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Fill up at Londa’s, home of good food at great prices

When a restaurant is like a pair of comfortable shoes, it’s a good thing. The presence of many regulars just adds to the charm. Londa’s, a family-run affair, is just such a place.

Tucked away in the Dick-Urban Plaza, the door is tricky to spot; you might mistake it for the pizzeria next door. The space is deep with booths on the right. There are tables and a counter with stools. Food is cooked in the back semi-open kitchen; lovely desserts beckon from a cooler. A pile of Buffalo News newspapers waits for customers to help themselves.

Breakfast and lunch are the name of the game. “Weekday Breakfast Specials” start at $3.75 for two eggs, toast and home fries. Pancakes, French toast, waffles, etc. get to $4.75 with additions of ham, bacon or sausage, which max out at $6.50.

Regular breakfast items are served all the time. There are the usual suspects plus items like a breakfast wrap ($7) or sandwich ($6.25). Omelets are the usual too, with one intriguing option – Hot Dog with Texas Sauce & Cheese ($8.25). At the high-end is the Lumberjack breakfast ($9.25) with two eggs, meat, home fries, toast, two pancakes or French toast and a small juice.

Our breakfasts were great. Nothing fancy, but done right. The scrambled eggs with diced bacon (or ham or sausage) for $6.25 was delicious, with loads of nicely diced bacon in fluffy eggs, crispy home fries and perfect wheat toast with butter. Just as tasty were scrambled with smoked Polish sausage ($6.75). A side of short stack of large, fluffy pancakes (two for $3.75) came hot and golden. Excellent coffee was refilled many times. What more could one ask for?

Regular sandwiches come with chips and a pickle. For those eating on the cheap, a hamburger ($3.75), egg salad ($3.50), western ($4.95), tuna ($4.50), BLT ($4.25) are among several options.

“Specialty” sandwiches come with fries (add $1 for sweet potato). Frank’s Special ($7.50) is a cheeseburger with grilled onion, tomato and Thousand Island dressing on sour dough. Prices top out at $8.50 for the chicken bacon ranch melt.

Subs, wraps, chicken fingers and salads are available and listed on the back of the menu, where it’s easy to overlook them. The most expensive item is the Sampler Platter (two of each chicken finger, pizza log, mozzarella stick with fries) for $8.25.

Our turkey club ($8.25) was gigantic. Triple-decker, with lots of turkey, sliced tomato and lettuce that was super fresh and green. The fries (on a separate plate) were enough for two, and served hot right out of the fryer.

The hot meatloaf ($6.95) came on white bread (is there any other way?) with just enough gravy. The slices were a little thinner, with crispier edges we think from heating on the grill. All-in-all good and filling.

A cheeseburger deluxe ($6.95) was a hefty, juicy patty topped with that fresh lettuce, onion and sliced tomato on a grilled roll.

The Grilled Cheese with Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut ($6.95) was out of this world. One of several Grilled Cheese Specials, it was perfectly grilled rye with slices of smoked sausage, melted Swiss and tart sauerkraut. Why didn’t we ever think of doing this? Other grilled cheese specials include Philly steak (or Italian sausage) with onions and peppers, chicken and spinach and bologna and onion. Prices range from $5.95 to $7.95.

Pies, cakes and cheesecake looked delicious, but lots of luck eating dessert after filling up on a meal. We bet they are good like everything else.

And so the moral of this Cheap Eats is this: When you find a place like Londa’s hang onto it like your favorite sandals. Nothing fancy, but they always come through.


Londa’s Diner

579 Dick Road, Dick-Urban Plaza, Depew (683-9808)

Hours: Open daily 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; until 7 p.m. Fridays for fish fry ($8.95 half fish/$9.95 whole with potato salad, noodle salad, coleslaw). Breakfast served all day.

Wheelchair access: Yes

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