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Can't Beat Breakfast at the Spa Restaurant

The Lake Hiawatha diner does fine lunches and dinners, but the morning meal—available all day—is the real eyeopener.

Mention the Spa Restaurant in Lake Hiawatha, and you're sure to get comments. "Have you tried the cream soups?" "You can't miss breakfast at the Spa." After months of hearing people recommend the place, the time came to check out the Parsippany eatery. And what do you know? The commenters are right.

The Spa is a traditional diner setting that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, take-out and specials.

Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:

The Spa is well-loved for its homey breakfast platters, but we wanted to know if the restaurant makes for good post-breakfast bites. On one occasion, we decided to try something from a list of daily dinner specials, typical comfort-meal offerings such as roast chicken, meat loaf, or sliced roast beef with gravy; each entree includes soup and dessert and costs between $10.95 and $12.95.

We went for something a tiny bit off from the beaten path, sliced fresh ham with baked potato, green beans and a lobster bisque starter.  The soup, though a bit salty, was full of flavor. The ham could have been more moist, but the generous portions pleased. And the dessert that comes as part of the meal: marvelous. We tried the Spa's creamy rice pudding topped with cinnamon and whipped cream and found it to be the best part of the meal. Overall, though, we were a little underwhelmed.

A week later, we returned to see whether breakfast really is the time when the Spa shines. The eatery has the traditional diner breakfast offerings, including egg platters with or without bacon, ham, sausage or Taylor ham; pancake stacks; numerous types of omelettes; french toast and waffles. The prices are awesome: A two-egg platter with breakfast meat, fried potatoes and toast runs only $5.50.

And the people were right--the Spa's breakfast rules. Scrambled eggs were deliciously creamy, bacon prepared expertly (so as not to be either too limp or too crisp), the potatoes simply divine. For research purposes, I had to try a short stack of pancakes. Fluffy and tender and tasty, they too did not disappoint. A stack of four is only $3.95. The combo of pancakes, eggs and breakfast meat is just $6.75.

Meanwhile, the staff is friendly and always ready to pour another cup of coffee for you.

So, we have to join the throng: The Spa is the spot for great breakfast bites. It's certainly worth visiting for lunch or dinner too--the menu is extensive, the specials are wide-ranging and the prices are reasonable. But breakfast at the Spa... It's a must-eat.

The Spa Restaurant, 482 N. Beverwyck Road, Lake Hiawatha, 973-335-7770. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday and Friday 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. For more information, check out the Spa's website.

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