Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Love Diners

I love diners. They are so comforting and somehow so quintisssentially American.   I love the thick china cups, the booths, the counter and the food which can range from fabulous to gawdawful.

You run into diners in the most surprising places, like  mid-town Manhattan or the middle of nowhere. And in these days of Mickey D and KFC, there are fewer of them than there used to be.  But they do survive-- an icon of America and a place to celebrate the simple, home made food of yesteryear. Foreign visitors take note--if you want to have a real American food experience, stay out of the fast food chains and find yourself a diner for a cheap, satisfying meal. It may give you heartburn, but  you just might get the best piece of home made American apple pie that you have ever tasted.  You never know, and that is part of the fun.

The Lake Effect Diner near Buffalo and Niagara Falls, is famous for its potato pancakes. It's been feeding folks for years and was featured on the Food network. Review and photo source

Some diners are imposing like the Americana diner in Shrewsbury NJ

 Some are simple and cozy like Charlies in Spencer Massachusetts

Some are abandoned but still full of retro charm

 Some are hoppin--like The Belvedere in New Jersey

and some really look like the railroad dining cars that inspired them, like this one in St Paul, Minnesota

Diners are cool. Diners are hip and everything old is new again. There is some comfort in that-- what goes around comes around and all that dontchaknow. So, Let's go down to the diner and get a cup of coffee and some home made pie.  See you there OK?


JamaGenie said...

Out here in Flyover Country, we call 'em Mom & Pop cafes, but you have to get off the internet to find them. Every small town has them, and by "small", I mean teeny tiny towns that Big Chains like Mickey D's have determined aren't big enough to support one of their franchises. (Yay!)

However, like you said, if you can find one, they're well worth the detour. As a rule, everything on the menu will be made from scratch on the premises, and more often than not, from produce and meat grown locally. The food actually taste like Nature intended, not like it was frozen months ago, then trucked in from a thousand miles away.

And because shipping isn't part of the overhead, the prices for a meal (including beverage and dessert) are usually less than what you'd pay for a similar meal at a chain restaurant. (Plus, the service will be *much* friendlier!)

Drats! Now my mouth is watering remembering the last meal I had in one of those places. No, not the Brookville! Closer. ;D

JamaGenie said...

Oops! I meant the INTERSTATE! (Believe it or not, the captcha for this comment is "suping". Well, it IS almost dinner time!

pinkpackrat said...

LOL Eggs and bacon down at the cafe ahhh yes with the bottomless cup of coffee too and like at the diner the food can be wonderful or awful. It is rarely in between. I had one of the worst BLT's of my life in a mom and pop cafe in Indiana. I rest my case. BTW did you say Brookville???? speaking of wonderful food

K. said...

When you get hungry, go to Waldoboro ME and get Moody!!

pinkpackrat said...

Waldoboro here I come-- I just googled Moody's Diner and it looks wonderful. I bet the cabins are booked solid all summer long too. Here's the link for anybody who is curious. Thanks K. :-)

Frieda Babbley said...

We've got a couple of these around here. Still serving the same food. You know, I haven't been in a long long time. Gorgous buildings in these photos!

Larry said...

I see you found my Diner Hotline Weblog. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I would appreciate it if you credited my Prospect Mt. Diner photo to me (Larry Cultrera). By the way that diner burned down 3 years ago.

pinkpackrat said...

Hi Larry. I did enjoy your blog and there was a link to it with the photo. Thanks for letting me know that the diner burned down three years ago-- Knowing that I took down the photo and replaced it with something more appropriate to the post. Sad to see these wonderful old diners go and great that there are people like you around chronicle them online.