Munday's, a soda-fountain-style eatery and a Huntington institution, embodies the history of Main Street America. Although traditionalists may mourn the fact that the dingy (but atmospheric) old murals were replaced a few years ago with pastel stencil-work, they still would have to concede that the place has a fresher, more appealing look.

Appealing, too, is the well-executed fare --familiar luncheonette classics supplemented by a more upscale list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials.

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My favorite morning treat is the perilously rich French toast souffle, a bread pudding of sorts made of challah, cream, cream cheese, maple syrup and eggs baked in a ramekin and unmolded onto a plate. You'll find the peach pancakes fruity and substantial, the cinnamon raisin French toast fragrant and satisfying; you also might fancy an unconventional Mexican frittata, made with salsa, vegetables and eggs baked in a ramekin. The offerings change daily.

At lunch, it's difficult to resist the lure of Munday's superbly smoky, juicy hamburgers, but do try at least one of chef Bill Murphy's specials. Salads are especially creative.

Dinner specials, most around $10, are a real bargain, since they include a bowl of homestyle soup (the lusty bacon and potato chowder and the smoky split-pea both excel). A whole Cornish hen, roasted and then drizzled with the restaurant's own barbecue sauce, delights, as do the accompanying sweet potato fries and sauteed vegetables. Maryland crab cakes are bursting with crabmeat and herbs, bound with just the right amount of bread crumbs. Penne with white beans, escarole and garlic taste authentically Italian, while tender butter-sauteed chicken breasts with brown gravy, mashed potatoes, and fresh vegetables exemplify old- fashioned American cookery.

To conclude, try the fragrant, flaky-crusted apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream; both are house-made. It's one of several homestyle desserts displayed on a table and made in-house. You might find yourself asking for the chocolate cake recipe. Then again, perhaps not. Because Munday's, with its reasonable prices and friendly service, will have you questioning the sense of eating at home. --Joan Reminick.