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A proper old-school diner around Ambler?

curdrice Jan 10, 2008 08:45 AM

I am new to the area and wondering if anyone can recommend a good old-fashioned diner opening bright and early in the Fort Washington-Ambler-Spring House-Maple Glen area. I prefer ol mom-and-pop places to chains. Thanks

  1. c
    Chefpaulo Jan 10, 2008 10:05 AM

    The Pike Restaurant on Bethlehem Pike just south of Springhouse is as close as I can think of. It is family owned, been there over 50 years and has your sizable breakfasts. They resent, however, being called a diner (even though we always did.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chefpaulo
      Den Jan 10, 2008 10:12 AM

      Obviously Chef Paulo hasn't been to the Pike for a while as they've been closed for some time.

      1. re: Den
        Chefpaulo Jan 10, 2008 04:12 PM

        Oh well, another one bites the dust. I guess Ristoranti Dori, The Vineyards, Inn of the Raven, Christopher's, The Newport House, The Gallery and Jean's Place have taken off as well. I'd better get down there for a closer visit. My bad.

        I think Rich's Deli (big brother of Rich's Other Place) is still in Ft. Washington up the pike from Zake's Cakes. My supreme bad is that I still call it "Bea's." Anyone else guilty of said sin? Sorry, Rich.

    2. n
      nevets Jan 10, 2008 12:05 PM

      Some time ago, we had breakfast at Rich's Other Place on Bethlehem Pike and were not impressed. Our favorite diner is the Collegeville Diner (I know it's not close to Ambler). Ray's Box Car on Germantown Pike in Norristown is okay for breakfast (haven't eaten dinner there much so can't really comment) but prices have gone up and quality seems to have slipped a bit. Ray's does have the best pancakes in the area. Skip the Double T diner on Dekalb Pike as well as its sister diner on Main Street (Ridge Pike) in Trooper. We had a decent breakfast (only tried it once) at the American Star Diner on Welsh Road in North Wales. If you don't mind the drive, give the Collegeville Diner a try. Zoto's diner on 309 north of Montgomeryville is popular too.

      5 Replies
      1. re: nevets
        curdrice Jan 14, 2008 12:29 PM

        I agree nevets, Collegeville Diner and Zotos (also Broad Street Bistro in Lansdale) are good. The wife and I also like the Tea Room (?) in Lederach (on Rt113). The Caboose in Souderton (in the old railroad station) was also good the last I ate there many moons ago... Still, I was trying to get to a walkable place in Ambler :)

        1. re: curdrice
          AmblerGirl Jan 14, 2008 04:36 PM

          OK, if you are looking for walkable, you have to go to Zina's Kitchen. It is on Butler Ave in the locatiion of the former Ambler Grill. There is absolutely no atmosphere to speak of, but they serve a great "old school" style breakfast. Great omelets and homefries. Also, they have wonderful crepes (which they spell as craps on the menu, and it makes me smile) that they fill with nutella. The owner is really sweet and is always there cooking and saying hello. I think it might fit the bill for you.

          1. re: AmblerGirl
            curdrice Jan 17, 2008 08:41 AM

            Thanks - I'll definitely try them.

            1. re: AmblerGirl
              CoolMomma79 Jun 12, 2008 06:16 PM

              Just to let you Know...I found the Ambler Grill!! It has moved to Lansdale. It is called The West Main Diner. Everything is just the way my family remembered it! Its great to see that family doing really well! I am so glad I found it!!!! I need to pass the word to all former "Ambler Grill Lovers!!!"

          2. re: nevets
            Bacchus101 Nov 27, 2013 03:27 AM

            We have good friends who DO diner breakfasts on a regular basis and they would vigorously second your comment on the pancakes at Ray's; they travel from Chestnut Hill specifically for Ray's pancakes.

          3. m
            missfunkysoul Jan 10, 2008 01:52 PM

            Daddypops in Hatboro is exactly what you're looking for. It's not far from Ambler/Ft Wash at all and they do the best breakfast in town. Very mom+pop, you'll love it :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: missfunkysoul
              curdrice Jan 14, 2008 12:32 PM

              I was hoping to walk to breakfast on my way to the trains in the morning... But I shall give Daddypops a try this weekend. Thanks missfunkysoul

            2. Den Jan 10, 2008 01:57 PM

              Have you tried 401 Diner in Conshy?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Den
                GBak504 Jan 10, 2008 04:57 PM

                ...merely passable...uninspiring breakfast..

