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The Diners in Your Life


heidih
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Serious Eats re-published an Ed Levine essay on diners today and it got me thinking. https://www.seriouseats.com/ed-levine-why-diners-are-more-important-than-ever I'll share a few of mine. 

As Ed noted - they are an essential part of our culture. The equivalent of the corner bar to most 12 Steppers in recovery. Long hours, no pressure to move along, and where staff, regulars and friends know one another, "Cheers" via coffee shop.

As a longtime local independent place I'll shout out. Hot n' Tot down the road. https://www.thehotntot.com/ It has that feel of community. Aussie side of fmily always insists on at least one breakfast there per visit. They paid the somewhat high price for for one of their heavy coffee mugs. High probably cuz not so nice people smuggle them out.  I include Denny's and Norm's chains as they have that same feel and decent food. Norm's just did a 72 cent breakfast special on their 72nd anniversary. My son and friends hung out their often. - "meet me at Norm's"' They enjoy all kinds of food but Norm's is where they can hang. You can go any time of day and see the old guys hanging out, flirting  with staff, and drinking bottomless cups of coffee. L.A. has lots f long time diners so I won't attempt  a re-cap. Googie architecture def. 

You guys?

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58 minutes ago, heidih said:

This classic down the road was special to is  http://blogs.dailybreeze.com/history/2017/07/07/the-parasol-restaurant-delighted-torrance-diners-from-the-outside-in/

Line drawing always troubling - coffee shop v. diner?

 

Being a New Jerseyan I don't see how anyone could mistake a coffeeshop for a diner.  Here the line drawing was whether an establishment that sold pizza was a tavern or a restaurant*.  The distinction was important, as women were not permitted to work in taverns.

 

 

*as I am reading in Modernist Pizza.

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I did hesitate to offer that possible distinction. But the phrase "meet at  the coffee shop" way way pre-dating CharBucks was fairly equivalent to diner in my Southern California experience. Lots of cheap hot coffee and a standard menu to fill the empty spaces - gastonomically and emotionally.  I am interested to hear/read other experiences. 

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If you define diners as  the sort that you see in Jersey (and I do) we have nothing like that near me.

There's Friendly, some breakfast/lunch places, and family restaurants that call themselves diners but aren't.

 

Delis are another thing we don't have.   😞

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33 minutes ago, gfweb said:

If you define diners as  the sort that you see in Jersey (and I do) we have nothing like that near me.

There's Friendly, some breakfast/lunch places, and family restaurants that call themselves diners but aren't.

 

Delis are another thing we don't have.   😞

 

The diner in The Dead Don't Die is supposed to be located in Centerville Pennsylvania, although the movie was actually filmed in Middletown New York.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I understand they had to move the Tastee Diner in Silver Spring MD a few blocks to make way for development. Probably a bigger deal than it should be because diners were originally meant to be dropped into place. Shame that Ye Olde College Diner in State College PA is no more.

 

For me the prerequisite for a diner is a waitress who calls you "Hun"

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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52 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

The diner in The Dead Don't Die is supposed to be located in Centerville Pennsylvania, although the movie was actually filmed in Middletown New York.

 

Not sure if Centerville is a real place, but the nearest place I'd call a real diner is near the Philly Airport. So 45 miles.... The nearest decent deli isn't much closer. 

 

But I can make corned beef and Swiss steak when I need it.

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1 hour ago, haresfur said:

IFor me the prerequisite for a diner is a waitress who calls you "Hun"

My girlfriends and I used to frequent a diner after the monthly Vintage Flea Market . No "hon" but the waitresses in the requisite outfits always remembered us. One was owner's daughter, and others her high school friends.. They knew my bestie was fanatic about  "the good napkins" and always brought us a stack. Also cool with me going to the service station and collecting up the hot sauces I liked when they were busy. The counter and shake machine - classic. https://www.facebook.com/dalesdinerlb/

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Rosie's Diner arrived in the Grand Rapids area about two years after I did. Here's the story:  History and picture on Wikipedia    Its current status

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Oh and the waitresses also remembered that she liked extra ice for her tea -  they would bring her in that stainess shake cup for her iced tea - even if we skipped a month due to weather or circumstance. 

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Mike's Diner in Manassas, Va was THE diner of my childhood.  It was defined by relatively cheap food, and the fact that everyone went there.  Usually you could expect breakfast to be served at any hour.  When I worked in my grandparents burger and ice cream place, they would occasionally invite the whole. (all teenage) staff out to Mike's for dinner after an 11pm closing.  The place was never empty, the coffee was never good, but it never ran out.  To me, if it never inspired a fan base that celebrated the place long after it's passing, then it wasn't a real diner.  Mike's fan base fb page is linked below.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/45509971031/

 

 

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Bought at Rosie's Diner, I think

 

dinersalt.thumb.JPG.5a965a2187c0235565bce5d5f3ca5b39.JPG

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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2 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

The diners I remember most are in New England.   Like Miss Florence Diner  near Northampton, and Peterborough Diner in New Hampshire, and of course, Moody's Diner on route 1 outside Waldoboro, ME.  

 

I've been to the Miss Flo! A lifelong friend of mine has lived and worked in the Pioneer Valley (Amherst, N'hampton, Greenfield) and nearby since forever.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

 

OMG how did they keep those from being filched?!  I can sense collectors twitching.

 

I don't think it was meant to be Rosie's Diner per se, but one never knows.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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@Margaret Pilgrim – I have actually been to the Peterborough diner many years ago – over 30.  A dear friend from HS was there for the summer because her husband was in summer stock with the Players.  I went for a week to keep her company and we ate there a couple of times.  I can still remember how good the food was. 

 

The South doesn't really do diners.  Our version is the cafe, I guess.  But I adore a REAL diner (like those "train car" types posted) and, when we traveled north in the past, they were a frequent stop.  

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

Totally agree.   FCD was a great little restaurant but a diner in name only.   It is still quite viable but not the star it was under creator Cindy Pawlcyn.   

 

Cindy was awesome. The closest "diner" eatery I can think of in the city (of San Francisco) is Mel's, which was called Mel's Drive In, but I think has morphed into Mel's Diner?

 

3 minutes ago, BetD said:

Mickey’s Diner in St. Paul, MN is a real classic… we have enjoyed a few meals cozily ensconced in one of their booths!  💕

 

https://www.exploreminnesota.com/profile/mickeys-diner/9940

 

Nice.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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49 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Cindy was awesome. The closest "diner" eatery I can think of in the city (of San Francisco) is Mel's, which was called Mel's Drive In, but I think has morphed into Mel's Diner?

 

Mel's, actually a block from me, was alweays more of a drive-in, something the west coast does well.    it's not a diner in the east coast sense.    Diners have a certain vibe that you can't create from scratch.   

eGullet member #80.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/26/2021 at 3:25 PM, heidih said:

 

OMG how did they keep those from being filched?!  I can sense collectors twitching.

 

They weren't part of the diner's gear, but were made by a local ceramicist and sold at the shop.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Moving a diner from (NJ to) GR to Muskegon

 

Quote

Pal’s Diner, an iconic, 1954 New Jersey diner, was relocated from 6503 28th St. in Grand Rapids to Hot Rod Harley-Davidson, 149 Shoreline Drive, under new owners Scott and Mark Campbell.

 

 

Pal's.jpg

Edited by Alex (log)
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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Here are a bunch more pictures and videos about Pal's Diner, mentioned a couple of posts above.

 

 

Pal's at night.jpg

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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