Tag Archives: diner

Miners Cafe (Laurium, MI)

During our stay on the Keweenah Peninsula, we stayed in the historic Victorian Hall bed and breakfast. Laurium is an interesting little town, it’s a small village next to the larger town of Calumet, and back during the copper mining hey days Laurium held a lot of the Victorian homes of the various owners, professionals, and other well-to-do folks associated with industry in the area. It’s also the home of George Gipp (as in “win one for the Gipper”). While the town definitely isn’t as affluent as it used to be, it’s still a pleasant, quiet town to stay in while in the area. Laurium doesn’t have a lot of restaurants (most of those are over in Calumet), but it does have a Mexican place (the Matador), a pasty shop (Toni’s), and a diner (Miner’s). For breakfast before our day hiking in the Keweenah, we decided to drop in and check out Miner’s Cafe.

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Garretts Mill Diner (Stow, OH)

Since we overnighted in Stow, OH, for breakfast we decided to try out a small diner located near our hotel: Garretts Mill Diner. Located in a small strip mall on Hudson Drive, it’s the sort of small, friendly diner that I always like to hit up for dinner: a half dozen tables, a few waitstaff, an owner that circulates around asking the diners how their meal is going, and a healthy flow of locals stopping off for a meal.

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Health Check: Al’s Breakfast (Minneapolis, MN)

Every once in a while it’s nice for me to do a followup on old favorites, revisiting them and make sure that they are staying in form. In this case, my trip to Minneapolis gave me a good chance to stop by and check in on what remains as perhaps my favorite breakfast place ever, Al’s Breakfast. It’s best if you read over my older review, but it’s basically a small, 14-stool diner wedged in what’s literally a roofed over alleyway in Minneapolis’s “Dinkytown” neighborhood. “Narrow” is an understatement, since a limber person literally can touch both walls at points, and as you sit enjoying your breakfast (aside from special events, it is a breakfast-only joint), if it’s at all busy there’s someone hovering mere inches away waiting for your seat. And the food? The breakfasts at Al’s are fantastic, ranging from egg dishes and omelets to pancakes to house-made CBH, and it’s the ultimate in the short order experience: your order belted out by the staff, echoed back by the person running the grill (back in the days, it was almost always one of the two owners, Doug or Jim).

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Creek House Diner (Bethel, VT)

I really like wandering around the back roads of Vermont, and while a lot of the little towns in central Vermont (especially along Route 100) seem to have a lot of neat restaurants, I unfortunately don’t often seem to be driving through those parts of the state when we’re looking for food. But a recent trip to a beer festival in Killington, VT finally gave us a chance to check out one of the places that’s been on our hit list: Creek House Diner in Bethel, VT.

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Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse (Columbia, MO)

Our next culinary stop in Columbia was another reminder that my last major visit to Columbia was back when this was a relatively new blog, and thus some of my standard Columbia places hadn’t gotten a proper writeup. In this case, I’m talking about Ernie’s (or, to use the full name “Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse”), to which my first visit was well over 20 years ago. Ernie’s is a Columbia tradition, indeed, the sign proudly proclaims “Since 1934”, so even on my first visit the place was over 60 years old. In any case, it’s still a great place to get a breakfast in Columbia.

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Hartland Diner (Hartland, VT)

I’ve always enjoyed the little town of Hartland, VT. It’s a nice quiet little town, just off of I-91 and down the road from Windsor. It’s a bit funny, since it really has three village areas: Three Corners (where Route 5 and Route 12 intersect, and basically the main part of town), Four Corners (to the west, where Route 12 and Brownsville Road intersect), and North Hartland (a quiet little village nestled in between I-91 and the Connecticut River, and home of the North Hartland Dam, a rather nice little recreational area). As small Vermont towns go, Hartland is nice in that it’s actually got enough basic amenities: a gas station, two convenience stores, a library, several churches (including the host of the Famous Roast Beef Supper) and the like. And a diner, the Hartland Diner.

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The Owl Diner (Lowell, MA)

A recent work trip down to Billerica, MA left me passing through Lowell around breakfast time, and a quick trip through the Lowell area quickly led me to The Owl Diner. I’ll fully admit to having a weakness for classic Worcester Diners, and the relatively busy parking lot showed that the Owl was definitely popular with the locals. So I decided it was indeed time for breakfast, and headed inside.

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Butter My Biscuit (Manchester, NH)

(Closed) I’ve always liked Manchester, the Queen City of New Hampshire. For such a modestly-sized city of ~100,000, it actually has a pretty good dining scene (you can see my other reviews here), and “ManchVegas” still holds a lot of surprises for me, especially in the culinary scene. One of these was over on the West Side of town across the Merrimack River, which I call “Little Quebec”, since the area has a very strong French Canadian heritage. It also has a number of Quebecois restaurants, such as the fairly well known Chez Vachon which has been serving up giant plates of poutine for years. But looking over the various dining options in West Manchester, I saw an interesting one called “Butter My Biscuit”, and we decided to check it out.

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13 Coins (Seatac, Washington)

As I mentioned in my previous review of Surdyk’s Flights at MSP, there are good and bad airports for layovers, at least if you are looking for good dining options. And unfortunately, SEA seems to be perpetually locked sometime in the mid-1990s when it comes to airport dining. Aside from a number of Starbucks that would be considered implausibly high in most other places (I passed three just walking from my gate back to security, this is Seattle, after all!), aside from Ivar’s Seafood Bar, the options at SEA mostly involve… Sbarro and McDonald’s (the latter being a fairly recent addition). But there’s actually a good, non-obvious option at SEA, at least if you’ve got a layover of at least two hours: Leave the airport! In a mere five minute walk from any gates but the N/S concourses (which have the little tramway connecting them to the rest of the airport), you can not only be back through security, but outside of the airport, and in another 5 minutes of walking, you can be off the airport entirely, and sitting in the warm comfort of 13 Coins.

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My Sister’s Kitchen (Milford, NH)

A few weeks ago, we wanted to take advantage of the fresh snowfall and go cross country skiing at Windblown Cross Country in New Ipswich, NH. We figured it would also be a good opportunity to finally try one place on our hit list, Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason, NH. There was just one problem…. Parker’s hasn’t opened for the 2014 season yet, so we had to find someplace else in that area for a good breakfast. That’s where My Sister’s Kitchen in Milford comes in.

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