We recently discovered a little restaurant in the middle of town called the Marvel Ranch. It is at 4th and Penn in downtown Reading. We have been driving by this place for twenty odd years and thought it was a closed down dive. Well it isn’t either of those things.
The outside does present itself as a dive and perhaps the inside isn’t much better, but the food is good and inexpensive. It has a homey feel like Mel’s in Alice’s Restaurant. (We haven’t gone in enough times to know if The Marvel Ranch has its own version of Flo or not. But the locals and regulars add plenty of color and character to the overall atmosphere even without a Flo in the mix.)
The hours at the Marvel are a bit odd (this is why we assumed it was no longer in business). They open real early to catch the folks heading off to work something like 5:30 or 6: 00 (you won’ t catch me up that early). Then close around I:00 pm and 12:00pm on Sundays. You can get their entire menu at any time. So if you want a burger at 6 am you can get it or if you want the Marvel Mess at noon you can get that too. What is the Marvel Mess? It is an omelet that is pretty much a Marvel Ranch exclusive. It includes scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes, ham, onions, and peppers all served up in a heap on your plate for only a few dollars. The also serve a smaller portion called the mini marvel mess. A stack of 3 pancakes is under 3 dollars.
Next time you find yourself in Reading in the morning looking for a good place for breakfast or an early lunch check out this hidden treasure that’s just across the Penn Street bridge. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I know we were.