Billy's Downtown Diner is "Not Your Ordinary Diner"
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Why did you decide to open a location in Downtown Allentown?
I always loved Allentown. When I was growing up Allentown was the place to go for nightlife, restaurants and concerts. Upon seeing the renaissance the downtown was going through and how the skyline was changing, I wanted to be a part of it.
How long have you been at your current location?
I started Billy’s in September of 2000, and our Bethlehem location is 20 years old. The Allentown is 6 years and Easton is approaching its 1st year anniversary.
What is Billy’s Downtown Diner’s mission statement?
Our Mission Statement is simple. I am proud to say that our cuisine is primarily made from scratch and made to order, and we don’t use microwaves. But if I have to sum it up in 3 words it’s: Peace, Love and Food.
What makes Billy’s Downtown Diner different from other diners in the Lehigh Valley?
We have always been known for being unique, that is why we have been trademarked as “Not your Ordinary Diner.” We have been lucky enough to have dishes created with celebrities, such as The MindFreak Burger that was created by Criss Angel and me, the Vegan Esque Omelette with Tony Orlando and The Breakfast Burger with Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster). But I think it’s also our love for people. We were the first restaurant to go smoke-free 7 years before the smoke ban. People thought we were nuts at the time but it was the best thing we could do to show love for people. As people’s diets and palates have changed, we started offering a Plant-Base Section on our menu to accommodate them.
What is your best-selling menu item for breakfast? What about lunch?
Our bestsellers have been the Berry Krunch French Toast, which Yanna and I created almost 20 years ago. It’s made with towering French Bread, our signature sugar glaze, granola, fresh strawberries, cranberries and whipped topping. We most recently won an award for this French toast. It was voted Best Breakfast That Tastes Like Dessert. For lunch, our bestselling menu items are MindFreak Burger and Cuban Sandwich.
Why has Billy’s Downtown Diner been so successful over the years?
I honestly feel that our success comes from our love for people, our community, and a passion for food. Whenever I see people leaving with smiles, recommending their friends and families to visit us, or the numerous “Best of” awards we have won it makes us realize how blessed we are. I love knowing that people choose to spend a small part of their day with us and that is the success that I love most.
What are the most popular food trends you’re seeing this year?
Food trends are hard to predict but, in my opinion, I feel ethnic cuisine is going to continue to grow and plant-based foods.
Which menu items would you recommend new guests try when they visit your restaurant?
We always recommend our staple breakfasts specialties: The Berry Krunch French Toast, Cannoli Tower or Panos Omelette.
What’s your favorite part of having your restaurant in Downtown Allentown?
I love being part of its renaissance and the proximity to the PPL Center. After work I can go to a concert or a game within walking distance.
Are there any special discounts being offered at your restaurant right now?
We are creating a new restaurant app that will be launched in early September that will enable us to give different discounts and giveaways. I haven’t seen anything like it before, but again I think this will just be something new from “Not Your Ordinary Diner.”