Back to previous post: Bestsellers, okaysellers, and slippery figurative language

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Open thread 73

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

October 22, 2006

Diners in New England
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 11:22 AM * 96 comments

So there you are, traveling around New Hampshire (and circa), and you want to eat something that isn’t Burger King. Whacha gonna do?

I present: Two diners and two truckstops, beloved of the local ambulance crews coming back from long transfers.

The Fort @ 18 is the only 24/hour 7/day location on my little list. This is just off I-89 (Exit 18) in Lebanon, NH: go north on 120 to Heater Road (it’s on the right, just past Evans Road (where Lebanon High School is located). The truckstop is behind the Getty station. It isn’t obvious from the road. Breakfast all day. (The skillet breakfast, which is eggs, potatoes, and meat mixed together, is pretty good.) The dining room is in the back; you have to walk through the convenience store to get there.

There’s a U-shaped central island with stools around it, and some booths against the wall. A corkboard with folks’ snapshots. They’ll probably sell souvenir coffee mugs and tee shirts. (Most of the rest of these places do, they probably do too.) The interior walls are an amazing shade of yellow. I suppose it’s cheerful. (When I go there “cheer” isn’t high on my list of things I’m looking for, but “coffee” is.) More working class, lots fewer tourists than any of the other spots on this list, too. When you’re heading north on 120 If you get to Dartmouth/Hitchcock Hospital, you’ve gone too far.

Downstate, at Exit 20 off I-93, you find The Tilt’n Diner, which has a sort-of Fifties Music theme to it.

Diner History

We opened the Tilt’n Diner in June of 1992 but our authentic diner was built way back in 1953 by the O’Mahoney Diner Company.

The Diner’s early days (1953-1971) were spent in Waltham, MA, where she was known as the “Monarch Diner.”

In 1972 she was moved to Salisbury, MA, and became “Linda’s Jackpot Diner.” Linda’s Diner had closed when Alex Ray bought her in 1988.

The rest as they say, is HISTORY.

The Tilt’n Diner is the only one on this list with a liquor license. They boast a full bar. The cherry Coke here is cherry syrup and Coke, the vanilla Coke is vanilla syrup and Coke. The Tilt’n Diner buys and sells old magazines; if you have old magazines for sale the number is 603 536 1922.

Get off at Exit 18; go east on Rt. 3 (that is, take US 3 North). (From the northbound exit you can see the diner (a silver car with a Pepto-Bismol Pink building attached behind it) from the stoplight at the end of the ramp. From the southbound exit you have to turn left and take the bridge over the highway to get there.)

If you go the wrong way on Rt. 3 you get to Tilton, New Hampshire, itself. Tilton has a set of allegorical statues representing the continents. Asia is over by the high school. America is the Indian Maiden, on Main Street in front of the town hall. Europa is called “Timetable Mabel” because she originally stood at the railway station. The Civil War memorial is a thing of wonder. So — if you get to a set of amazing statues, you’ve gone the wrong way. Turn around to get to the diner.

The Littleton Diner. Down the street from Thayer’s Inn (where Sam Grant stayed during his tour of the White Mountains in 1869) and next door to the Masonic Temple. Main Street, Littleton. Exit 41 off I-93. Cash and checks only. No credit cards, no Canadian money accepted. This one started off as a parlor car diner in 1930. It was replaced by a Sterling Diner and expanded in the 1940s; it has a back dining room now (with a mural all the way around the top of the room showing Main Street in all four seasons). The interior and exterior are made of enameled metal. The menu is Typical American Diner. The pancakes are made from locally ground flour. The corned beef hash has recognizably been corned beef in the recent past. You’re well north of the frappe line here: if you want a milkshake you have to ask for a frappe.

Get off at Exit 41, head into downtown (there’s a helpful sign saying “Historic District”). You’ll come to a stoplight at the top of a hill, beside the Opera House (with an octagonal tower on it). This stoplight is the farthest north stoplight in New Hampshire. Turn left to get to the diner. Finding parking can get … interesting. There is free parking behind the Village Bookstore.

Main St., Littleton, is also US 302. If you continue south on 302 (through Lisbon (home of the Lilac Festival), Bath (where there’s an amazing general store), and Woodsville (where Cottage Hospital is located), you cross the Connecticut River into Wells River, Vermont, home of P&H.

P&H Truck Stop. Over in Vermont, Exit 17 on I-91 (Wells River). You can see it from the exit whether you’re traveling north or south. “P&H” stands for “Pride and Honesty.” Under new management, alas, their grill service ends at midnight. But you can get breakfast all day. This is the sort of old-fashioned deep-fried truck stop where you can feel your coronary arteries closing up just driving into the parking lot. It’s French enough (on the direct route up to Quebec) that french fries are served with mayonaise and the menu is bilingual English/French. They renovated the place (and made it all clean and bright and family friendly — no more Adult Novelties for a quarter in machines in the men’s room, or graffiti by the toilet paper rolls reading “[Name of trucking company] contracts — take one”). But they still have the little pegboard games. During the renovation the mural showing Wells River in four seasons was removed and saved. It’s now in two sections (rather than one long painting) and located in the back dining room.

Only pure Vermont Maple Syrup served there, and the french toast is … amazing. The bread and pies are outstanding. The cinnamon raisin bread is essentially a large stickybun turned on its side and baked in a loaf pan. The Vermont Maple Pie is almost too rich to eat. They sell bread and pies to go.

Red Mike says check it out.

Comments on Diners in New England:
#1 ::: kr ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 12:10 PM:

Wah! You're making me east-coast homesick already and I've only been back in the west for a week!

There's nothing like a good diner -- hot coffee, greasy eggs over easy, waitresses with 'tude.

Nearly everything in the west is so tragically new. Except Chuy's-- which has embraced the concept of seediness and good food -- but alas, they don't serve breakfast and their seediness is contrived.

