Cheap good eats in Northport

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No question, the Northport Diner, on Route 1, looks like a dive from the exterior, but step inside. This is the kind of home-cookin’ gem chowhounds love to stumble upon and devour.

Outside, it’s low-slung with the appearance of a retro take-out stand that’s seen better years (perhaps decades). Inside it’s spotless, with a handful of tables and a counter and even a selection of magazines and newspapers. From the counter, there’s a clear view into the equally spotless kitchen. It’s a homey, friendly, Mom-and-Pop operation (literally, just Pop in the kitchen and Mom out front), where the breads, muffins, doughnuts, and biscuits are all homemade; where the portions are generous and prices low.

And I mean low. I don’t think anything on the menu topped $10, with the bulk of it less than $6. Breakfast is served all day; hours are 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily.

I splurged on the crabmeat omlette. Wow, talk about fresh, fresh crabmeat, and plenty of it, wrapped in eggs. It came with homemade toast–choice of wheat, white, or raisin. On the waitress’s suggestion, I chose raisin—delish. When I gave the cook the thumb’s up, he smiled. I said I was amazed at how fresh it was, and he replied: “If it was any fresher, I’d a had the snorkle on myself and get it.”

Beyond breakfast, lunch choices inclue burgers, subs, BLT,  grilled cheese and the like, all for about $2.50 to $5.50; mac-and-cheese, pot roast, meatloaf, hot dogs and beans, for $6-9; and a crabmeat roll for $10.

The only thing a bit sketchy was the restroom. Fine by most folks standards, but fussbudgets might think otherwise. But then fussbudgets would never stop here in the first place, which might just save the joint.