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Most interesting local diner dish


ngr00
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So my wife and I moved to the Salt Lake City area just recently and were pleasantly surprised by the number of local diners in the area. We went to one just recently called "One Man Band" which on the inside, looked like a retro-style 60's-70's diners. There's a red phone at each table where once you decide on your order, you pick it up and call in your order to the cook. Anyway, they had this one sandwich called the "Steamroller" which seemed interesting. It was a turkey melt essentially with turkey, ham and melted provolone- the twist was that the sandwich bread was dipped in egg and fried made like french toast. I did order it for the sake of trying something unique- unfortunately it was not as good as I hoped. The french toast made the sandwich way too sweet.

Oh- another thing that seems unique to the area is "fry sauce" which is a lot like thousand island salad dressing and eaten with french fries. People around here apparently love their fry sauce - we've seen it bottled at local supermarkets.

What unusual diner specialties have you encountered in your travels?

-Rich

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Well, I grew up in the suburbs of New York City (Rockland County, NY, close to the Jersey border), which is one of the motherlodes of diner cuisine, and my recollection is that the majority of diners in that area are run by Greek families, so you'd see lots of Greek specialties on the menus. This one diner my family used to go to a lot when I was a kid had a moussaka dinner that was huge enough to feed about two or three longshoremen.

Edited to add: You'd frequently find Italian specialities on the menus of many NY metro area diners too--lasagna, manicotti, etc.

On a recent trip to New Mexico, I discovered the joys of green chile cheeseburgers--I think they were on the menu of every roadside cafe we happened into.

And here in San Diego, nearly every diner-type place takes at least a stab at some sort of Mexican-ish dishes--taco plates, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, etc.

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Well, my standby local diner, Teresa's, is Polish, and the dishes I find most interesting there are Ukranian borsht, tripe soup, roast duck with apples and prunes (though you're not guaranteed to get moist duck every time), and babka french toast. Ask me in a few weeks, and I might decide some other things are more interesting. :smile:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Moody's Diner in Maine used to make a home fries potato breakfast dish that was served topped with a meat sauce similar to what you might serve with pasta but not exactly.

Outstanding.

Around here sometimes (Southwest Virginia) you will find the diners serving "Beans and Cornbread" - stewed mushy pintos in a ham flavored broth with a side of cakey cornbread. Once in a while greens will be prepared to go alongside -garlicky vinegary long cooked greens. That is the only way the other stuff is tolerable to me - when the greens are alongside it. :wink: Durn Yankee.

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Diners across Hawaii (which are never called diners here, BTW), are famous for serving "plate lunch," a generous portion of teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, grilled or fried mahi-mahi, mild chili, or mild beef curry, always accompanied by "two scoop rice" or one scoop rice and one scoop potato-macaroni salad. The chili can also be served over spaghetti.

Another popular diner dish is oxtail stew, made Chinese-style with a vague flavor of star anise. And there's always the popular Portuguese bean soup. Breakfast dishes feature eggs served with Portuguese sausage.

SuzySushi

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Anyway, they had this one sandwich called the "Steamroller" which seemed interesting. It was a turkey melt essentially with turkey, ham and melted provolone- the twist was that the sandwich bread was dipped in egg and fried made like french toast. I did order it for the sake of trying something unique- unfortunately it was not as good as I hoped. The french toast made the sandwich way too sweet.

This sounds a lot like something I've seen called a "Monte Cristo". Turkey, ham, and cheese, then battered and deep-fried, with powdered sugar on top and a side of jam. Seriously.

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Around here (Ann Arbor, MI), we've got a lot of Korean diners, so Bi Bim Bab is a big diner item. They also often serve Oh-Moo Rice, which is an omelet filled with Korean fried rice, and then topped with Korean hot sauce. One place has a "Bulgogi Hoagie" as well. All are excellent, and a departure from the usual diner fare.

We've also got a wonderful place called Angelo's, where their signature Eggs Benedict uses thick slices of Angelo's homemade bread in place of the English muffins. Had one of those last week (not something you want to eat too often, unlike the Korean food, which is pretty healthy).

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Around here (Ann Arbor, MI), we've got a lot of Korean diners, so Bi Bim Bab is a big diner item.  They also often serve Oh-Moo Rice, which is an omelet filled with Korean fried rice, and then topped with Korean hot sauce.  One place has a "Bulgogi Hoagie" as well.  All are excellent, and a departure from the usual diner fare.

Sounds like "Oh-Moo Rice" is a slight variation in both name and contents on the Japanese dish omuraisu, whose name in turn is a Japanization of the English words "omelette rice." (Heh. And of course English borrowed the word "omelette" from French--all so cross-cultural, innit? :smile: )

(And is "Japanization" even a word? Oh well--it is now! :biggrin: )

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Well, I grew up in the suburbs of New York City (Rockland County, NY, close to the Jersey border), which is one of the motherlodes of diner cuisine, and my recollection is that the majority of diners in that area are run by Greek families, so you'd see lots of Greek specialties on the menus. This one diner my family used to go to a lot when I was a kid had a moussaka dinner that was huge enough to feed about two or three longshoremen.

