Post #539 A Weekend Full of Diners

July 17, 2017 at 3:39 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The was a dinerful weekend.  We visited three different diners on three different days and had three different experiences.  One thing we’re discovering about our new home is that independent, hole-in-the-wall style diners are not in short supply.  If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll find one in the most out of the way place.  Back where I grew up, many little restaurants that specialized in local cuisine could be found in someone’s house, or tucked way in the back of a mom-and-pop grocery store.  It’s similar here.  I’m going to leave out names since I don’t want to piss anyone off.

On Friday night, “date night” for us, we went to a small, locally owned bar and grill.  The are literally across the street on the side of us.  Takes all of five minutes walking time, or less.  We’d been talking about going there ever since we first saw the apartment building.  We were pretty jazzed by the hominess of having a local eating spot so close.  So easy to nip into on those evenings when we didn’t feel like cooking!  So with high expectations, we wandered over and found our way inside.

To a wall of noise.  I literally had a headache within five minutes.  As with most diners, it was a seat yourself atmosphere, so we chose a table near a window.  The service was good.  The waitress showed up within seconds with menus.  We both ordered sodas.

“Don’t you want a glass of wine?” he asked.

I shook my head.  “I don’t see a wine list, and it’s far too loud to try to have a conversation.  I’ve got wine at home.”

We ordered fairly quickly, but even in that time, the place got busier and much much louder.  I had fish and chips, and Partner/Spouse had a Delmonico steak sandwich.  I got a huge plank of scrod, and a sizeable portion of fries along with a small bowl of cole slaw.  I don’t eat that stuff so it went immediately to the other side of the table.  I gotta say, though, the fish was cooked perfectly.  I wasn’t frozen first; you can tell when that happens.  And there was about twice as much as I could ever eat.  The Delmonico sandwich was a bust, though.  He said it wasn’t a real Delmonico steak.  For those who don’t know, the Delmonico cut is basically just a ribeye made famous by the New York City restaurant of the same name.  And this wasn’t.  But overall, it was a bust.  Even before we left, we had already agreed that it wasn’t a place we were going back to.  Despite its close proximity, it wasn’t enjoyable enough to warrant a return.  I mean, one large fellow was so loud, his 8 year old nephew had to remind him twice to use his inside voice.  He didn’t quiet down until his food was served.  Oh, and going back to the food for a moment, we ordered an appetizer of “nachos”.  She asked if we wanted cheese on that?  Melted cheese sort of defines what a nacho is.  Just to see what we’d get, we said no, and we got a basket of heated round tortilla chips from a bag, and a side of Pace salsa.  Mild salsa.  I enjoyed the salsa because I’ve always liked Pace brand salsa, but it wasn’t nachos.

So the next morning, we were discussing our morning errands.  We had a lot of ground to cover to get everything on our list done and home by noon.  Partner/Spouse had some work to do, and we like to have our weekend afternoons free to relax and listen to music and read.  So we stopped at a small diner we’ve passed a bazillion times and have always said, “We gotta try that some day.”  So Saturday was “the day”.  Again, we sat ourselves, and I immediately liked the place.  It was small, cozy, and the menu was typical diner fare, but also had things not usually found.  Again, we ordered sodas (neither of us enjoy coffee, cocoa, or juice) and perused the menu.  I got an egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich on an English muffin.  Partner/Spouse ordered a plain waffle with home fries and bacon.  I received an egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich on an English muffin, while Partner/Spouse received French toast with whipped cream, chocolate syrup swirls, and strawberries; and an argument when he said that wasn’t what he ordered.  Rather than wait, he chose to eat it.  He’s okay with French toast, but he really wanted a waffle.  And he’s like me; can’t stand strawberries.  I even tried one to see if I still dislike them.  I do.  But overall, I thought it was an enjoyable experience.  Partner/Spouse didn’t have a good time, but was willing to give it another shot.  Part of what I liked about it was it lived up to it’s name as a family business.   Momma was cleaning and serving.  Poppa was cooking (I think) and heavily pregnant daughter was waiting tables and cooking as well.  There was a small gang of men at the counter near the ordering window.  From the friendly banter and relaxed attitude, I assumed they were either old friends, or family not employed by the diner.  I liked it.

Sunday morning, Partner/Spouse wanted to go to a diner for the express purpose of eating at a place called Snoopy’s.

It was another 50’s style diner, small and close quarters.  We sat ourselves at a booth and immediately regretted it.  I’m not super thin, but I’m not overly bulky either.  I could barely breathe after squeezing in.  I couldn’t even draw a full breath to cough.  The waitress explained that the benches moved a bit and after the people in the booth behind me left, we were able to make ourselves a tad more comfortable.  They had one of those flip-style juke boxes at each table, so we punched a number in.  We were pleasantly surprised when our selection started playing a few minutes later.  We couldn’t get it to work after that, but the music was good enough.  Apparently, it was good enough for most of the patrons, because there was more than one singing along.  One guy was fairly loud, but not obnoxiously so.  And his rendition of whatever he was singing was funny enough that we all just laughed at him.  I wondered if they had a karaoke night, but we decided probably not since it was such close quarters.  I got a cheese and bacon omelet with a side of sausage, and Partner/Spouse finally got his plain waffle with home fries and a side of bacon.  Everything was superlative.  Funny thing, though, our waitress looked like Olive Oyl; the cook looked like Popeye; and the other waitress/cleanup looked like Momma Oyl.  They all looked like they’d stepped out of the movie “Popeye” starring Robin Williams.  But it was fun, cheap, and good.  We decided we’d be back.  But we’d sit at the counter next time.

So that was our dinerful weekend.  Hope your weekend was fun and adventurous, too.

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