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The Daybreak Diner

Written By Scott Joseph On April 11, 2024

Screenshot 2024 04 10 at 11.41.56 AM

Places like the Daybreak Diner are getting harder to find. Part of the reason is that a new place can’t recreate the timeworn atmosphere of a place that’s been slinging hash for decades.

Daybreak has been in its current location, a corner spot in a strip mall at Curry Ford Road and Crystal Lake Drive, since about 2005. When it first opened, in 1997, it was down the street in the space currently occupied by Los Generales Mexican restaurant. When another restaurant, B&B, announced it was getting out of the diner business, Daybreak’s owners grabbed the opportunity to move to the larger space.

But even though Daybreak Diner has been around for so long, and in a location that’s close enough that I could probably walk there, I hadn’t been back for many many years. I corrected that by meeting friends there for breakfast recently, and I felt as though I’d gone back in time.

DD offers your basic breakfast fare. Lunch, too, though I never think of it beyond the morning meal. (When it first opened, it also served dinner, though that was dropped years ago.)

Daybreak Diner hash

I was happy to see my go-to greasy spoon breakfast on the menu: corned beef hash and eggs. Unfortunately, they were served side by side on the plate rather than the eggs on top of the hash, as God intended. But I was able to transfer the two nicely cooked sunny-sides to their proper place without breaking the yolks. The side of skin-on country fries was a bonus. (You can also get hash browns, if you prefer. What’s the difference? “One’s chunky the other isn’t,” our server explained.)

Daybreak Diner eggs

My companion’s scrambled eggs looked plaintive on the white plate next to the dish of grits (served with packets of real butter, not margarine or some other ghastly substance), but there simply wasn’t room on the plate for the two large pancakes that were also part of the order. Light and spongy, they soaked up the syrup and more of that butter.

Daybreak Diner pancakes

Service is still of the “hey hon” style, friendly and efficient.

Daybreak Diner interior

Coffee mugs are apparently sourced from garage sales – they’re a mishmash of styles. The decor includes a double-row of black and white photos that ring the wall depicting customers over the years. There’s also a framed copy of a very old and now yellowed newspaper column called Chow Hound. I’m sure it was a good review.

Daybreak Diner is at 3335 Curry Ford Road, Orlando (map). It is open for breakfast and lunch daily. The phone number is 407-898-8338.

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