Kitschy and fun, Byways feels like a blast from the past with its vinyl banquettes, 3-D viewfinders, friendly servers and soda fountain. The crowd is mixed: 20-somethings nursing weekend hangovers, young families and Pearlites converge for hearty, satisfying breakfasts and lunches.
The Pearl's own greasy spoon transcends diner fare by improving on the classics. At breakfast, try the Mt. Rushmore Hash, a mix-mash of potatoes, spicy corned beef, melted cheese and hot peppers. Amaretto-infused French toast is pure indulgence; creamy, aromatic brioche topped with honey butter is well worth the 15-minute wait. For lunch, attempt the juicy, 1/3-pound hamburger with tasty homemade potato salad, or the Crater Lake Cobb salad, which is done with spinach instead of lettuce and doused in crumbly blue cheese. Don't miss the sweet treats: Chewy brownies, piping-hot scones and cookies have a loyal following.