#2 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 12:14 PM:


#3 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 12:26 PM:

When visiting lovely West Springfield, Massachusetts (located conveniently between the home of basketball, the home of volleyball, and the town that used to make over 90% of the world's buggy whips), may we commend to your attention the White Hut? Established in 1939, this one-of-a-kind burger eatery boasts sawdust floors, a highly focused menu, and a dedicated clientele. Come in, work your way to the counter, and express your preference (hot dog or hamburger, cheese, chili, onions grilled or fresh; fries), and grab a beverage from the cooler at the back. There's a shake machine, but I've never seen it in operation. It's not part of any chain, and it's almost a madhouse all day long. Besides the counter, there is also a table where you can stand and eat, if that's your preference. If you're in town for the Big E (Eastern States Exposition, every September), they have a booth on site, dispensing the same famous food.

#4 ::: Scott Spiegelberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 01:06 PM:

Besides the famous garbage plate at Nick Tahou's, Rochester (NY) has the Highland Diner. There are many small diners, but the Highland Diner has some unusual diner fare, including an awesome sweet cream cheese topping for the belgian waffles.

#5 ::: anaea ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 01:25 PM:

I cry fowl! Here I am, at work, eating leftover and dried out grilled chicken breasts and then I read this. It's a conspiracy to make me run across the street and be irresponsible with my budget. Mmmm the glory that is real truck stop dinereyness.

With nothing of the atmosphere and greasy glory of the previously mentioned establishments, if you're in Chicago and need a breakfast skillet, Mellow Yellow is to die for. Right down to the part where you weep for not being able to eat it all and having to take half of it home for dinner later on.

#6 ::: Zack Weinberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 01:43 PM:

When I was in the Columbia University Marching Band, on road trips north we always used to stop at Stew Leonard's, The World's Largest Dairy Store (read grocery store), for dinner. No foolin'. They have a great deli counter, or they did back in the nineties. Cheap too.

I think we were going to the one in Yonkers.

[Whine: please allow <abbr> and <small> tags in comment markup?]

#7 ::: Ryan Freebern ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 01:46 PM:

My wife and I just moved into New Hampshire, and Lou's Restaurant and Bakery in Hanover, NH (home of Dartmouth College) is our favorite local breakfast stop. On almost any given morning it'll be crowded with locals and college students, but there's almost always a few seats at the counter. Their baked goods are fantastic -- try the cruller french toast with fresh seasonal fruit -- but they can also whip up some delicious scrambled eggs, homefries, and strips of bacon with the best of them.

Before NH, we lived down in southern Rhode Island. By far the best restaurant down there is Crazy Burger in Narragansett. It's an eclectic little place that serves up some of the most delicious and innovative grub we've ever come across. From phyllo-wrapped salmon-pistachio patties with mango-lime mayonnaise to delicious Caribbean blackened tilapia fillets, they've got something for every palate, and numerous options for vegans and vegetarians.

#8 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 01:53 PM:

kr: Alas, you may be right about the West, especially now that The Doghouse is long gone and The Spar has been purchased by those purveyors of faux old, McMenamin's. The only good old American Grease cafe and bar I know these days is My Father's Place, in Portland.

And maybe Ruby's in Missoula, but that's a long damned way to go for breakfast.

#9 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 02:05 PM:

Alas, Hawai'i has no diners to speak of (it's hard to have a road food tradition when you're limited in how far you can go before you're back where you started). We do have lunchwagons, though. The food can be surprisingly good. A sample menu might include "two scoop rice, scoop mac salad" along with teriyaki beef slices or beef stew.

#10 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 02:19 PM:

Ranging from the sublime to the absurd - The Senator Diner, complete with farm fresh eggs fried in butter, The Sunset Grill, which does nice waffles and decent grease - I prefer the location at Danforth/Coxwell - and (of course) The Canary Grill, which is as greasy as they come.

#11 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 03:19 PM:

What does "over easy" mean in the context of eggs?

Enquiring aliens want to know ...

#12 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 03:27 PM:

Charlie Stross: What does "over easy" mean in the context of eggs?

Egg flipped over (cooked on both sides) but the yolk still liquid.

#13 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 04:09 PM:

anaea @5, in 1980, I used to listen to the radio at my work at the Forest Service. Around ten every morning, Gene Amole would say something like, "Well, the good folks at Vollmer's Bakery have just brought in a plate of Black Forest Kirchtortes, and let me tell you all about them..."

And there I'd be, 60 miles from Vollmer's, and the closest anything would be the 7-11 a block away, where I might find a candy bar or a Twinkie or something similar. No tortes.

#14 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 04:10 PM:

Stew Leonards has gone trendy.

My sister shops there a lot. She took me and my niece there a few years back. It's a "channel" store, with one long winding aisle you must proceed down. There were talking and singing cow manniquins and other barnyard animatronics, a guy stationed by the coffee grinder to tell you all about beans, and stations selling soft serve ice cream and such.

By the check out is a wall full of photos of people posing with Stew Leonard bags in front of famous landmarks. There should be one by me up there; a crowd of well-bundled rocket nerds standing around a camp fire in Oregon's high desert.

#15 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 04:20 PM:

Linkmeister: Seattle has Hoki's Teriyaki Hut. Also, here. What the reviewers don't tell you is that you never want to eat inside. Tremendous food, but unless things have changed recently they've never learned how to use a broom or mop in the dining area...

#16 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 04:27 PM:

Scott Spiegelberg #4: [..] Rochester (NY) has the Highland Diner. There are many small diners, but the Highland Diner has some unusual diner fare, including an awesome sweet cream cheese topping for the belgian waffles.

Monday through Thursday you could get a dinner there, and get a free pass for that evening's double feature at The Cinema theater across the street. I don't know if this deal is ongoing, however; the theater recently raised the price of its double feature ticket from $3 to $5.

#17 ::: Scott Spiegelberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 04:44 PM:

#16: yes, my wife and I ate several anniversary and birthday dinners there, and caught the double feature once (one of the movies was "Wag the Dog"). I haven't been there since 1999, so I also don't know if they still do that. I loved their blueberry soup.

#18 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:04 PM:

Bruce, Washington State also has L&L Drive-In in various locations, including Federal Way. The owner started out here and has expanded all over the West Coast and points east. The food's pretty authentic, and I'll bet you 10 bucks it's clean inside.

The lunchwagons I mentioned are rolling stock.