              2. j
                jaywalkerreed Nov 26, 2013 11:28 PM

                Hey, dinner goers, while we wait for hell to freeze over and the opening of the dinner on Bethlehem Pike ( that was formerly the drafting room ) There is a small dinner next to the fire house on 73 just before 202. Ok I know, who wants to take that drive? Well right now I do I am starving and there is literally nothing around here at 2:a. Until Ches " my dog ate my home work that's why we're so far behind schedule" opens I heading out to explore the familiar silver wrapped dinner of old. Hoping for the best....wish me luck ( my god I'm typing faster that when I got those three responses a month on Match ), thank G_od this sites free . Off to dinner for 1, I think that's a good thing,,,,,,,,why didn't I marry you Sherry, I would have ate dinner? AJ

                1. Bacchus101 Nov 27, 2013 03:52 AM

                  Unsure as to wether the diner in Center Square next to the fire company on 73 just below the intersection with 202 is in full vigor. I had noticed it had change management a few times over the years originally being a Friendly's.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Bacchus101
                    jaywalkerreed Nov 27, 2013 11:01 AM

                    Babbhua 101,
                    Sadly you may be right. I found the dinner I spoke of in darkness and just a memory of a place I had eaten with my Dad from time to time. I ended up in a place on 202 just before Germantown Pike on the right. $15.00 Grilled cheese without tomato ( they were out; as was the case with mashes potato's). A friend reminded me of Michael's across from Arcadia University on 309. I'm, sure 309 North probably has similar places. I guess I'll have to resign myself to the fact that the clean establishments filled with young happy faces have gone the way of my full head of hair....Oh well, Red Robin is out there somewhere, with a full menu and if need be a liquor license. Thanks for your timely response; Some times I feel like D.B. Cooper, a pocket full of money and no place to spend it. Best Reed

                    1. re: jaywalkerreed
                      JanR Nov 30, 2013 12:21 PM

                      The Fairlane Diner in Erdenheim, on Betlehhem Pike is very good but small. There is usually a wait unless you want to sit at the counter.

                      1. re: JanR
                        Chefpaulo Nov 30, 2013 03:40 PM

                        Where it is? I drive by regularly on the way to CH (um...Chestnut Hill) and I don't recall a Fairlane Diner.

                        1. re: Chefpaulo
                          Bob Loblaw Dec 3, 2013 01:49 PM

                          If you're driivng from Flourtown/Erdenheim toward Stenton, it's on the right, and IIRC it's among the last commercial establishments you see before Stenton. Before Hillcrest, but not by much.

                          1. re: Chefpaulo
                            JanR Dec 5, 2013 04:17 AM

                            Bob's directions are good. Also, it doesn't look like a diner. It's a storefront on a corner. Big blue sign. If you pass Gordon St. (where Bethlehem curves to the left), you've gone a block too far.

                        2. re: jaywalkerreed
                          givemecarbs Dec 3, 2013 02:56 PM

                          Well there is always the R and S Keystone and the A and N Diner but they are out in the boonies. Also Roy Ann's.
                          I still think about the 202 diner where Airport Square is now and Witchwood Farms and Ed's diner in doylestown and many others. Cross Keys diner is still around I think. Charlotte is long gone for parts South though.

                          1. re: givemecarbs
                            cwdonald Dec 3, 2013 06:14 PM

                            Any news on Andys Diner in Spring House?

                            1. re: cwdonald
                              gaffk Dec 4, 2013 08:13 AM

                              It still has the "Coming Soon" sign out front, but there doesn't appear to be much progress/activity at the location.

                          2. re: jaywalkerreed
                            jujuthomas Dec 4, 2013 09:49 AM

                            Sadly that little diner just can't seem to stay in business. It's had I think 5 owners since we moved to Blue Bell about 8 years ago. The folks who own Andy's made it successful for a while, but the township wouldn't let them expand the restaurant and parking lot - I think they wanted to buy what's now an empty lot next door - so they moved to Conshy.
                            It's been closed again now for several weeks. Not sure what the status is. Too bad because it's so convenient for us... but now we've found Zina's. :)

                        3. PattiCakes Dec 3, 2013 12:54 PM

                          If you are willing to make the short drive to Mt. Airy, there's the Trolley Car. It's on Germantown Avenue, near the intersection of G'town Ave. and Cresheim Valley Drive.


                          1. j
                            jujuthomas Dec 4, 2013 09:46 AM

                            We have been visiting Zina's in Ambler just about every weekend the last few weeks. The food is consistently delicious! I've only had breakfasts, pancakes and omelets, sometimes fried eggs. Her portions are as generous as her kitchen is tiny! The omelets were STUFFED with ingredients... DH actually had too much food, lol.
                            Friends of ours went recently for lunch, she said the reuben was one of the best she'd had. He was very happy with his BLT.
                            She's open every day from 6am -2pm.

                            Daddy Pops in Horsham has great food, but since they were on the Food Channel (DDD?) the line is just too long to be worth the drive over.

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