Harlow’s Cafe serves up classic American breakfast with a vintage feel

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Since 1980, Harlow’s Cafe has been serving up delicious classic home cooking in the heart of Tempe. The local diner is known for catering to your morning mealtime cravings, serving lunch and breakfast all day long.

With vintage memorabilia decorating the walls, the restaurant truly stands as a blast from the past. John Essaff, the owner of Harlow’s Cafe, says he has been working in the restaurant since he was 14 years old. It was later passed down to him by his parents.

“Our ambiance is pretty much like being at home,” he said. Comparing the cafe to grandma and grandpa’s house in the Midwest, Essaff says he simply wants people to have a great meal and a good time.

Guest Kevin Brown, a retiree, boasts about the cafe’s breakfast. Specifically, he loves the chorizo and eggs that he feels are their best meal.

“They fry the chorizo with the scrambled eggs,” he said. Accompanied with fried potatoes on the side as well as a batch of tortillas, Brown and chef Mark Tarbell are quick to agree that the “goodness is all through it.”

When asked about Harlow’s Cafe and its atmosphere, Brown reminisces on the nostalgia of it all. He says it reminds him of an old-fashioned diner. “There aren’t enough of those left,” he said.

You can’t enjoy a full breakfast without, of course, a little morning sweetness.

Guest Laurie King, an education specialist, said she split the restaurant’s Belgian waffle with her friend. She summed it up in one word: “phenomenal.”

Switching things up for lunch, guest Star Morrison, a business owner, tried her hand at the restaurant’s French dip for the first time.

“It was the bomb-dot-com,” she said, and even wanted to take the rest home to savor the taste for later.

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