As I mentioned in a previous post, while traveling in Maine I stopped off for one of my all-time favorite traditions - diner breakfast. I adore diner breakfast and am perfectly willing to eat it any time of day. In fact, diner breakfast for dinner was a grad school pastime that saved my sanity more than once. In the years since, I have become an unofficial connoisseur of diners conducting a completely unscientific study of diners up and down the East Coast.
There are far too many to name here - each with its own ambiance. eccentricities, and specials. But I will suggest a few in case you happen to be antiquing in the area or driving past on a business trip. Frankly, diner breakfast should be a requirement if you are forced to sit in a windowless room among tired, cranky colleagues, don't you think?
Maine has a plethora of good diners but my most recent stop was at the landmark Maine Diner in Wells. Now before anyone starts crying foul because this is such a well known establishment, I feel compelled to point out that notoriety should not cancel a diner's credibility (although getting there early is a must as the wait for a table can be long). I had a terrific breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs. And an excellent mug of coffee to wash it down. I like pancakes that aren't too fluffy and that have some heft to them (and speaking of heft, I don't suggest you attempt a similar research agenda into diners if you are counting calories. Just don't do it). Here's the link to the Maine Diner so you can read their story and menu for yourself: http://mainediner.com
From the famous to the tucked out of the way, my next pick is the Four Aces Diner in West Lebanon, NH. Contrary to habit, I actually ordered something other than breakfast here - and had the BEST turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sandwich that I've ever had (outside of my kitchen, of course). Seriously, it was as if they had cooked the entire turkey that morning with all the trimmings just for me. Honestly, it was so good I was a little giddy. And the service was exceptional, too. Here's their link: http://4acesdiner.com
Getting back to breakfast, if you are anywhere near Troy, NY, you should definitely stop by The Country View Diner where alongside my scrambled eggs I had the most scrumptious potatoes - not hashbrowns, but chunky, crispy potatoes with bits of onion. Oh, so tasty. (And a really cute '50s decor.)
And last in this blog, but in no way the least, is my Vermont diner love - The Chelsea Royal Diner in West Brattleboro (http://www.chelsearoyaldiner.com) where regulars meet to chat and eat and where everything from omelets to French toast is delicious (http://www.chelsearoyaldiner.com). Bring your appetite and cash (no credit cards accepted here). You're as likely to be seated in a booth next to a state senator as you are a tourist or farmer. The regulars are as loyal as they come.
Well, those are my diner picks - and I'm sure you have favorites of your own to pass on, so feel free to share.
Until next time,