The York Dispatch restaurant reviewers Hanna and Betty stopped by a York County classic: Round the Clock Diner, 222 Arsenal Road (848-5344 or online).

Hanna: The Round the Clock Diner has been in York it seems forever. I have been there at least 100 times (if not more). One year, I went there for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner. I've been there at noon and at midnight.

Betty and I sometimes go there to get work done. We know where all the outlets are so we can plug in our laptops and use the free Wi-Fi. The service is always fast and the food is always good.

We figured everyone in York County knows how good Round the Clock is — but a friend recently told me she had never been there. So we thought we'd spread the word.

I have a rule about diners: I generally get only breakfast, no matter what time of day. Round the Clock knows how to do breakfast, with french toast made from challah bread and home fries made from real potatoes, with huge omelets and crispy bacon.

For the review, I decided to try something different, so I got turkey, bacon and provolone cheese on a croissant, with fries and coleslaw.

I've never been a big fan of coleslaw — it's too runny. But I love Round the Clock's coleslaw, which is sweet and not runny.

My sandwich was just as I expected, the croissant fresh and the bacon crisp. The fries were also just how I like them: crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside.


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But the real prize of Round the Clock is the coconut cake. If you've never had a slice of the coconut cake, put it on your bucket list. All of the desserts are made in-house and the coconut cake is so fresh, with a vanilla cake and white icing. It is light and moist and, in my opinion, better than the coconut cream pie.

Verdict: Round the Clock's prices are a little more expensive than some other diners in the area, but the portions are huge and the food is good. If you've never been there, you're missing out on a York County tradition.

The BLT sandwich, above, at Round the Clock nails the big three requirements: lots of crispy bacon, unwilted lettuce, and fresh, juicy tomatoes. The carrot
The BLT sandwich, above, at Round the Clock nails the big three requirements: lots of crispy bacon, unwilted lettuce, and fresh, juicy tomatoes. The carrot cake, below, is moist and not too sweet. (Betty photos)

Betty: I agree with Hanna about breakfast at Round the Clock. Shocking, isn't it? But when you just have to have a Belgian waffle to go with the hangover you'll have in a few hours, this is the place to go.

If you're looking for a dinner plate, though, this might not be your first choice. My husband ordered turkey there once and it came with chicken gravy. Not good. You may not think there is a difference, but there definitely is.

For our review, I ordered a BLT. I've been craving them lately and have actually had three there within a week or so. They have been consistently delicious. I have three big criteria when eating a BLT — an abundance of crispy bacon, unwilted lettuce, and fresh, juicy tomatoes. Round the Clock nailed all three.

The sandwich comes with fries that are thick and well cooked but unsalted, which bugs me. Fries should be salted when hot, right out of the fryer. However, there is salt on the table and the plate is generally warm enough that you can salt them yourself.

As a finale, I ordered a slice of carrot cake. The cake was moist and not too sweet. The cream cheese icing seems to be whipped rather than a butter cream, which isn't my favorite but suits the cake well without overpowering it.

Verdict: Round the Clock is a local institution, and if you haven't been there, you're really missing out. If you've avoided it because it's at a difficult intersection with Route 30 traffic, you'll be pleased to know they'll be opening Round the Clock East on Memory Lane where Eat'n Park used to be.

— Hanna and Betty are the alter egos of two York County women who love dining out. Want to recommend a restaurant for review? Email food editor Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com with your suggestion.