Cross Keys Diner waitress Alecia Miller talks to customers Mario Gutierrez, left, and Santi Gutierrez, of Carlisle, on Sunday. Miller has been working at
Cross Keys Diner waitress Alecia Miller talks to customers Mario Gutierrez, left, and Santi Gutierrez, of Carlisle, on Sunday. Miller has been working at the diner for five years. (EVENING SUN PHOTO SHANE DUNLAP)
Whoever came up with the phrase "All in the family" must have had Vickie and Chris Saltos in mind.

The couple picked up their lives and moved back to the Hanover-Adams County area from Greece when Vickie's father asked if they wanted to come home and help with the family-owned Cross Keys Diner.

Vickie Saltos' father and two uncles bought the Cross Keys Diner, making the area larger and opening it as a 24-hour establishment. Three days later, Vickie said, they had to close because they had run out of food.

Years later, Vickie and Chris Saltos own and run the diner, hotel and banquet rooms with her uncle and aunt, Nick and Angie Barakos.

As a child, Vickie watched her parents pour every minute of every day into that diner, and now it's her turn. She even works as a waitress on the weekends or makes beds in the hotel if need be.

The diner's menu offers soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as seafood, meat and pasta options. There's a luncheon buffet Monday through Friday for $6.59 as well as lunch combo options that include soup, a sandwich and dessert.

After hearing Vickie and Chris Saltos' favorite items on the menu - crab cakes, chicken and shrimp and the chicken Chesapeake - I opted for a Maryland crab melt since the others seemed more like dinner entrees.

The crab melt came with cole slaw and fries, but I exchanged the fries for broccoli and bacon salad - all for $9.99.

A bowl of broccoli salad was brought to me minutes within making my order. And as someone who loves broccoli salad, I'd have to say it was the best I've ever had. The broccoli, bacon and cheese were drenched in a creamy sauce. I would have licked the bowl if only another customer hadn't sat down facing me.

The crab melt came out on an English muffin. The crab cake itself was huge - almost too big to get my mouth around it - and was covered in melted cheese.

I'm used to ordering crabcakes that look like frozen patties when they're served. But Cross Keys Diner would do nothing of the sort.

Vickie Saltos said her crabcakes were a personal and customer favorite and that the recipe hadn't changed in years. They're dedicated to their food from the moment they purchase the all-fresh ingredients to when orders are put on plates, she said.

Too bad I didn't save room for dessert. Or more of that broccoli salad. Guess I'll just have to go back some time.

Ticket to Lunch is a weekly column featuring local restaurants' meals available during the lunch hour. Contact Katharine Harmon at kharmon@eveningsun.com.

If you go


LOCATION: Cross Keys Diner 6110 York Road, New Oxford

HOURS: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

OWNER'S PICK: crab cakes

PARKING: Lot

ACCEPTS: All major credit cards

TAKE-OUT: Yes

DELIVERY: No

DETAILS: 624-2285