Don’s Alley: diner fare since 1955
Don’s Alley has been serving up good grub for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Del City since 1955. Well, I can only assume it was good before the mid-80′s since that was when I first dined at Don’s, but I feel safe in that assumption as they had already been in business for 30 years at that point. Restaurants don’t typically stick around that long without good reason.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that Don’s Alley puts out mind-blowing gourmet food because they don’t. They do put out good, homestyle, comfort food and unlike a lot of other restaurants I remember from my childhood, they’ve stayed consistent over the years.
The first thing you’ll notice as you walk in is the decor which likely hasn’t changed much since Don’s opened. The second thing you’ll notice is that the clientele hasn’t changed much either. Many of Don’s patrons started dining here in the 1950s and have been coming ever since. This is never a bad thing because long-time customers mean long-time consistency.
So what’s good here? Well, if you are in the mood for some really good chicken and dumplings and some coconut creme pie, you can’t go wrong at Don’s Alley.
I’ve heard some people say the chicken and dumplings can be just a touch salty, but you know what I’ve learned over decades of watching famous chefs on cooking shows? Salt adds flavor! And the chicken and dumplings at Don’s are never lacking for flavor. Did I mention they are served up with a fist-sized piece of tasty cornbread? Well, they are and it’s the perfect complement to a hot bowl of chicken and dumplings.
You can order the chicken and dumplings (actually called “Chicken Noodle Soup” on the menu) in two sizes ($4.49 for the small and $5.49 for the large – see a pic). I recommend getting the large order, not because the small order is too small (it’s actually an ample size) but because if you get the small you’re going to regret getting to the bottom of that bowl. If you go with the large you might not even see the bottom. Having too much of these chicken and dumplings is way better than not having enough.
You’ll also find steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups and stews on the menu at Don’s. Plus, they always have several daily specials listed on the menu board at the front of the restaurant. Make sure to check these specials out because the waitress won’t always tell you about them.
Oh, and no matter how full you are after your meal, do not skip the pie! My wife has rated Don’s Coconut Creme Pie (see a pic) as one of the best she has ever eaten and she rarely passes up the chance to eat Coconut Cream Pie. I’ve had multiple other pie flavors here and have never been disappointed. Well, I was somewhat disappointed when I took that last bite, but this can always be remedied by ordering another slice!
It has been a couple of years since I had breakfast at Don’s Alley, but I have eaten a lot of breakfasts here over the years and have never left hungry or disappointed. If you want a good, consistent, diner-style breakfast I don’t think you’ll leave hungry or disappointed either.
One last throwback to days gone by — Don’s Alley offers candy and mints for sale at the register on your way out. I treated myself to a Chick-O-Stick on my last visit!
Don’s Alley has been a Del City staple for for over half a century and its still going strong. I say most any place that can endure as long is worthy of a visit. So, check it out and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.