptional and very filling, ( Take out order for supper). Bill had the regular eggs and homefries, which were good, home-style diner variety. Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Fay’s and we would go back, if anything just to re-visit that close quarters, in-town, hustle and bustle diner feel.

Category                        Bill                        Craig

Eggs                               2                                  2

Potatoes                          2                               2

Sides                              2                                   2

Drinks                            2                                   2

Service                            2                                  2

Cleanliness                      2                                 2

Atmosphere                     3                               3

Totals                          15/21                            15/21

The price was just under $14, near the middle of our medium range.

The Walnut Cafe – Mechanicsburg, PA

This was one of the first “new” places that we tried. The Walnut Cafe is located at 245 East Main Street in Mechanicsburg, but it is actually in the rear of the building so you have to turn down Walnut Street to see it. They have a small parking lot, otherwise you need to find a spot on the street nearby. This location has been a small diner for many years and we couldn’t really see where anything had changed except the name on the sign. There were just a few local people inside. We only saw one employee, a nice lady who seated us, took our order and ran the cash register too. The food was good, definitely a home style diner type breakfast.

Update 12-14-2010 – Ate there on 12/10/2010 and found out the restaurant had changed ownership. The interior had been upgraded slightly, with some fresh paint, but the new cook needs to work on his home fries. I ordered mine a little crispy and they took an extra 5 minutes and didn’t look any different than anyone else’s.

Category                  Bill                              Craig

Eggs                          2                                         2

Potatoes                    2                                       2

Sides                         2                                          2

Drinks                       2                                          2

Service                      2                                          2

Cleanliness                2                                         2

Atmosphere                1                                       1

Totals                     13/21                                   13/21

The price was around $12 for two.

Farmers Market Restaurant – Carlisle, PA

Located at 260 York Road in Carlisle, near the entrance to Rt 81. We’ve both been here before over the years. It was pretty busy, a lot of local people. The food was pretty good. Lots of choices on the “specials for today board” .The service is always good along with the conversation. Mostly for the older “retired” folks.

Category                  Bill                 Craig

Eggs                         2                            3

Potatoes                   2                          3

Sides                        2                             2

Drinks                      2                             3

Service                     1                             3

Cleanliness               2                           2

Atmosphere              1                            2

Totals                     12/21                       18/21

The price was a a little over $14 for two.