#19 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:19 PM:

Linkmeister, thanks! I've occasionally mentioned to Margaret picking up a lunch from Hoki's, but since I'd told her about the state of the dining room before I went into how good the food was I'd never been able to convince her to try it. A "clean, well-lighted place" would be ideal--I'll try L&L soon.

Never got a chance to eat at one of the lunchwagons either time I was in Hawai'i. If I can ever get back I'll make a point of doing so.

#20 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:31 PM:

Thank you for this post. I read a lot of blog posts from friends which talk about wonderful bars, amusement parks, diners, markets, music clubs and all sorts of things.

But they're almost always requiems. They're almost always posts about places that are closing their doors because we don't have quite enough luxury apartments and malls yet.

Thank you for writing about places that are unique and wonderful and still there.

#21 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:48 PM:

Places like that seem thin on the ground in the UK, mostly. There's a lot of semi-mobile cheap burger joints (they have wheels enough not to be a building) which mostly aupply the mobile customers--truck drivers and such. And a few more traditional transports caffs. Forty years ago there were a lot, but they're thin on the ground now, replaced by chains such as Little Chef and the usual burger-pushing suspects.

On the other hand, it looks like the place on the A6, just north of Towcester, still shows on Google Earth. There's the Ram Jam Inn on the A1, at Stretton,

These places are on the old roads of England. The motorways, the roads people usualy use to travel, they have service areas which are 24/7 corporate mini-malls. Not bad food, but unexciting and priced to pay for the night staff.

The cheap places, those slightly shabbyimmobile non-buildings, are rarely open at weekends.

#22 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 05:57 PM:

JESR #8:

The Spar did *what*? (I assume you are talking about the place in Olympia where we always stopped to get a hot roast beef sandwich w/ gravy.) I noticed the last time we were there, about 10 years ago, that they'd put jazz in in the back room, and figured it was a downhill slog from there, but McMenamin's, oh the pain.

#23 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:06 PM:

I should have mentioned the Pick Quick in... uh... Fife, I guess, just west of the Port of Tacoma exit off I-5 on the left (south) side of Pacific. A drive-in, not a diner, with long list of milkshake flavors and artery-clogging burger and hotdog combinations and chili-cheese fries. Those sorts of places are still around, although thin on the ground these days. The one I've always longed to try, and which is now a complete death trap for me, is the Arctic Inn on 101 south of Cosmopolis, where they make the Arctic Shake, a milkshake with an ice cream sundae on top. It has never been open when we go by, although residents of Pacific County assure me it's still in business.

All this healthy living has been heck on the old traditional places on both coasts.

#24 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Actually, there's been jazz in the back room off and on since the twenties, so that's not responsible. What the owners are blaming for their selling out to those playful brewers from West Linn (I've eaten at the original brew pub, I like the food well enough, but they yuppify everything they touch) is the passage of the indoor smoking ban last year.

The decor and the milkshakes and the cigar counter are supposed to stay, but I doubt McMenamin's will keep the older bits of the menu, like the hot beef and turkey sandwiches and the fried oysters.

#25 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:37 PM:

Linkmeister, we have traveling food trucks like that in DC, but they're mostly taquerias or pupusarias. I almost always see them driving, but I've eaten at one or another a few times and they're good basic Latino food.

#26 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 06:42 PM:

Beep's at Sherman Way and Woodley in Van Nuys has real malts (think 50s burger joint). The parking is pretty close to non-existent, however.

#27 ::: BethN ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 07:35 PM:

Ryan #7: I have very fond memories of Lou's breakfasts, going back 20+ years to undergraduate days. When I had to be at the radio station for a 7 AM shift, I would stop in there en route and pick up glazed crullers still warm from the fryer. You can't go wrong with fryer-fresh donuts, but these were better than most.

#28 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 07:44 PM:

Y'all a bunch of bastids, with this diner talk and me 2800 miles from the nearest decent example.

I was about to go to Papa Murphy's for mediocre bake-at-home pizza. Now you have me wondering if there's even a greasy spoon in the vicinity.

#29 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 08:11 PM:

Food on both coasts:

If you are in Portland, Oregon and want a good burger, fries and milkshake, you must go to Mike's. Two locations, both eastside: in Sellwood on 17th just south of Tacoma, and in Milwaukie on... oh, dammit, I can't remember the street name, but it's just off the bypass and two lights before the Albertson's grocery plaza. Look them up in the local phone book, the milkshakes are worth it.

(If you're downtown and don't want to go that far, stop at Rice Junkies for a wrap (there's one on 10th by the old Galleria and another one down between 3rd and 4th a couple of blocks off Morrison) or get a Honkin' Huge Burrito from the vending cart in Pioneer Square.)

On the other coast, if you happen to be in central Maine, try Big G's Deli in Winslow for more food than you can eat in one sitting. You want the half sandwich. Trust me on this. They bake their own bread and it is about 8" across. Can't remember how late they do breakfast, but if you want an omelette you can get damn near anything wrapped up in it you can think of and probably a few things you'd rather not think about. The dining room gets a bit loud and crowded but it's worth it.

And for the really out-of-the-way places, stop in at Four Seasons in Jackman, ME. Jackman is the last town before the Canadian border on the road to Quebec City. Good home-style cooking, large portions, reasonable prices, and admire the proprietor's collection of coffee mugs. (Over 1000, last I heard.)

Mmmm. I should make a list.

#30 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 08:43 PM:

Oh dear, you've made me all hungry. Sadly, the only diners I've found down here (ATL) are either (a) way-too-upscale-bougie-nostalgia outfits that serve poached salmon and shakes-from-powder, or otherwise acceptable but staffed by cranked-out twenty-somethings, which just isn't the same as wizened ladies with nicotine for blood.

Also there's Waffle House, where I ended up last week, and where my server looked a bit too much like one Miss Noxeema Jackson, on a really bad night (1/appetizing).

#31 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 09:11 PM:

I'm located in New Jersey, which boasts what is possibly the highest number of diners per capita in the world. Over the past several years, my family and I have noted a serious decline in the quality of most diners that we used to go to.

