Celebrating philly, right here in DeLand: Eagles’ win lifts spirits at the Philly Diner

Dilly, dilly, let’s go, Philly! —“We feel like a million dollars; we’ve been celebrating all night,” Vince Morlock of DeLand said Feb. 5. With tired smiles, Morlock and his friends Brandon Carollo and Danny Langan give big thumbs-ups to the camera, thrilled by the Philadelphia Eagles’ win against the New England Patriots. They’re capping off their celebration of the Super Bowl with breakfast at DeLand’s Philly Diner.

Dilly, dilly, let’s go, Philly! —“We feel like a million dollars; we’ve been celebrating all night,” Vince Morlock of DeLand said Feb. 5. With tired smiles, Morlock and his friends Brandon Carollo and Danny Langan give big thumbs-ups to the camera, thrilled by the Philadelphia Eagles’ win against the New England Patriots. They’re capping off their celebration of the Super Bowl with breakfast at DeLand’s Philly Diner.

BEACON PHOTO/LEAH POUGH

Philly Diner crew — In front of Philly Diner’s sign signifying the staff’s love of liberty and sports are, from left, kitchen manager Chris Jessee, servers Kimberly Berletich and Tonia Diaz, and restaurant owner Cliff Clayton. Philly Diner has seven employees who keep the restaurant open seven days a week.

Philly Diner crew — In front of Philly Diner’s sign signifying the staff’s love of liberty and sports are, from left, kitchen manager Chris Jessee, servers Kimberly Berletich and Tonia Diaz, and restaurant owner Cliff Clayton. Philly Diner has seven employees who keep the restaurant open seven days a week.

BEACON PHOTO/RYAN ROUGEUX

ROCKY VI — Here’s a Rocky-sized breakfast! The popular boxing-movie series starring Sylvester Stallone inspired Philly Diner’s six breakfast entrees delivering a punch to hunger. We tried No. 6, on the advice of chef Chris Jessee. The giant plate comes loaded with two pieces of Texas toast, smothered with sausage, bacon, ham, hash browns, cheddar cheese, eggs and sausage gravy.

ROCKY VI — Here’s a Rocky-sized breakfast! The popular boxing-movie series starring Sylvester Stallone inspired Philly Diner’s six breakfast entrees delivering a punch to hunger. We tried No. 6, on the advice of chef Chris Jessee. The giant plate comes loaded with two pieces of Texas toast, smothered with sausage, bacon, ham, hash browns, cheddar cheese, eggs and sausage gravy.  

BEACON PHOTO/RYAN ROUGEUX

As joyous screams of Philadelphia fans echoed around the world, the loudest in DeLand came from Philly Diner at 205 S. Spring Garden Ave.

After six-and-a-half years of successful business in DeLand, owner Cliff Clayton finally got to celebrate, in his restaurant, the Philadelphia Eagles winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history Feb. 4.

“We are open for every Philadelphia Eagles game, despite our normal hours,” Clayton said.

After the Eagles took down the Patriots, we headed over to check out this American diner offering a large menu, generous portions and affordable prices.

The sign out front makes clear this diner’s allegiances, with an image of the Liberty Bell on an American flag, an Eagles banner and the words “Superbowl Champs” welcoming customers.

As soon as I stepped in, the front-of-house staff greeted me with a smile. Philadelphia artifacts and memorabilia decorate every wall of the 42-seat dining room.

Football logos and images from the Rocky movies starring Sylvester Stallone combine with other sports decorations and even a Liberty Bell with an eagle on top.

The décor was a team effort.

“We have guests that donate memorabilia to us, and we hang it on the walls,” Clayton said. “We are a family here, and we built this together.”

Two days after the big Super Bowl win, you could still feel the excitement from everyone who works at Philly Diner; this is their moment to shine. Clayton, who grew up in Philadelphia, has been around restaurants, especially the ones his family owned, since he was 5 years old.

Philly Diner has an extensive breakfast and lunch menu — items from both menus are served all day. I enjoyed the Tuesday special, an 8-inch cheesesteak with fries for $5.50. This hearty portion of steaming steak and cheese truly puts Philadelphia in your belly.

After finishing this staple sandwich, I was encouraged by the kitchen manager, Chris Jessee, to try one of the restaurant’s Rocky-sequel breakfast combinations.

He insisted I try the Rocky VI, two pieces of Texas toast topped with sausage, bacon, ham, hash browns and cheddar cheese, and lathered with sausage gravy. This meat-fueled breakfast carried me for the rest of the day.

Philly Diner delivers portions that won’t leave you hungry, and you’ll probably need a to-go box.

In addition to the six Rocky combos, Philly Diner offers 12 omelets, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, skillets, and the popular build-your-own-breakfast, which allows customers to choose up to five items, with free reorder on up to three items, all for only $8.49.

If you don’t want breakfast, Philly Diner offers 12 burgers, three types of Reuben sandwiches, salads, hot dogs and — of course — cheesesteaks and other subs.

When the Philadelphia Eagles are playing football, Philly Diner is open, and each time the Eagles score, everyone in the house gets a shot of Screamin’ Eagle, a wine-based liquor. It’s a party!

Philly Diner boasts one of the largest American flags in town, and offers a discount to military personnel and local city officials, to show their appreciation for those who serve for the good of the country and community. On top of that, there’s a 10-percent discount for senior citizens.

A great Northern-style American diner in the South, Philly Diner aims to fill you up with great food for an affordable price, whether you come in to watch the game on one of six flat-screen TVs, enjoy breakfast at any time of day, or devour a traditional cheesesteak sandwich.

— Ryan Rougeux, info@beacononlinenews.com


PHILLY DINER

Location: 205 S. Spring Garden Ave., DeLand

Hours: 6 a.m.-3 p.m., seven days a week. Also open anytime the Philadelphia Eagles are playing football

Price range: $1 to $10

Beverages: The specialty beverage is Screamin’ Eagle, a wine-based cocktail. Also, soft drinks, draft and bottled beer, wine and other wine-based liquor

Kid-friendly: Yes

Pet-friendly: Service dogs only

Limited diets: Vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options are available.

Our bill for one cheesesteak sandwich with fries and one soda: $7.98 plus a $3 tip

Contact: Call 386-873-4357.

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