People continuously rave so much about the breakfasts at Leon’s Family Dining on Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, that I had to see for myself what it was all about … And well they should … As I discovered, it is that good … But also revealed was that there is certainly a lot more as well to enjoy at Leon’s Family Dining, considered the flagship restaurant of a small group that originally opened with one location by Sam Leon.

First was that it is a true family restaurant with Sam’s four children, three girls and a boy, all now college graduates with their own jobs, assisting by working there on the weekends, and a niece, Maha Khazouz, at the Dearborn restaurant daily with Sam … It is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner … and, importantly so, considered by the Wayne County Health Department to be one of the cleanest restaurants they have seen.

The table service breakfast is daily from 6 a.m. to noon and a sumptuous serve-yourself breakfast brunch daily from 8 to noon.

Sam had come to America from Syria as a 19-year-old to study electrical engineering and worked as a dishwasher at a Big Boy … liked the restaurant business so much that he went into it himself … So much so that he opened one in 1983 and today has a small chain of Leon’s Family Dining eateries … The Dearborn restaurant, with seating for 200, was a former Egg & I that was bought and refurbished by Sam … His daily breakfast special Monday through Friday, two eggs, choice of bacon, ham, sausage or pancakes and toast for $3.69 is a big favorite … Almost everything for breakfast, lunch or dinner is made daily from scratch, including soups and other items … Senior citizens are given 10 percent off all meals above $5.

Oct. 30 will be the 34th anniversary of Leon’s Family Dining … Total enjoyment of home-cooked meals amid utter cleanliness … and another wonderful coming-to-America success story with Sam Leon and his family enjoying so much of which to be proud.

CLOSING OF LOCAL Kitchen & Bar on Nine Mile, Ferndale, came with little warning … In fact, some people were still calling it a favorite of theirs and intending to make reservations … Rick Halberg, executive chef and owner with Brian Siegel, has a fine track record that leaves little doubt of whether he will return to the eatery scene … Local Kitchen & Bar was quite a departure from his former Emily’s in Northville, named after Rick’s daughter … and an amazing change from upscale dining to casual comfort food on a high scale … like turkey meatloaf made with challah, etc. … His favorites on the Local Kitchen menu were the meatloaf and chicken cutlets, among others … Quite a difference from Emily’s veal rack dusted with Porcini flour, balsamic roasted duck, etc.

THEIR YOUTHFUL exuberance belies the years spent by both at their jobs … Steve Pardo, former food editor and features editor at the Detroit News … recently made its Breaking News Editor, is a 20-year “old-timer” at the News … Steve’s wife, Leslie Pardo, senior vice president at Marx-Layne & Co., is a 19-year “veteran” at the firm.

SCHOOL MAY BE out for 14 lassies but they still meet every other month at Georges Restaurant, Northwestern Hwy., West Bloomfield … and share their secrets of always looking mighty good … The gals call themselves “The Mumford Cuties” from the class of 1956 and tell their stories in one of the side rooms at Georges.

WHEN EATING IN a restaurant, it is well to remember that the respect you give a waitperson will in most instances be given back to you … A meal out in a dining spot can be a much more pleasant experience if you are aware of the way you treat waiters and waitresses … They usually will provide a higher quality in pleasing customers … and smile.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Before sending her son off for his first day at school, Mrs. Cohen hugged him and said, “Good luck, my sweet bubbele. Be good, dear bubbele, and work hard. And remember, my bubbele, at lunch time eat all your food and play nicely with the other children. Oh, bubbele, I’m so proud of you!”

That afternoon, when little Cohen returned home, his mother cried, “Bubbele, my sweet bubbele, give your mother a hug! So, tell me, what did you learn at school today?”

“Well,” said the boy, “to start with, I learned that my name is Aaron.”

CONGRATS … To Sylvia Hubert on her 102nd birthday … To Pamela “Pam” Smith on her birthday … To Sharon Schultz on her birthday … To Rose Light on her birthday … To Steve and Leslie Pardo on their 16th anniversary.

Danny’s email address is


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