We still have two or three that we enjoy -- but only one of those is of a quality on a par with what it used to be like. That one is an hour and a half away (of course). It's named Michael's, it's on Route One about 10 miles south of Princeton.

Fantastic salad bar (which sometimes includes spanakopita, and really, what else do you have to say?).

#32 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 09:57 PM:

New Jersey, at least the northern part, and other parts of the Tri-State Area, is home to "Greek Diners." Traditionally owned by Greek families, but I've noticed some run by folks whom I believe are Russian immigrants.

They're known for amazingly bad-taste decor, huge menus, and variable quality.

Some have huge portions and fabulously generous multi-course dinner specials.

#33 ::: hk-reader ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:01 PM:

What I consider the Hong Kong version of the diner is the Chan Chaan teng.

One of my favorites was called The Dragon Boat and was on the waterfront in Sai Kung Town. They used to have a great curry that used french fries instead of potatoes and an Indonesian Fried Rice that has ever served as my benchmark of how it should be. Unfortunately, they appeared to get a new cook a few years ago, and the quality of those two dishes fell off.

When I am out of HK, I miss them. So filling and such value for money.

#34 ::: elizabeth bear ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:02 PM:

many happy plates of gravy soaked meatloaf have I consumed at the P&H.

Also, starting in late November, the parking lot smells sweetly of christmas tree trucks.

#35 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:19 PM:

Dumb food question for the Seattle/Portland area. Are there any places around here that serve Welsh Rarebit? And, since I've read about it from the Midwest, is there anywhere out here that does a "chili size?" I gather it's a multi-layer chili/spaghetti/what have you that's sold in the midwest/east coast area and may be Greek-American, which could explain (Uff Da!) why I've never seen it out here.

#36 ::: John From Uconn ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:28 PM:

Here in the U of Connecticut area, we either go to the Vernon diner which is what you expect, or some one of the 2 that just opened and I've never been to. For those of you in the inland northwest, I recommend the milk bottle in the garland district of Spokane. Just look for a giant milk bottle, and walk inside.

#37 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 10:39 PM:

Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that I will never again live in an area where the 24-hour, breakfast-all-day diner is a foreign concept. I couldn't live without any of the serviceable diners within 15 minutes of my house.

That said, though, my favorite diner of all time isn't even in this time zone: it's the 101 Coffee Shop on Franklin Blvd. in West Hollywood (inside the Best Western Hollywood Hills). They might as well be 24 hours (closed from 3-7 am), and their French toast is really good, though my favorite menu item is their hominy grits. They brew the iced tea right and fresh, too. I'm going back in a couple weeks, and I can't wait.

(And re the "frappe line" -- that's the border between Massachusetts and Connecticut, isn't it? I order a frappe here in CT and they look at me like I've got two heads. And yet strangely, I ask for jimmies on my cone and they know exactly what I'm talking about. Ah, Connecticut, the land that New England tried to forget.)

#38 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 11:14 PM:

Bruce Derocher at #35, I think you'd have to go to Victoria to get Welsh rarebit, or, of course, that monument to food from everywhere, Vancouver BC. Not that I know for sure, but the people I go out to dinner with in Portland and Seattle are stuck on Mexican food, so if there's a British cafe I haven't seen one.

And there's a regional distinction between the west coast and the midwest about Chili Size- here it's chili with raw onion and cheese (or sometimes a chili burger done that way).

#39 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2006, 11:46 PM:

People looking for serious breakfast in the Twin Cities area should go to Hell's Kitchen, in downtown Minneapolis. Not even vaguely like a diner: "factory" decor (I swear they put in extra ducts to make it look more industrial), local art on the walls, and a shotgun layout instead of a spread. But they understand the idea of a meal to sustain you through a Minnesota winter day -- thick bacon, wonderful sausage, serious porridge with all sorts of add-ins, large platters of eggs-and, hearty breads. We'll be in MSP next weekend and plan to eat there at least once even though we're staying in the outskirts.

#40 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 12:15 AM:


Not that I know for sure, but the people I go out to dinner with in Portland and Seattle are stuck on Mexican food, so if there's a British cafe I haven't seen one.

There's actually a pretty good one on the East Side, but no rarebit. The Bon Marche restaurants used to have it, but after Macy's (God rot them) bought into the chain they removed the restaurants...

Thanks for the info on the chili size. I gather the elaborate multi-layer versions are an Ohio thing--I've got cooking directions for one but would rather get one pre-made for my first time rather than brave it out myself. God knows how vile Poutine would have been if I'd tried making it in cold blood.

#41 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 01:43 AM:

Well, if LA is in your sights, you ought to try The Apple Pan. It's sandwiches only, but the burgers are wonderful. It's got a single U-shaped counter, no tables. It's on Pico, east of Westwood Blvd. in West LA.

#42 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 02:15 AM:

Bruce, the Bon Marche cafe! Now there's a memory; best French onion soup I've ever had, until making it myself for a few decades.

Macys has a lot to answer for.

#43 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 11:07 AM:

While you're in Lebanon be sure to stop in at Poverty Lane Orchards and buy some of their breathtakingly good hard cider.

#44 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 12:31 PM:

Michael #30: Waffle Houses vary. Since you're also a denizen of the ATL, you'll know of the Varsity (not the same as a diner by any means, but definitely an experience).

#45 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 12:32 PM:

All that talk of diners in Maine reminds me of Offshore Flo's in "Non Sequitur", where everybody talks like my mother-in-law. (Ayuh.) Wonder what the food would be like there....

#46 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 12:45 PM:

At 45, Faren Miller says Wonder what the food would be like there....

Well, the coffee is apparently up to my standards, if Sunday's strip is to be believed.

#47 ::: individualfrog ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 01:05 PM:

Japan has an amazing food culture and I will be missing so many things when I go home, but sometimes, all I want is a Happy Waitress, and they're all on the other side of the world. Diner food is one of the things I miss the most. If you are in Kingston, NY, there are many diners, but the best is Michael's. The waitresses call you "youse", they have spicy curly fries, and the late-night clientele is always entertaining. I was once eating there when someone drove her car into the wall.

