Bisbee is a little town in southern Arizona, close to the border with Mexico and quite unlike most of small town America with its Victorian and European style houses clinging to the hillsides. We stayed in a vintage trailer at The Shady Dell trailer park, which has a selection of vintage trailers from the 1940s and 50s. As well as Airstreams there are more unusual and rarer models, including the 1947 Airporter which has been transformed into a 'Polynesian Palace'. The Shady Dell also hosts the tiny 1950s Dot's Diner, which was transported here from Los Angeles in 1996. We loved the Bisbee Breakfast Club, a short walk from the trailer park. The BBC was set up in 2005 and caters mainly for the very welcoming locals who are loyal not just to the venue but to specific dishes. Try the wally cakes - free form pancakes with walnuts. On weekends only they serve gooey, sticky buns. Take time to browse the quirky shops and galleries, including the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel with its huge collection of new and vintage bikes and ephemera.
The Shady Dell:
Bisbee Breakfast Club: bisbeebreakfastclub.com/bbc-bisbee-home.aspx
Dot's Diner: www.theshadydell.com/Dots_Diner.html
Bisbee Bicycle Brothel:
Google map: bit.ly/SPyIJE
The diner experience doesn´t get any tackier and greasier than this. Wonder off the South Lee Highway, get your picture taken next to King Kong and the Pink Cadillac outside the diner, eat a humongous Elvis burger with fries and coleslaw and say yes to all those refreshing pink lemonade refills!
50s-style American dining, with authentic-looking decor, free jukeboxes and plenty of ketchup and mayo on the table for your liking. Meals are quite pricey - around seven euros for a burger and fries - DO NOT come for that! Pink lemonade a refreshing economical option and great choice of indulgent desserts.
Meal is a little rushed as you're given an hour slot. Reservations a must!
I visited this diner in Leicester yesterday lunchtime and was really looking forward to it. I ordered and received my meal - the burgers were awful and tasted like a burger van burger. The burger was a chargrilled cardboard brown disc - you will not attract return visits serving burgers of such a low quality.
I then paid £1 each for two toppings - cheese and pineapple (one four pence cheese slice and one small slice of pineapple) - a topping should cover the top of the burger not just the centre of the burger.
My wife had a steak wrap! Soggy wallpaper wrapping up gristle and boiled, not fried, onions!!
The standard of food is without doubt the worst I have ever experienced.
If you're flying to New York, head to Pennsylvania, widely acknowledged as the diner capital of the US. You can do day hikes in the mountains, see some pleasant if not beautiful cities (Philly and Pittsburgh) and eat classic diner food (scrapple, cheesesteaks, mounds of pancakes). Not too far to drive, and also home of the birth of the American interstate. Also much cheaper than staying anywhere near New York.
Real deal American diner in one of Boston's ritziest areas, Beacon Hill, and full of regulars. Best for Sunday breakfast/brunch of home-style buttery pancakes with crispy bacon on the side, and steaks or burgers in the evening.
44 Charles St
Tel: 617 720 1152
A bar/pool hall/diner/club thing all rolled into one. Part of a small chain. Good for dropping in on for the food (which, when it eventually comes, comes in rather mountainous portions), and for watching the footy.
64 Call Lane (1st & 2nd floor)
Tel: 0113 245 7011
Fax: 0113 245 7022
The Eleventh Street Diner, an authentic diner with the look of a railroad car, used to be one of my favourite eating places on South Beach, with its friendly efficient waiting staff, varied menu, large helpings and a reasonable selection of vegetarian dishes, available at any time of the day or night. Alas, no more.
A change of ownership resulted in other changes. Why didn't the new management work on the principle “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”?
The first indication that things weren't right was when my wife and went to the Diner after a spell abroad. We ordered and waited, and waited. Eventually my wife's meal arrived and my side order of fries, but no main course. When I managed to attract someone's attention, I was told that they were out of the item I'd chosen. Until then no one had bothered to tell me.
We decided to give it another try, as any restaurant can have an off day. The service was slow. A friend arrived while my wife and I were eating and asked for a menu. She never got it. We tried to attract the eye of the waitstaff and even called to them several times. In the end our friend left without ordering.
A week later we went to the diner for a late lunch, as we had many times previously, and were told it was now closed in the afternoon.
