On any given morning, weekends especially, you'll find a line trailing out the door of this Carle Place breakfast magnet. Yes, Thomas's also serves lunch and dinner, but it's breakfast that sets the place apart from all other diners on Long Island.

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How do you account for the popularity of the place? All becomes clear the moment you savor the ambrosial oatmeal, fluffy pancakes, terrific pecan waffles, eggs and omelets served in skillets. House-made maple chicken sausage is a triumph. Muffins and coffeecake (also made in the diner's kitchen) excel.

So does the welcome accorded to regulars and newcomers alike. If there's anywhere you're going to find a demographic cross-section of Long Island, it's here.  --Joan Reminick