#48 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 01:20 PM:

I am compelled to mention O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown, CT, which saved my life more than once when I was a college student.

Also, Moody's Diner in Waldoboro, ME, which is the source of some very serious pies and of bibs that read "I'm a Moody Baby."

I am restraining myself valiantly from discussing delis, seafood shacks, and other related, but not entirely on-thread eateries.

#49 ::: Ledasmom ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 01:40 PM:

If you're in Worcester, Massachusetts, you almost can't get away from the diners. Many of them were
born here (manufactured by the Worcester Lunch Car Co.) and never left.

#50 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 02:37 PM:

#32: Ithaca, NY (home of Cornell University) is full of Greek diners (Greek immigrants were attracted there because of the name, then found out too late that the climate was far from Mediterranean ...). My dorm's resident director was fond of an all-night place called Manos Diner and used to organize post-study runs there. I can't remember much about the food now other than tons of fries with each serving.

#51 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 02:48 PM:

Why in god's name am I sitting outside of Portland (OR), reading, on a NYC-hosted blog (well, our hosts are in NYC, at least), about diners in a truck-stop town (Fife, WA) that I drove through twice a day during junior high and high school? This feels surreal (though not unpleasant).

There's also a Spar in Tacoma, by the way, up the hill a few blocks from the waterfront where all the hang-out bars are.

#52 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 03:12 PM:

oliviacw, it's just the magic power of the net, I suppose.

The Spar in Tacoma is a dive bar, or at least was, not a blue-plate special place like Olympia's Spar (when Tim Egan left as the NW correspondent for the NYT, one of the new guys first articles included a very clueless depiction of The Spar, making this particular small town look as if it hadn't changed since I was a kid and it was as far back in the hills as you could get at sea level; at that point, Sleater Kinney still had a tendency to eat breakfast in the front booths).

And, speaking of dinerish places, the Poodle Dog in Fife still makes peanut butter pie.

#53 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:25 PM:

the famous garbage plate at Nick Tahou's,

oh man... droooool.

my wife and i went back to Roch to visit friends, two years ago. after hitting all our favorite diners (Nicks, Highland Diner, Gitsis, McGregors, Doc Hua) we bought a freezer pack of Zweigle's red and white hots (packed in a little barrying case with dry ice, for air travel). i just thawed a package last weekend. even after two years in the freezer, they were as good as new.

back to NE, i recommend Billy's Chowder House in Wells Beach, ME.

#54 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:31 PM:

Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that I will never again live in an area where the 24-hour, breakfast-all-day diner is a foreign concept.

we moved down to Raleigh, NC, from upstate NY. about the only thing we can find open late night are burger shops (CharGrill and CookOut) and Waffle Houses. but what we really want, at 2:30am, saturday is a big gravy-soaked open-faced turkey sammich. but, there's no place to get that down here. it's sad.

on the other hand, the eastern NC BBQ is damned good. now if someone would just bring down some Kimmelwick rolls, i could put that vinegar and pepper pork on one and recreate the yummy "Saratoga Style" BBQ you can get at PJ's, outside of Saratoga NY.

#55 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:32 PM:

a little barrying case ?

no, dummy, a carrying case.

#56 ::: amysue ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 04:56 PM:

I've loved the Tilt-n-Diner since it opened and frequently dine there with my other husband when visiting him at our country place. We also stop there whenever we are returning from either Storyland or the WFNP. We often meet the other husband. This once provided some amusement when the waitress kept trying to figure out how I ended up with two (husbands) and kept saying it was impossible. The town clerk who officiated at one of the weddings said she could vouch for other husband and another diner pointed out he could vouch for husband #2 because he'd been at the wedding. The waitress was further confused by the melange of ethnicities (including our adopted asian and southeast asian kids) My daughter (currently 11 then 6 or 7) took pity on the waitress and stage whispered, "family by choice".

We prefer to sit in the "real" diner side when we can for the full ambience. I live near Worcester,MA and so actually get to eat at "real" diners often. I do miss the diners in NJ though, they were almost as big a draw as the man (that would be husband #2) I was visiting.

#57 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 05:33 PM:

#48 Sarah, O'Rourke's was destroyed by fire some months ago. The owner had no insurance.

There are currently benefits being organized. I hear them advertised on the radio sometimes.

#58 ::: murgatroyd ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 05:51 PM:

Becky's Dinah. Nothing Finah. A favorite of fishermen because it's right on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine.

Unfortunately, the Miss Portland Diner, where you could crack your kneecaps on the table scooching into a booth and then load up on coffee, kielbasa and eggs of a Sunday morning, is no longer with us.

Then there's The Full Belly Deli near the Portland-Westbrook line. Corned beef, brisket, or pastrami, latkes with apple sauce, and chicken soup made on the premises.

Alas, I can't have matzos because I have food sensitivities (shouldn't be eating the latkes either, really, but what the hell). The chicken rice soup is wonderful even if you don't have a cold.

#59 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 07:02 PM:

If you're up north in Vermont, sone of the very best diners is only about two miles off of 91 - the Miss Lyndonville Diner in Lyndonville, Vermont. Really great homemade food and some of the best cured ham and bacon you'll ever have.

#60 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 07:38 PM:

Mmm. The Maine dining experience...

Moody's is good if you happen to be in Waldoboro. If, on the other hand, you happen to be in Belfast, try Dudley's which is downtown just before the wharf. Last time I was in there they had Polish Corn Chowder on the soup bar and it was to die for. I hear the rest of their food is good, too.

And if you happen to be in Machias, stop at Helen's. You won't have much choice if you're trying to eat in Machias, there ain't much else there. But Helen's has some wicked good pie.

#61 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 07:41 PM:

Oh, and on the other, other coast.... I'm not sure if it's still there (dear Ghu, it had better be, it was the only civilized thing about the place) but in Baton Rouge, LA, on State Street just north of LSU, the venerable greasy spoon of Louie's serves (or used to serve) an enormous platter of fried potatoes piled with cheese, fried onions, tomatoes, sour cream, and probably chili (my memory is fading, college was a long time ago) that was just the thing at the unholy hours of the night between when the bars close and when the donut shops open.

