The first Diner in recorded history was a horse drawn carriage that showed up in Rhode Island in 1872. The popularity of this wagon led to a patent and the Worcester Lunch Car Company that began manufacturing wagons and eventually the pre-fabricated diner buildings that became popular in 1950′s New York. The idea eventually spread all over the US and Canada, but was eventually rendered unfashionable with the introduction of the modern day fast food restaurant. It seemed that high quality diner food just wasn’t worth the wait anymore when you could get faster, cheaper, tastier food at the local McDicks.
With the trend towards healthier, fancier food over the last decade however, the diner is making a comeback. Diner style breakfast joints like Over Easy and Red’s diner are popping up all over the place, and they are adding their own twists to the classic diner style food.
Over Easy for example, who boasts that they have cracked over 98,000 eggs, serves the normal diner fair, like 2 eggs any style, and classic buttermilk pancakes, but also throws in an assortment of crepes to compliment the menu. They also serve the occasional hashbrown, chili, egg, and cheese concoction that is like a breakfast poutine on steroids.
Red’s on the other hand sticks more to the classic diner fair, but with a twist. For example their Hash & Eggs come with a short rib twist, Eggs Benedict has a vegetarian spinach, artichoke, and tomato option, and they serve the classic Monte Cristo, but with a red currant jelly.
At both restaurants you will weekend lineups that stretch around the corner, and for good reason, the food is to die for. Waits are best spent conversing with friends both new and old our family members that also appreciate a great breakfast. Once inside the door however, don’t expect the service to be any speedier, because after all neither of these restaurants is your local McDicks.
PS. If you are looking for a classic American Upscale Diner, and are on your way to San Francisco, you have to check out Sears Fine Foods. Open since 1938 they are the home of the 18 Little Swedish Pancakes the ‘best breakfast in town’ (check out the urbanspoon link below).