Like a shiny chrome beacon on a patch of emerald grass, the Boulevard Diner -- angled on the corner of Merritt Boulevard and Holabird -- stands out among all the concrete of the shabby shopping plazas nearby.

Everything inside and out of this Dundalk institution sparkles. Bright lights, a checkerboard floor and lots of neon give it an "oh-so retro" cache, but Dundalk is -- after all -- a retro kind of place. The huge menu of traditional comfort food -­pastas, burgers, sandwiches, chops. seafood and more -- will please everyone. Breakfast, served all day, is a favorite -- particularly the home fries.

Decadent desserts like cream pies and homemade cakes glisten inside the pastry case. And if one of them doesn't find its way onto your plate, the sundaes are a great option for topping off a meal.

Kids love this place, and it's not just because of the kids meals (which include dessert!) and crayons. They appreciate the friendly servers, who know that kids are people too, the constant stimulus of the bright colors and abundant neon.