#62 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 08:29 PM:

Bruce @ 35, we have a restaurant chain in the DC area (plus one in NC) called Hard Times Cafe where you choose how many layers of things you want. I usually get the 5-way with Texas chili, plus onion rings, and take half of each home.

Good thing I don't have appts at Kaiser Woodbridge too often; I'd eat way too much chili.

#63 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 08:52 PM:

#48 Sarah:

I was going to mention both O'Rourke's and Moody's, but you beat me to it. Moody's also had something new to me: clamcakes, made like crab cakes, only different shellfish.

#57 Rikibeth:

I'd heard about the demise of O'Rourke's, but I hadn't known that the reason he wasn't too keen on rebuilding was no insurance.

Locally in Austin, a comfort-food lunch place was in that situation a couple of years ago, and has just reopened (new location) after a spate of benefits and a stretch serving out of portable facilities.

#64 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 09:14 PM:

Speaking of comfort food in Texas, there's a place in Cameron which, after church on Sunday, is dwarfed by the Cadillacs in the parking lot; inside it's got the kind of uneven floors you only get by building on and adding porches and expanding into porches. The walls are covered with old cooking utensils, all for sale, and random panoramic photos.

The food's great, only place I've ever had grits which were edible to my northen palate. I wish I could remember the name. It's about a mile south of an abandoned Studebaker dealership, sign still swinging in the wind.

#65 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2006, 11:29 PM:

Cleek wrote
on the other hand, the eastern NC BBQ is damned good. now if someone would just bring down some Kimmelwick rolls, i could put that vinegar and pepper pork on one and recreate the yummy "Saratoga Style" BBQ you can get at PJ's, outside of Saratoga NY.

I could probably arrange to get you some Kimmelwicks, for the right price, actually... (Native Rochesterian, still there) :-)

I'm kinda surprised nobody at Wegmans has thought of a mail-order service for local delicacies - there are enough Upstate ex-pats out there (friends in Boulder call their infrequent trips to Rochester their "journey to Wecca" because it has to involve a stop at Wegmans...) to make such a service at least moderately profitable. I know Zweigles does an okay business air-shipping freezer containers of their hot dogs to various places.

Thena wrote -
that was just the thing at the unholy hours of the night between when the bars close and when the donut shops open.

Donut shops close? ;-)

What I miss around here is the original local version of Perkins - 24 hours, about a step up from the greasy spoon diner, breakfast anytime, and a menu so full of options that it could lead to indecision ( friend of mine used to order deakfast - dinner/breakfast - by rolling a d10 multiple times against their "sides and extras" tables for dinner and breakfast... "I'll have ahh... (clatter) French Fries, with sausage patties, a biscuit with gravy, and (clatter) cinnamon-raisin toast"). In-store bakery for muffins and cakes and such, a menu that changed just enough to keep it fresh with options - it was a chain (and a good sized one, at least locally - a dozen locations or so), but never really felt like chain food.

I think Perkins fueled more late-night gabba sessions for the RIT and UofR gaming and SF clubs than anywhere else - and that was with Jays and Mt. Hope diner being closer to the UofR.

The new Perkins chain is far too Family Dining oriented - good restaurant, but not really worthy of the Perkins name. Old Perkins was a family diner that didn't mind truckers and cheapskate students - Perkins today definitely does not want a crowd of students in the back corner sucking down pot after pot of coffee, arguing about everything under the sun until the sun was back in the sky, and redeeming themselves only by tipping amazingly well (because some of us worked food service).

#66 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 02:07 AM:

Scott @ #65 sez "rolling a d10 multiple times against their "sides and extras" tables"

which reminds me that a country club software package I once bought had a random lunch generator program buried in one of its program libraries.

Regrettably, you had to put the possible restaurants into a lookup table, so randomness couldn't really be achieved.

What's a "d10?"

#67 ::: Eric Kidd ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 07:29 AM:

If you're in Maine, and headed downeast, Moody's is not to be missed. Not only are they a state icon, but they've been perfecting their pie for several generations now.

But if, like Jim Macdonald, you're up around exit 18 on I-89, you should know that the Fort now has serious competition: The Farmer's Diner just opened in Quechee, Vermont, and it's worth the few extra miles if you've got a craving for bacon or sausage.

They buy much of their food from local farmers, and the breakfast menu is spectacularly good. They've got cream from Stratford Organic Creamery, bacon from local farmers, and french toast with real maple syrup. And their maple sausage should not be missed.

We got really lucky the other weekend--according to the waitress, the cook got bored and showed up at 4am to make old-fashioned cake donuts, soft on the inside and chewey on the outside. But even on a regular morning, they've got the best English muffins I've ever had in a diner.

#68 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 07:48 AM:

Linkmeister, #66, "d10" is a notation that came out of role-playing games, which use all sorts of dice. A "d6" is a standard 6-sided die, with a "d10" having 10 sides (or 20, with each number on 2 faces). A term like "2d6" means rolling 2 6-sided dice and adding the result. While I have seen 100-sided dice, the "d100" is usually done by rolling 2 different d10, one for the units and 1 for the tens.

With computers, you can have dice that have an arbitratry number of sides.

d100, or percentage dice, were around in the early Seventies that I know of. There's also something called an "Average Dice", which has the same average score as a d6, but has the sides numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5

The Dungeons and Dragons game popularised the basic d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20 set with what were pretty crudely-moulded dice. Which was perhaps why some other games settled on standard d6 or d10 pairs. These days, all these different types (and the tech to make them) is established enough that production quality isn't an issue.

#69 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 07:56 AM:

Linkmeister wrote -
Scott @ #65 sez "rolling a d10 multiple times against their "sides and extras" tables"

which reminds me that a country club software package I once bought had a random lunch generator program buried in one of its program libraries.

Regrettably, you had to put the possible restaurants into a lookup table, so randomness couldn't really be achieved.

What's a "d10?"

That sounds like the sort of thing the programmer develops because he's bored waiting for specifications on some subsection, codes up in a day, then ends up as a 'feature' because someone figures out its there, and, well, why not?