On our final visit, again in the afternoon an unfriendly gorilla barred our way, and told me they were closed. I'd forgotten they were no longer open 24 hours. When I asked if they were now working on the communist system, closed at lunchtime so that the staff could eat, the gorilla was furious. He moved as if to eject me physically, but I retreated before he could touch me. “Don't come back again,” he said menacingly.
I won't, but it saddens me to see a place I liked go downhill so rapidly.
If the staff of the Diner don't think 2:30 pm is lunchtime, they should go to the Big Pink at Collins and 2nd, where they would see with their own eyes that lots of people disagree with them.
Washington Avenue, South Beach, Miami Beach, FL.
I happened upon a place called The 50s American Diner which is an amazing, original 1951 stainless steel American diner from Massachusetts in the National Forest, Derbyshire.
The portions are huge just as you would imagine it to be. The decor is perfect with chrome bar stools and four-seater booths, a jukebox and waitresses in period outfits. There's a friendly atmosphere and great music.
My children loved it - great food on a budget!
John Street, Church Gresley, Swadlincote, South Derbyshire DE11 8EJ
Tel: 01283 220050
10 minutes from junction 11 of the M42
Bell’s Diner is friendly little restaurant in a converted 1950s grocery shop in the heart of Bristol’s most bohemian neighbourhood, Montpelier.
Chef/Owner Chris Wicks serves innovative contemporary food which features wild, organic produce that he sources locally. The menu includes dishes such as red onion and goats cheese tart, with frisèe and walnut dressing; grilled best end of lamb with harissa, roast aubergine and cous-cous; pot roast guinea fowl with orange, sage, anna potato and green beans; char-grilled squid with black bean sauce; licorice parfait with saffron pears and almond.
Only the freshest produce is used on the daily-changing menu.
There's a fantastic wine list and a knowledgable sommelier for those who want recommendations.
1-3 York Road, Montpelier, Bristol BS6 5QB;
tel: 0117 924 0357; fax: 0117 924 4280;
Old-fashioned diner (in that converted-train-carriage stylee) in the centre of South Beach. Serves old-fashioned diner food at decent prices and is open 24 hours. Also serves beer, and has an outside terrace.
1065 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139; tel: 305 534 6373
The orgasm scene from "When Harry Met Sally" put this place on the map, but a feature spot in a movie with one of the best punch lines in years is not a prerequisite to this deli's fame. Katz's Deli has the goods! An army of staff slice cold cuts - the sandwiches are best described as "filling with a little bread", so jam-packed are they with one's chosen meat. The cheesecake is justifiably renowned. Once refreshments have been taken, the walls beckon. Photos of Clinton, Depp, Ed Harris, Stephanopoulos, to mention but a few, hang as proof of famous clientele, the proprietor in every one like a real-life Wally from "Where's Wally?" fame. If you want to sit where Meg Ryan ahhh'ed and table-slapped her way through her famous fake "buzz", it's marked with an arrow! (Francesca, Crete)
205 E Houston Street, (at Ludlow Street), New York City, NY 10002-1017
This traditional Jewish deli is decked out fantastically and was used for Meg Ryan's fake orgasm scene. You have to have the pastrami sandwich (try and save some room for it!) and cream soda.
East village, on the corner of Houston & Ludlow Sts
Fantastic breakfast place, the lines of people queueing to get in on Saturday and Sunday mornings tell you just how good it is. Seating is at long tables on benches, so you get fitted in wherever there's room, great for meeting the locals. Food is big, fast, cheap and very tasty, usual American and Mexican breakfast dishes. Also open for lunch and dinner, although the crowds, and some of the atmosphere, are gone by then.
400 N Pacific Coast Hwy (At Carnelian St)
Diner/restaurant at the start of Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. Good atmosphere, good food, patchy service but excellent people watching and star-spotting potential. Just like eating at a diner in the movies.
1457 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2321
More than a burger and apple pie, an iconic American experience. Diner seating, limited menu (a couple of varieties of burger, a couple of sandwiches and pie) and endearingly no nonesense service. This could be taken as "gruff", but these guys anticipate your wishes...before I could say "another coke please" it was there and when we decided to share a slice of pie, the piece was delivered with extra plate and spoon without our having said anything at the time of ordering. And if you order fries, they are served *before* the burger.
10801 West Pico Blvd. (at Westwood Blvd.), Los Angeles 90064
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