Pittston Diner Presents Homestyle Fare With A Twist
With its chrome polish exterior and chairs and Formica counters inside, the Pittston Diner on Laurel Street (the old bypass) looks like an all-American eatery from the 1950s.
And while the menu boasts many recognizable diner staples — from Piggies to Spare Ribs and belly-busting Clubs — it also presents innovative homestyle cooking “with a twist,” co-owner Syd Bauman explained.
Particularly with his special features, Bauman and the rest of his kitchen staff — who carry 90 years of cooking experience among the five of them — serve food combinations “people don’t expect,” he said.
This means guests might find items such as a Mac-and-Cheese Omelette or a Surf-and-Turf Sandwich made of filet steak and shrimp scampi paired together. But whether diners attempt the more adventurous dishes or stick to the traditional fare, they’re guaranteed all fresh, homemade products and nothing frozen, from soups to sauces to chicken.
“I know people come in here for the diversity of ingredients we use,” Bauman said. “With specials, we go as far over the top as we can. We’re always trying something new. But we have all your diner classics, too.”
An in-house baker prepares a variety of tempting desserts, including fresh Apple Pie, Chocolate Strawberry Bomb Cake and many flavors of lushes. The meat for the Loinback Spare Ribs is special-ordered from Oklahoma, and the All-American Burger piles the coleslaw and french fries high upon the sandwich itself. Standout dishes for early-morning diners include the Breakfast Over-Easy BLT (made of sauteed spinach, grilled tomatoes and fresh bacon atop garlic-buttered Italian toast) and the recently featured special Orchard French Toast, which combined homemade pulled pork and warm whiskey and roasted apple syrup on Texas French toast.
With seating for about 104 among the tables, booths and countertop, the Pittston Diner typically welcomes about 200 parties over the course of seven hours on an average Sunday, Bauman noted. It doesn’t serve breakfast all day like some places, but it does frequently offer complimentary drink specials with meals — such as wine with dinner or Mimosas, Bloody Marys or Baileys Irish Cream-spiked coffee with breakfast — that draw in crowds no matter the time of day or menu being served.
But beyond the satisfying meals, Bauman said he’s most proud of his employees, whom he considers like family, and the relationships with customers they’ve built over time. Many of the wait staffers are considered “lifers” because of their extensive careers in hospitality, and they all go the extra mile in their work by taking part in community events and supporting local causes.
“We’re very family-oriented. The staff is on a first-name basis with a majority of clients,” Bauman said. “I’m only as good as my busperson, my dishwasher and the guys on the line with me. We thrive because we’re all in this together. There’s no way I’d be where I am without them.
“So many have been here since day one. We have a loyal clientele, too. We see a lot of people go out with smiles, and a lot come back.”
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The Pittston Diner
Address: 335 Laurel St., Pittston
Owners: Syd Bauman and Eddie Visotski
Established: 2005 (the current owners have been there since 2010)
Cuisine: Classic homestyle with a twist
Hours: Sundays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Mondays, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Tuesdays through Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Online: Visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.