A d10 is a polyhedral die used in many role-playing games - 10 sided solid marked "1" through "10" on its faces, to generate a random value between....

Example of a d10

#70 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 07:59 AM:

Scott Taylor @ #65

Well, perhaps other donut shops in better parts of town didn't close, but the little corner donut shop within walking distance did. It was run by an Asian couple - Korean, maybe, a skinny silent man who made the donuts and a round gregarious woman who sold them. It was open from about 6 am until whenever the donuts ran out.

Louie's, on the other hand, was open 24-7. But they didn't do donuts.

#71 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 08:00 AM:

Scott Taylor, #69: More often, they're marked 0 through 9, actually. But your point (and Dave Bell's) stands.

#72 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 08:34 AM:

CD wrote -
Scott Taylor, #69: More often, they're marked 0 through 9, actually. But your point (and Dave Bell's) stands.

There are basically three types - the ones marked 0 - 9 the ones marked 00 to 90 - for generating percentiles (throw two, read the two-digit as the 10s and the one-digit as 1s) and the ones marked 1 - 10 (or sometimes 1-(symbol) as with the various White Wolf dice - Vampire dice were green with a red rose symbol, etc.) which are straight 1-10.

Since all three are usually dumped into the same bin at most game stores, it usually doesn't matter which one you grab. They're also commonly used as life markers for various TCGs like Magic:The Gathering.

Scott Taylor = Old Skool Gaming Geek gone pro...

#73 ::: amysue ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 09:28 AM:

By the way, why is it that the diner concept as it is envisioned in NJ isn't replicated elsewhere? Years ago there were diners like those in Worcester, MA (where I grew up) but no more. There are diners but the food is different and the atmosphere isn't the same.

That said, I do love Harry's in Westboro, MA and have been eating there for 40+ years (it's in it's 60th year). It's still owned and run by the original family and has great onion rings (not that I should be wasting carbs on onion rings...) and fresh seafood for those interested in seafood. I almost always get a BLT. I work in a synagogue. Go figure.

#74 ::: dr.iodine ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 11:49 AM:

Has anyone mentioned yet the painting 'The Nighthawks?'
Now there is 'diner art.'

On an absurdist note my partner and I were once in Illinois where I spotted a wooden highway sign for 'Mom's' or 'Ma's' Diner- Best Coffee for 100 Miles.'
Okay, I'm a sucker. Wooden sign, cartoon characters, paint peeling, looks like a sign Bonnie & Clyde might have driven past. 'Partner' says 'this is going to be a waste of time' but I could not be dissuaded. Images of prohibition gangsters with rolled up sleeves, suspenders, and fedoras danced in my head. After the 30 minute, out-of-our-way drive I waltzed inside to get the coffee to go. 'Best coffee for 100 miles'- Partner wouldn't go in due to moth phobia-
Went inside, saw the sizzling steaks, saw the flapjacks being flipped, saw the locals smoking away, got two coffees a tad suspicious of the thin, plastic translucent lid (always a sign to me of watery coffee) and yep. She was right. A waste of time. Watery dreck.
Being from Canada we like our coffee strong.
but a fun memory. I'm quite sure Ma Barker blasted some bullet holes in that sign.

#75 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 12:21 PM:

dr jodine #74: I seem to recall advice never to eat at a place called 'Mom's'.

That being said, I should put a word in for Mom's Triangle Inn in Belize City. Decent, inexpensive food (or it was 18 years ago).

#76 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 12:46 PM:

Scott Taylor #72: Old Skool Gaming Geek gone pro...

Pro gaming geek? Elaborate a little (please).

#77 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 01:26 PM:

Anyone else here from flyover country?

The Anchor Grill in Covington, Kentucky is not perfect, but it has three redeeming qualities: 1) AFAIK, it is the only traditional 24-hour diner serving the entire Cincinnati metropolitan area*, 2) You can get fried goetta** with your eggs, and 3) it has one of the nation's few remaining Chicago Coin Band Boxes still in service (although the trombonist has long since been replaced by a Barbie™).

The post-war bleached wood paneling and faux-nautical decor has not changed since the place opened in 1949. Also unchanged since 1949 is the smoking policy and the plumbing and flooring in the restrooms. In theory, the waitresses call people "honey," but in practice, the waitresses are far too swamped and exhausted to say much.

* The downside to this is that the coveted 3:00-5:00 AM hours are dominated by Club Kids.

** Goetta, for those unfamiliar, is a German cousin to haggis, made from pigs instead of sheep. Or it's like scrapple, but made with oats. Forget Cincinnati chili; goetta is the true local food oddity.

#78 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 03:16 PM:

Dave @ #68, Scott @ #69, thanks for the d10 explanations.

I asked the developer of the software about that random restaurant program once; she explained that the programmers could never come to a consensus about where to go to lunch (it was a small shop -- maybe four people), so they wrote the program and (theoretically) agreed to abide by the results.

It wasn't transferable without new coding; all the restaurants were in Dallas, and I was installing the package in West LA.

#79 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 03:23 PM:

I always thought of the "Nighthawks" place as a coffee shop. Coffee, donuts, egg salad sandwiches, soup. Cream cheese and walnuts on raisin bread.

* * *

Steve Jackson Games just accepted "The MacGuffin Alphabet" from me, so I suppose I've re-donned my Pro Gaming Geek title.

#80 ::: Missy K. ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2006, 05:22 PM:

Drawn out of lurkerdom by the smells of all that wonderful diner food . . .

I have to recommend "Le Tub" on A1A along the Intracoastal Waterway in Hollywood, Fla. Not a diner, but definitely a unique eatery. Burgers, hotdogs, fries, fresh fish sandwiches, the best--the best--smoked fish dip in the world, a seafood salad that is beyond description. Also a bar with cold beer, etc.

The place was literally cobbled together from the remains of an old gas station/garage and a whole lot of driftwood, and is decorated (if you can call it that) with a plumbing theme. The kitchen has no refrigeration--everything is bought fresh that day, and kept on ice until it is cooked and served. When they run out of something, they run out. To call the parking lot "microscopic" is to make it sound larger than it really is.

