Editor’s Note: In 2021, Michael and Nicole Borrell began reviewing Lebanon Valley’s restaurants and eating attractions as the Lebanon Valley Food Critics. Since then, the couple has aimed to offer unbiased reviews of the eating and drinking establishments the Lebanon Valley has to offer. LebTown is pleased to be partnering with LVFC to share these reviews with our readers. Bon appétit!

After a long day of taking care of our little critic who wasn’t feeling good, I needed to pick up medicine in the morning, but it wouldn’t be ready for 30 minutes. So, I decided to grab a quick breakfast at a nearby diner counter. A few of our fans had suggested Schwalm’s Cleona Restaurant for us to review.

Schwalm’s Cleona Restaurant

213 E. Penn Ave.
Cleona, PA 17042

Phone: (717) 274-9942


Mon: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tue: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wed: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thu: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri: 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sun: 5 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Located along Route 422 on the east side of Cleona, this stand-alone restaurant provides a cozy atmosphere with table seating and counter seating. As I was by myself today, I grabbed a seat at the counter. There is parking along the street and to the rear.

The breakfast menu itself was simple, so I opted for a simple local favorite, SOS. On the menu, it’s cream-chipped beef ($5.75), but it will always be SOS to me.

Loaded on top of extra crispy home fries and a side of toast, this dish became the topic of discussion amongst the others at the counter. What makes it good? “It actually has flavor” was the consensus response from the waitress and other patrons. And it surely did.

Cream-chipped beef, or SOS.

I have not had SOS in a while, and this was very good. I added pepper because that’s what I do. Otherwise, it was great as is. The home fries were good and crispy.

As I was looking for a quick breakfast, had I not had the conversations I had, I would have been in and out in 25 minutes. I always run into people I know everywhere I go. That’s why I love being out and about in the Valley.

Our take: Schwalm’s is a simple diner that pumps out home-style meals that find favor amongst the regulars. No frills or thrills to the dishes. Just flavorful, plenty of portion, and reasonably priced. If you’re a creature of habit, this is the place. We see the dinner menu has plenty more options that we will have to try.

We give this place ????.

If you have a restaurant you would like us to visit or review, whether a place you like or are nervous to try, please message us on Facebook or email lvfoodcritics@outlook.com and let us know. We thank everyone for the recommendations and the kind words we have received.