Sunday, August 08, 2010


Anyone else like diners? The Mid-Altantic states have tons of them, though some get moved from place to place like the train cars they often resemble. This reminds me that I like dining cars on trains, too, no matter how ramshackle or fancily bedecked the little dining tables turn out to be.

I'm glad that the South Street Diner in Philadelphia is still going strong. This is a comfy oasis any time of day.  As with many diners, there's a Greek backdrop. Here, in addition to Greek menu options, there are many other choices, including 
omelettes with scrapple or Italian sausage; home fries and grits (I can't vouch for the grits here -- excellent grits are a rare treat anywhere, in my experience; never tried them at this diner); Italian hoagies; cheesesteak, Monte Cristo and corned beef sandwiches; and decent American coffee.

Above: Back of South Street Diner card, 1990s.

The Detroit (and Michigan) equivalent to the Mid-Atlantic diner is the Coney Island, or just plain Coney, which also typically has a Greek (or Greek-tinged) backdrop. Yet another local Greco-American variation is the Cincinnati chili eatery, manifested in places like Skyline Chili, Dixie Chili and Deli, and so on. 

Have Greeks colonized your area as well?   The way it seems to me, there must be be at least one Greek-owned and operated restaurant in every big city in the USA.   What's the local variant of the diner in your neck of the woods?

Today's Rune: Fertility.


Sidney said...

It's not quite the same, but when I was younger we'd hang out at the restaurant of a Howard Johnson's. They were noted for their ice cream selection, I think, but they were kind of diner like, had breakfast at all hours etc.. Orange roofs were their trademark.

Erik Donald France said...

Hey, man -- oh yah -- HoJo's~
there was one in Durham NC we used to go to a lot. I think there are a handful left in the US now, one in Chicago as of a coupla years ago.

Johnny Yen said...

Nearly every neighborhood in Chicago has a greek-owned restaurant. The one in my neighorhood is the Lincoln, just a couple of blocks away. They have a civil-war themed menu. My favorite breakfast there is the Old Dominion, with potatoes O'Brien, vegetables, cheese and two basted eggs on top-- all for about seven bucks.