At the intersection of Routes 222 and 61 is one of Berks County’s busiest diners.
The stainless steel exterior of Crossroads Family Restaurant can’t be seen from 222, but driving north or south along Route 61, you can’t miss the shining building with the packed parking lot.
We visited on a recent Saturday morning and found the parking lot almost at capacity. Lucky for us there were a few select spaces left in the last row of the lot.
Crossroads is the quintessential diner. Rows of booths and tables span the large dining area. Two private rooms – one on either side of the building – are separated by glass windows. We watched as one of the rooms emptied out, and the windows were slid along a track in the ceiling to open up the space for more seating.
Despite its size, Crossroads had no problem filling the tables on this Saturday morning. We had a five minute wait when we arrived at 8:30, but as many people as were beginning to wait, just as many people were filing out to pay at the register, which was flanked on either side by cases full of tempting cakes, pies and baked goods. Behind the register, I was surprised to see a fully stocked bar.
After our brief wait, we were led into the main dining room where Julie and I sat at a booth with Jakob next to us, car seat atop a high chair. As usual, Jakob was the center of attention, with waitresses and other staff stopping by to take a peek at the four-month-old with us.
We perused the robust breakfast menu: skillets, French toast, pancakes, waffles, eggs and an array of sides. I joked about going big with my side and ordering the 14-ounce ham steak (no joke, this is a real side dish. As is the eight-ounce black diamond steak).
I still went big, opting for the L.A. cinnamon roll French toast with a side of corned beef hash.
You may remember my cinnamon roll French toast from Jukebox Cafe in Boyertown where I enjoyed an actual cinnamon roll that was made a la French toast. This was different: two thick slices of cinnamon swirl bread with a vanilla glaze.
The glaze was light – not a thick icing but a subtle glaze that provided enough sweetness that butter or syrup would have been overkill. The cinnamon toast itself was very good with big cinnamon swirls.
The L.A. cinnamon roll French toast is not one of the breakfast items that is available all day, which is a shame because it would make a great dessert.
On the side, my corned beef hash was more than I needed. The hash was tightly formed and cut in half. It was good if a little on the salty side (though in fairness, I think I’m much more sensitive to salt than most). I would have been satisfied with half the order, but I finished it anyway.
Julie went with a more traditional breakfast of eggs, potatoes, toast and bacon. While she enjoys all of the above, she ordered it specifically for the homefries, which she requested deep-fried.
After visiting Crossroads several times with some of the ladies from our church, Julie had learned of the deep-fried homefries and couldn’t wait to order them. The deep-fried potatoes were crispier and more flavorful than if they had been pan-fried.
The combo meal was only $5.95 so Julie didn’t feel so guilty about leaving a couple slices of toast.
Both of us ate enough at breakfast to skip lunch so I would say the $20 we paid (I had a $2 orange juice on the bill as well) was more than fair.
It was my first visit to the restaurant, and I left impressed and full. There’s no doubt that Berks County has no shortage of places to grab a good breakfast, and Crossroads is definitely among them.
Food: Very Good
Price: Very Reasonable
Crossroad Family Restaurant
4643 Pottsville Pk
Reading, PA 19605