Thursday, February 23, 2012
Sam’s Diner opens in Pantego for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Home-cooking food with fresh ingredients.
ARLINGTON Sam's Diner just opened in Pantego, in the space that used to be Old Town Hamburger, and is already proving to be a more practical destination with its all-day hours and full schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Owner Sam Salem initially opened with the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. but he's already amending that to open at 6 a.m., in response to requests from his customers.
"People want to eat breakfast before they go to work," he says.
The diner is his first solo venture, but he's been working in the restaurant business for 15 years, ever since he moved here from Jerusalem.
"I came and started from zero, had to learn English," he says. "I started doing dishes and learned how to cook, and worked my way up."
His longest employer was IHOP; within two years he was promoted to general manager at his branch, and then the company then moved him around to different stores.
While he learned a lot at IHOP, he's doing things a little differently at Sam's, including using more fresh ingredients.
"The thing I like is our omelets with hashbrowns or toast on the side," he says. "We're almost like a home-cooking joint. We do a dinner special, it might be grilled chicken beast with three sides, you can choose from corn, green beans, broccoli, red potatoes, mixed vegetables, cauliflower, or tomatoes. Our lunch special today is a cheeseburger combo, but we also do turkey burgers and even veggie burgers."
His decision to break out on his own came after he got married and had children.
"That's when I decided to go out on my own," he says. "When I worked for IHOP, I had to be available 24-7, but I decided I need to do something for my kids. Working for IHOP, I didn't spend time with them. Having your own business gives you the freedom to do things like take them to the doctor. I wanted to be there for them when they need me."
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