NORTH BEND — Maybe the hardest decision for John to make when we went to Dishner's on Monday was if he should order from the lunch menu, or if he should spend more time looking at the extensive breakfast menu as well.

It is always nice to go into a restaurant at noon and still have that choice.

I, on the other hand, only had to look at the menu cover to figure out what I was probably going to have.

At the bottom of the menu, it says: "Home of the Best Chicken Fried Steak." It's not like me to pass up a chicken fried steak, especially if it comes with country gravy.

John decided on the four-piece fried chicken meal. For those of you counting along, four pieces is pretty much half a chicken. He asked what type of potatoes he could get with that and wasn't quite ready for the answer.

Our server started going through the possibilities.

"What was that, eight different options of potatoes?"

It may have been more. I stopped counting after the list got down to hashed browns and potatoes O'Brien.

Neither of us had been to Dishner's in years, and had been pondering this trip for a few weeks.

Dishner's is a good old-fashioned restaurant where comfort food can be found everywhere on the menu.

It's also just a comfortable place to be. The service is friendly and prompt, and you don't feel neglected while waiting for your meal. John is a big Dr. Pepper drinker, and his glass never got close to being empty.

You can tell a family diner by some of the signs decorating the walls. Just this side of the kitchen is one that is six lines long and reads: "Dishner's Restaurant; Gary & Sandra; Proprietors; One old grouch; and one nice person; works here."

"I'm glad I looked at that one," he said with a chuckle.

We didn't ask which one was which.

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John and I can usually use our Monday lunches to catch up on busy weekends. This time mine was busier than his, seeing as how the high school sports seasons are coming to a close and my roof work took much longer than expected.

Although, he did have Reedsport's heartbreaking baseball loss that he covered on Friday up in Keizer and then he ran in the 10K during Coquille's Gay '90s Festival on Saturday.

Our meals came and John dove into that pile of fried chicken. With a wing, thigh, leg and a breast, there was plenty to dive into.

About halfway through he confessed, "I'm giving this napkin a workout. And that's a good thing.

"You don't order fried chicken and not expect that."

I made short work of my chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Dishner's is located at 2603 Broadway in North Bend, at the light at the corner of 16th and Broadway.

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