Totin's sports full-plate diner atmosphere
By Bob Karlovits
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 6:23 p.m.
Jim Totin says he had the desire to open a “fine dining” restaurant on Route 19 in Wexford, then he had a moment of self-awareness.
“I said to myself, ‘Well, what do I like?' ” he says. “I like football. I like history. I like good cooking. I like cars. Hey, that sounds like a diner.”
He decided then to make the site of a car-repair garage right alongside the busy highway into Totin's Diner, an eatery that has survived 21⁄2 years of business-staggering roadwork and finally appears to be cooking.
Totin's, which opened in 2009, has the look of a traditional diner, sitting in one-story meekness along the highway. It has a big parking area and even a few tables outside for the al-fresco crowd.
Inside, it looks like a diner, too, with a small counter that stares into the kitchen, three rows of four-seat, red leatherette booths and one of four-seat tables.
At peak mealtimes, Totin's can be crowded, but preparation and service is fast, so the restaurant is packed at 12:15 p.m. and quiet by 1.
Servings are big and done well. Omelets, for instance, tend to be hefty, four-egg creations and provide a more-than-ample breakfast for $8.99. From a rather-traditional bacon-cheddar omelet to a massive one of kielbasa and cheese, they are all plate-fillers.
Breakfast is served all day, in a true diner-like fashion.
Lunches also get a long showtime, being served from 11 a.m. to close. They have a similar size and price range as the breakfasts. The chicken ranch panini, for instance, is big enough to satisfy most diners by itself, but all the lunches come with a side of fries, mashed potatoes, coleslaw or pierogies.
The range is great, too, from a simple grilled cheese and fries to a roasted turkey and field greens wrap. Totin's also offers a hot turkey or hot meatloaf sandwich in a small and large category at $7.29 and $8.99.
The diner moves into a dinner mode at 4 p.m. every day with a down-home lineup featuring items like the meatloaf or pot roast dinners at $11.99. It also offers $12.99 daily specials such as Wednesday's stuffed cabbage and Friday's stuffed peppers.
But the king of the specials is Saturday's 58-ounce prime rib for $44.99.
“Yeah, I get some kidding about that,” Totin says with a chuckle. “But, yeah, come in with some friends and you can split it.”
To help with the dining experience, Totin has decided to make the place a bring-your-own establishment. There's no corkage fee, he says, because they operate on a hands-off policy.
“We don't stock it, sell it, or even open it,” he says, “so, as long as you are over 21, you are fine.”
Totin's Diner, 10283 Old Perry Highway, Wexford, is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Details: 724-759-7102.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Still waiting on Crosby, Malkin
- Police respond to Hill District standoff
- Rossi: Lack of together time showing for Penguins’ defense
- LaBar: Did WWE referee know finish to Undertaker match?
- Fleury a bright spot among struggling Penguins in playoffs
- Truck crash causes fracking water, diesel spill into Chartiers Creek
- Egg decorating turns to fight, charges in Brookline, police say
- 3 ejected after Pirates, Brewers brawl
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Police fatally shoot man in Wilkinsburg after chase
- None injured when car strikes school bus in Derry Township