Look down before crossing the threshold into Teddy's Family Restaurant.
There in the concrete, worn a little by time, is a square that reads "Crean's. Est. 1952." That's notable because when you walk inside Teddy's, it's like stepping back to 1952. Everything about it is retro and comfortably old-fashioned in a very real way. Those short silver stools at the counter appear to be original, as do the booths lining a wall. A silver stand protrudes from the top of every other booth to hang your hat or coat. The seats are covered in turquoise. Another room with tables is off to the side. It's all very clean and tidy.
Dad and I were quickly greeted and served hot, robust coffee. Since there were only two of us, we ordered more food than we could possibly eat to get the flavors of Teddy's.
A handwritten sign with the sundaes and danish of the day caught my attention and we ordered an apple danish ($2.75) to split. This danish spoke volumes about Teddy's. First, we were asked if we wanted it grilled (of course we did). It arrived cut in half width-wise (we assumed for grilling purposes) and the flaky layers had the consistency of a croissant topped with the sweet apples, a light glaze and melting butter.
The cooks can be seen behind a high counter in the front; the sound of eggs scrambling and meat sizzling on the grill lent a homey touch as we perused the menu. Dad ordered a Reuben from the club sandwich menu that included more traditional club sandwiches such as turkey and bacon. Priced from $6.75 to $7.25, they came with a crisp pickle spear and a side of cole slaw that was served in a small bowl on the plate -- always a nice touch. Other sandwiches included egg salad ($3.95), fried egg ($2.35), a grilled feta cheese in a pita ($3.95), plus hot sandwiches (turkey, $5.95, roast beef, $6.25) as well as full dinners that hover between $8.75 and $9.75.
But this was a Saturday morning and breakfast was calling to me. Family-run places do breakfast cheap and great and Teddy's was no exception. Two eggs, home fries and toast were $3.25; pancakes were $5.25, or $3.95 for a short stack. Omelettes start at $4 with home fries and toast. I chose a cheese omelette ($5.25) and French toast ($5.50). Though I love French toast, I don't usually order it out because it tends to be a small serving, yet pricier than most breakfast items. For those reasons, I almost bypassed it here and I'm glad I didn't.
A plate arrived with three thick slabs of bread with a liberal dosing of cinnamon and icing. It looked and smelled great, and what was inside was even better. This wasn't white bread, but a delicious cinnamon swirl bread. With the melted butter, it was like eating a warm cinnamon roll.
Also noteworthy were the delicious home fries that had thick slices of tasty onion and were cooked just right.
Dad's Reuben was three slices of rye with layers of meat, gently toasted and cut into thirds. Melted cheese oozed down the side. Though the sandwich was warm, the meat was cold and Dad prefered it warm as well. Fries were fresh, crispy and hot and Dad, who once worked in food service, commented that the grease had to be fresh -- a word that could be used for all the food at Teddy's.