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Barb's Corner Kitchen in Lawrenceville looks to corner the breakfast trade

Barb's Corner Kitchen is honest to its Lawrenceville locale.

Like the days of the area's blue-collar past, the restaurant is a down-to-earth, straight-forward restaurant where you get what you came for. It will not overwhelm any customer with decor or fanciness, but might shock some with the number of items on its four-page menu.

The restaurant features a collection of booths and tables around an L-shaped counter. A TV at one end keeps track of the day's news and game-show competition as well. Owner Pat Geraci of Monroeville says the restaurant gets a fair amount of commuter trade, but a good bulk of customers are Lawrenceville neighbors. She says she sees many of the same faces every day.

Geraci once owned the pub next door, too, but decided working the dinner trade and keeping that open until late Saturday nights was a bit too much. So the pub is closed and the Corner Kitchen operates in a breakfast-lunch schedule.

That will change a little, too, in March when opening time shifts from 4 to 5 a.m. Monday through Saturday because the busy time of the Teamsters headquarters next door have ended. She explains the faltering economy has eliminated the arrival of truck drivers early in the morning to land a run for the day. That calls for fewer early-morning breakfasts, she says.

Other things have changed at the Kitchen, too. Take the name. When Geraci bought it 20 years ago, the site of a former ice cream stand was known as the Country Kitchen. She liked the name but added the name Barb's to the front in honor of her late mother and sister.

"Mom was the real cook in the family," she says.

But two years ago, she says she received a letter threatening legal action because the "Country Kitchen" name already was taken. Rather than fight, Geraci went into her corner, so to speak, and found the name.

But the food has not changed and that is the important part.

Breakfasts at the Corner Kitchen center on eggs. There is the complete run of omelettes ranging from $5.25 to $6.75, but more impressive is the other variety of egg dishes. That group starts with Country Style Eggs featuring three of the yolksters, meat, grits and toast for $5.05. At the other end of the henhouse is the Kitchen Sink , obviously named that because it has everything in it, featuring four eggs, a choice of three meats, mushrooms, home fries and toast for $6.99.

In the middle is the cardiac classic, two Southern Style eggs with biscuits, home fries and, of course, gravy for $5.99.

Lunches have the same sort of assortment with burgers starting at $4.75 and going up to the Bad Boy, which is a full pound of beef, bacon, ham and two cheeses for $7.95.

Other lunches include pizzas for $6.75 and $7.25 and sandwiches from a basic cheese at $3.50 to $7.95 for a fish.

There even are appetizers ranging from $4.25 for cheese sticks to $9.95 for the sampler platter.

Additional Information:

Barb's Corner Kitchen

Location: 4711 Butler St., Lawrenceville

Hours: 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Details: 412-621-2644

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