The Copperline (Chicopee, MA)

You know, I’ve found Western Massachusetts really has a lot to offer, especially on the food and drink scene. The “Pioneer Valley” between roughly Greenfield on the North and Springfield in the south is a wonderful combination of small college towns, rural villages, and post-industrial mills towns (much like my own Upper Valley of VT/NH). Amongst these towns, a plethora of small breweries, bars, restaurants, and food provisioners have popped up, and there are even a few nice ethnic regions like Chicopee (Polish) and Springfield (German). So I always love heading down there. So, when a recent event had us heading down to Chicopee, it was also a chance to explore more of the town. Sure, being a weekend day, several of my Chicopee favorites like Millie’s Pierogi (handmade pierogi sold out of a building behind a car dealer) and Chicopee Provisions (horseradish kielbasa) were closed, but being around at breakfast time gave me a good chance to check out a place that’s been on my hit list a while: The Copperline.

The Copperline is a bit of a Chicopee institution, originally opening in 1993 in the building next to the abovementioned Millie’s, it has since moved in the late 1990s to its current location a few blocks down Broadway. But stepping in the door of The Copperline, two things are immediately apparent: aside from lacking the actual diner car, the restuarant is pure “diner” decor and ambiance, and the place is popular. Really popular. But being a flexible party of two, we were able to quickly find some seating up at the bar overlooking the griddle, enjoying the classic show of two short-order cooks working a griddle turning out plate after plate of fresh food.

Indeed, the menu here is also pure “diner”, with all varieties of omelets, breakfast platters, Benedicts, and pancakes. I quickly settled on one of my favorites, a classic Benedict served up with home fries. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed, the eggs were perfectly poached, the English muffins properly grilled instead of toasted, a good, lightly-toasted slab of Canadian bacon, and a rich, tangy Hollandaise sauce. This was pretty much everything I expect from a good Benny. Adding in some perfectly done home fries (real home fries don’t go in the deep fryer, they are fried on the griddle), with nice tender morsels of potato with a perfect crisp from the griddle.

Carol did quite well with her selection of a kielbasa, onion, and pepper omelet. A nicely executed and tender, slighly fluffy omelet with some surprisingly tasty bits of grilled kielbasa (although this is Chicopee, with at least three top-notch kielbasa sources within a half mile of the Copperline, so maybe not too surprising).

Well, I can see why the Copperline is popular: we had a really good breakfast, with some very friendly service, at a reasonable price. I wouldn’t hesitate to stop here again on one of my many trips to or through the region.

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