A quintessential part of the New England dining experience is the Worcester Diner Car, and quite a few New England towns have at least one Worcester Diner Car-based diner, typically with a long service counter, stools, tables, and lots of chrome. And, despite being designed on a wagon and/or train car style chassis, they typically don’t move. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the earliest Worcester Diner Cars weren’t this way. Early Worcesters had the stovetop, food prep, and service counter in the end of the car, with seating at the other end. And the cart was mobile, typically stored during the day and pulled out at night to serve factory workers. However, it’s extremely rare to find examples of these early Worcester Diners. Gilley’s PM Lunch in Portsmouth, NH is, however, a good example…
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
One of the primary reasons I started this blog was that the greater Upper Valley area suffers from a dearth of restaurants. I’ve long been surprised that many of the area towns lack a decent number of eateries, and for a long time downtown Lebanon has lacked a real breakfast joint. Rumors would occasionally swirl around about a place opening up (there was even talk of another Farmers Diner happening here at some point), but nothing ever materialized. Until last month. Andy Hill used to be one of the bartenders/managers at Salt hill Pub on the other end of the Lebanon Mall, and I remember him telling me a few years ago that what he really wanted to do was to open his own breakfast spot in the community. Well, after several years of planning, he and his wife (city councilor and former mayor Karen Liot Hill) were finally able to bring the plan to fruition, opening the Lebanon Diner on the west end of the mall (across from The Cave, in a location that’s been, in my time here, a smoke shop and an eyeglass shop).