My day began very, very early for my second breakfast trip for Little Lee’s BREAKFAST IN AMERICA. An untimely and unseasonal nor’easter had pummeled Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas pretty hard the night before I was to visit Daddypops Diner in Hatboro. The nasty storm downed trees and power lines, leaving millions without electricity and me with lots to worry about. Would the roads be closed? Would I even know how to drive in the snow? Would Daddypops even be open for business?
I called Ken Smith, the owner of Daddypops the night before just to make sure we were still on for our 6:30 a.m. appointment and, to my delight, we were.
I got on the road a little before 5 a.m. In Wilmington (where I was staying), the snow had stopped falling and the streets were clear. I felt pretty confident that I’d make it to Daddypops in one piece. Well, that’s until I approached Pennsylvania. Snow was still gripping the ground and the words “black ice” kept filling my head as I approached intersections and freeway on-ramps. It was nerve-wracking yet worth every last nerve the treacherous drive worked in me.
When I reached Hatboro it was still dark. Yet, it was exactly how I pictured a quaint Pennsylvania town would look. I felt immediately at ease. As I slowly navigated along North York Road, the town’s main thoroughfare, I noticed a building that looked as if it had been transported from the 1950s and dropped onto Hatboro’s main street. It was Daddypops.
I gingerly walked up the icy stairs and made my way inside. I was greeted by the Wicked Witch of the East who was perched atop an “exercycle” – Daddypops was donning its full Halloween regalia. From floor to ceiling, Ken always decorates the cozy 51-seat diner for every holiday. It was great fun.
Ken and his trusted employee, Mary, welcomed me as if I was an old friend. So did some of the regulars who were sitting at the counter (a counter flanked on either end by authentic barber chairs). In fact, “Joe” wished me Happy Halloween by handing me a candy bar.
Ken and his lovely wife Debbie were incredibly gracious. We sat and talked a while…and then came the pumpkin flaps.
Simple pumpkin pancakes. No butter. Just pure maple syrup. Ken said, “Lee, I have only one rule. You gotta eat ’em while they’re hot.” This would most certainly not present a problem for me. The aroma and flavor reminded me of homemade pumpkin pie and I LOVE pumpkin pie. As directed, the flaps went down hot and fast. I couldn’t believe the flavor.
Ken, Debbie and I visited a little longer. They talked about Hatboro in it’s heyday and we promised to keep in touch…and I certainly will.
If you want to experience a piece of nostalgia and one darn good breakfast, visit Daddypops Diner in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. They are located at 232 North York Road. Tell them Little Lee’s BREAKFAST IN AMERICA sent you!