The place is incredibly popular: there can be an hour wait for a table and then another hour or two to wait before the food arrives, since just one guy is doing all the cooking. (The willingness of many folks to wait so long is all the more impressive when you realize that the place is almost entirely outdoor seating only, and there is no air conditioning.) People who don't want to wait are free to leave, and the staff have a very casual attitude about it--after all, there are plenty more folks in line.

Le Tub really exists to serve the locals, and the owner is supremely indifferent to tourists and to the wiles of developers (thank God). A year or two ago, GQ Magazine "discovered" that Le Tub served the "best hamburger in America", and published the fact. What followed was hilarious. People showed up in three-piece suits, wanting to reserve (!) tables in the air-conditioning (!!) and pay with credit cards (!!!)--all this despite the numerous signs telling you that Le Tub is a cash-only establishment. The wait for a table grew to proportions unheard-of even for that restaurant, and the locals couldn't get near the place. Finally, the owner got so fed up he took the hamburger off the menu and refused to serve it until the hoo-ha died down. (It's back on the menu now.)

It used to be that you had to be a local, or know a local, to know the place even existed, and it is still hard to find--minimal signage, and you can drive right past it several times without seeing it--but it is definitely worth the hunt.

#81 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 12:06 AM:

Rob Rusick wrote -
Pro gaming geek? Elaborate a little (please).

Been involved in tabletop RPGs since... well, a long time (I remember when the original Little Black Books edition of Traveller came out, and a time before the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons hardcovers existed - although only barely in both cases). I worked for a time for Paul Meyer (Crazy Egor), and have been a published RPG author for... umm... well, my first book published was the first or second released for Cyberpunk 2020 in the early 90s.

I've done a fair job supplementing my income with gaming supplements ever since. I don't have as many words under my belt as, say, Bruce Baugh, or Geoff Grabowski - but I've been at it a fair bit longer (just not as intensely, and with occasional breaks for sanity checks and "real" jobs).

I thought I'd finally removed the "Gamewriter" beanie a couple of years ago, but here I am in 2006 with a book on the shelves (Manual of Exalted Power:Dragon-Blooded, for White Wolf), a project in the works (which I can't talk about right atm), and bits and pieces of some PDF projects that will likely see release early in the next year, if I can find a good, cheap, artist or two to do the (scant) illos for them.

So while I might be a part-time freelance for hire, a profession it has been, of sorts.

#82 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 05:56 PM:

#81 Scott -- I feel I have to thank you for producing Cyberpunk 2020. It was in that system that I originally created my character Tetsuko, and since the campaign for which she was created fizzled out, I recycled her when I got the chance to join a homebrew Star Wars game in '91/'92, and I've been playing her ever since.

She wouldn't have existed, in some way, without your game.

#83 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2006, 11:01 PM:

Rikibeth wrote -
#81 Scott -- I feel I have to thank you for producing Cyberpunk 2020. It was in that system that I originally created my character Tetsuko, and since the campaign for which she was created fizzled out, I recycled her when I got the chance to join a homebrew Star Wars game in '91/'92, and I've been playing her ever since.

She wouldn't have existed, in some way, without your game.


I don't want to give the impression that Cyberpunk (the RPG, not the genre) is my fault - far from it! CPunk (original, 2020 and v3) are all the brainchild of Mike Pondsmith - he just let me play in his backyard a few (well, maybe more than a few) times when he needed a writer.

(insert obligatory "All die. Oh, the embarrassment." story here).

#84 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2006, 12:04 AM:

Scott Taylor #81: I thought I'd finally removed the "Gamewriter" beanie a couple of years ago, but here I am in 2006 with a book on the shelves (Manual of Exalted Power:Dragon-Blooded, for White Wolf), a project in the works (which I can't talk about right atm), and bits and pieces of some PDF projects that will likely see release early in the next year, if I can find a good, cheap, artist or two to do the (scant) illos for them.

I had a follow up to this, which I directed to your email (ROT-13'd here for further protection from the spam robots): vmmlybob ng znp qbg pbz

Making mention of it in case this is not an addr you use frequently...

#85 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2006, 12:22 AM:

Gamewriter beanies have tendrils underneath that pierce your skull and grow down into your brain. Even if you remove the cap, they're still there, wrapped around your nerves and glands.

#86 ::: Janice Dawley ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2006, 12:08 PM:

Wow, what a weird experience to see the name "P&H" on Making Light. I grew up in South Ryegate, just a few miles down the road from the truckstop. I now live in Burlington, but about once a month I pay a visit to my mother and she insists on taking me out to dinner at P&H. I was just there on Saturday!

Re: the new decor. I wish they hadn't installed the depressing overhead fluorescent lights or chosen aqua and white linoleum. But at least it's cleaner and more logically laid out now.

#87 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2006, 02:52 PM:

I was just at P&H last night. They're advertising Elkburgers on Fridays.

#88 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2006, 04:17 PM:

#81: here I am in 2006 with a book on the shelves (Manual of Exalted Power:Dragon-Blooded, for White Wolf) Nice to meetcha! I have a copy of your book on order.

(note to self: get that "Don't worry, I'm not your biggest fan" T-shirt made up.)

#89 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2006, 07:33 PM:

someone was asking about welsh rarebit in the northwest?

i was in portland over the weekend for the stumptown comics festival, & went to a british pub where rarebit was on the menu... if i'd ordered it, i wouldn't have been able to tell you if it was good compared to other rarebit, but i didn't order it anyway. i was tempted, but eating the inspirartion for winsor mccay's pre-nemo strip didn't seem like a good enough reason for food selection. now i wish i had; i've never seen it on a menu anywhere else.

i don't remember the name of the pub, but it was in the hollywood district, near the hollywood theatre.

#90 ::: NANCY ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2008, 07:41 AM:


#91 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2009, 11:26 AM:

See also, the Goldenrod Diner in the Manchester, NH, area.

#92 ::: Carrie S. sees stream-of-spammishness ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2009, 10:15 AM:

Also, a broken link. Nifty, huh?

#93 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 08:13 PM:

Diners are variable, occasionally there's a real gem.

#95 ::: David Harmon sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2012, 09:45 PM:


Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.