Next time you're out of town . . . .
As I noted in my previous post – yes, this is a blog, not a column, in spite of what our menu says – I considered the demise of the American diner in my column to be published on September 10.
Springfield might have lost most of its diners and coffee shops, but they are still to be found – if you look hard. I can recommend to travelers a few that I have happily spent time in.
Out west, in the San Francisco Bay area, is the Pine Cone Café in Point Reyes Station, in San Rafael, Lundy’s and in San Francisco’s Lands End, Louie’s (no toast, only muffins). In Winnemucca, Wyoming, try The Griddle; everyone else does. In Portland, Oregon, The Roxy and Fuller’s are worth a stop.
Hereabouts, I am happy to report that Elly’s Pancake House at North and Clark is still in business. In Evanston it’s the Golden Olympic (in spite of the music – turn it down). In Oak Park I like the Cozy Corner; the Formica and baby blue Naugahyde are gone, but so are the smokers, and the waitresses and the food’s the same. In Hinsdale go to Page’s by the train station; the booth upholstery is mostly duct tape but the food’s and there’s an open box of donuts by the door.
I must honor posthumously Granny’s in Oak Park, which burned down in the early 1900s, even though it offered seating only at tables. Like any place, from restaurants to the General Assembly, you can tell a lot by who hangs out there. If a bomb was dropped on Granny’s, no mail would’ve been delivered, no cable TV installed, no traffic ticket issued in the near west suburbs for weeks.