Editor's note: Here is today's dining report. Drop-In Dining is a report about a new or new-to-us restaurant published in the TNT's Friday GO section. Reporters drop in unannounced and sample the food, on the TNT's dime, then report to you what the scene and food was like. Have a suggestion for a drop-in dining feature? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hometown Restaurant
Where: 760 Main St., Buckley; 360-829-1228
Hours: 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily
Price range: $ (under $14)
By Debbie Cafazzo
The Scene: The 100-year-old brick building was gutted for the June 3 opening of The Hometown. The interior walls are a comforting honey-gold, decorated with photos of Buckley from a bygone era. The wood beams and burnished wood floors recall Buckley's timber-town past.
Type of food: Old-fashioned breakfasts feature three-egg omelets, meat-and-potatoes scrambles, pancakes and waffles from the griddle. Portions are large, but you can finish them in a single sitting if you come hungry.
Traditional lunches offer fried seafood, six kinds of burgers, sandwiches (BLT, club, deli and hot) along with soup, salad and sandwich combos. Most breakfast and lunch items are served all day long.
Menu highlights: The "From the Henhouse" portion of the menu features five chicken dishes.
There's a nice selection of simple dishes for kids for both breakfast and lunch – from a single biscuit with gravy and single egg, to macaroni and cheese.
Desserts, including four-berry pie, are homemade. The Hometown cooks and slices its own turkey and roast beef.
People in the kitchen: Co-owner Mary Mueller-Toney does the baking, while Sandra Troy is head cook. Dianne Koens, also a co-owner, doubles as a member of the wait staff. All three women have years of experience in other Buckley restaurants.
"Our main thing is customer service and good food," says Koens.
Dishes sampled: A tasty three-egg vegetarian omelet came with lots of fresh tomatoes and other veggies, along with just enough cheddar cheese.
A house specialty, the Hometown Hobo Scramble, was a delicious merging of potatoes, bacon, ham, sausage, onions, green peppers and eggs, topped with cheddar cheese.
A third dish, chicken-fried steak and eggs with biscuits and gravy, needed a little more attention from the kitchen. While the gravy and biscuits were good, and the freezer jam for biscuits flavorful, the chicken-fried steak could have been a little crispier and the sunny-side-up eggs needed another minute on the griddle.
Service: Fast and friendly, with a bottomless coffee pot at the ready.
Most unexpected moment: Buckley, which was named a Washington State Heritage Community in 2003, has a lot going on along historic Main Street. It's packed with restaurants and shops.
Wild card: The menu boasts a few unusual creations from the griddle. The malted waffle is a hearty alternative to light and fluffy breakfast fare. There's also a bacon waffle – with bacon cooked right in.
Pictured here: Mary Mueller-Toney and Dianne Koens opened The Hometown Restaurant three months ago on Main Street in Buckley. Koens is holding the restaurnats specialty of home style potatoes. Photo by Darren Breen/The News Tribune.