Edited to add: You'd frequently find Italian specialities on the menus of many NY metro area diners too--lasagna, manicotti, etc.

On a recent trip to New Mexico, I discovered the joys of green chile cheeseburgers--I think they were on the menu of every roadside cafe we happened into.

And here in San Diego, nearly every diner-type place takes at least a stab at some sort of Mexican-ish dishes--taco plates, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, etc.

We have a lot of Greek owned eateries in Salt Lake City too- in our case, they're all burger joints. I've been in one and they have gyros, souvlaki, etc. in addition to the standard burger and fries fare. Oh- and the signature dish at all of these is a giant cheesechurger on a bed of lettuce and tomato topped with a generous heaping of pastrami. :wacko:

Pastrami Burger

What bugs me is that despite the fairly large Greek community in the area, we have yet to find a pure Greek restaurant.

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The only thing I can think of is the Jersey Pork Roll or Taylor Ham Sandwich.. I havent seen it outside of the Jerz..

When I was kid going to my Grand Mother's House in Orwigsburg, PA.. We would get these things called Long Johns at the IGA... They were awesome, as I remember :hmmm:.. These long submarine shaped donuts topped with icing and sprinkles.. But like too much of this super sugary icing and a ton of sprinkles.. Havent seen or heard of a Long John since.. But have kept my eye out for them.

I have also came across the Pasty of Montanna.. And the Butter Burger from Wisco..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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When I was kid going to my Grand Mother's House in Orwigsburg, PA.. We would get these things called Long Johns at the IGA... They were awesome, as I remember  :hmmm:.. These long submarine shaped donuts topped with icing and sprinkles.. But like too much of this super sugary icing and a ton of sprinkles.. Havent seen or heard of a Long John since.. But have kept my eye out for them.

There's one on a paper plate over by the printer even as we "speak." I'll scan it and email it to you. :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

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The only thing I can think of is the Jersey Pork Roll or Taylor Ham Sandwich.. I havent seen it outside of the Jerz..

Ya beat me to the Taylor Ham...I am weening myself off the stuff since we are considering moving out of the area.

Also the "hard roll" aka Kaiser Roll they serve the Taylor ham, egg, and cheese on

We also have a crazy hot dog shop in NJ serving a bacon egg and cheese HOTDOG

its good too

and of course the Italian hotdog is a Jersey thing too

tracey

Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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There aren't many diners around here. Most local eateries (and any local fundraisers) seem to offer Deep Pit beef or Tri Tip with your choice of either salsa or BBQ sauce.

If you wander into the local Basque joints, you can get a "Starter" which varies from restaurant to restaurant but can include pickled tongue, pink beans, salad, french fries and spaghetti. :blink:

 

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Well, not far from my Mom's home (about 1 mile), is Denny's Beer Barrel Pub. You may have heard of it this Spring, when they introduced their new 'challenge' burger -- the Belly Buster.

It's 11 pounds of hamburger ... to start with. ;-)

I've had the ...uhm ... pleasure, of eating part of two of these. One for Mother's Day 2005, and one, a week later for my son's 17th Birthday party.

For Mother's Day it was four of us in attendance. We kept offering some to the reporters from the London Sun that were there photographing/interviewing us, but they said they had TWO of their own ordered! We took over half of the burger home with us.

For my son's birthday, we shared the burger with over 150 other Boy Scouts at our District Camporee. The boys (and adults!) were excited because the new burger was all over the news.

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Hailing from Central PA, I'd have to say one of my favorite 'diner' dishes is Chicken and Waffles.

I know it sounds kind of odd ... think Chicken-a-la-King served on a waffle. It's a popular local favorite. They even have big 'festivals' where that's the main food being served.

My husband, a DC-burbs-boy, won't even TRY it.

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When I was kid going to my Grand Mother's House in Orwigsburg, PA.. We would get these things called Long Johns at the IGA... They were awesome, as I remember  :hmmm:.. These long submarine shaped donuts topped with icing and sprinkles.. But like too much of this super sugary icing and a ton of sprinkles.. Havent seen or heard of a Long John since.. But have kept my eye out for them.

There's one on a paper plate over by the printer even as we "speak." I'll scan it and email it to you. :wink:

What what what.. You have a long john over there? Is this a KC thing too.. Send over a photo.,. :biggrin:

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Sounds like "Oh-Moo Rice" is a slight variation in both name and contents on the Japanese dish omuraisu, whose name in turn is a Japanization of the English words "omelette rice." (Heh. And of course English borrowed the word "omelette" from French--all so cross-cultural, innit? :smile: )

It sure does sound like that. Interesting! The local variation (as you might expect from a diner version) is much bigger than the omuraisu pictures. Good, too... Haven't had one in years, but I'm starting to get a craving...

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