New England Diner Shuffle
The Best Four Diners in New England in One Day!
Rules of the Road: This is fun. Remember what fun was like? We're going on the ultimate road trip to find the greatest diners of New England. The main rule is to sit at the counter at each venue. Start your day with a touch of class in Northampton. At the Day and Night, you can watch the cook as he or she prepares your breakfast. At the Modern Diner, you may sit next to a presidential candidate; you never know. And at Gilley's, you will be treated to the best of the best in New Hampshire. So grab your bottle of Cholesterol pills and let's hit the road for high adventure!
10 AM Palmer, Massachusetts
The Day and Night Diner was built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company in 1944. Let's stick with a traditional diner breakfast to continue our adventure. Bacon, Eggs, Home Fries, and Toast. Don't forget the mug of coffee. The waitress is ready to take your order. Look up and down the counter. Any friends to make; and stories to take? Relax, we've got plenty of time to take in the moments of this wonderful place.
1 PM Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Ready to do some serious time traveling? The Modern Diner was built in 1941 by the Sterling Company. Only two of these diners remain and the other is in jeopardy right now. You can travel far and wide around the USA to find another amazing example of the bygone era of Art Deco Streamline design. As you step through the front door, you are traveling back to a time of relative innocence and elegance that all but disappeared at the start of World War Two. This was the age of the New York World's Fair.
Not only is the Modern Diner of great historical and architectural significance, the food is amazing. You will be delighted at the artistry of the chef and the feeling of grace. You will be ordering their signature dish "Custard French Toast;" voted the best diner meal in America by the Food Network. How about that! Would I lead you astray? You know I won't.
6 PM Portsmouth, New Hampshire
On to Portsmouth. There's lots to do in this beautiful city by the sea. Don't worry about time, Gilley's is open until 2 AM. We have plenty of time to explore "Strawberry Banke" an outdoor living history museum of colonial life during the 17-19th centuries in New Hampshire. We can also head down to the waterfront to explore dozens of interesting shops.
So, you ask "why do you have to take steps up to enter the diner?" That is because Gilley's is last operational lunch wagon in New England; maybe the USA. A lunch wagon means it has wheels under the bottom of the building. Lunch Wagons were the precursors of the diner. They were first pulled to their business location by a horse and later with a pickup truck as is the case with Gilley's. The wheels are still under there. But it was time to stay put; and this is the spot where the landed. The wagon in on the left and the right is the building it was stored in when not in use. It was added to the diner to make a bigger kitchen. It's a really tiny space in there.
But it was the right move. Gilley's is credited by Big Seven Travel as making the best burger in New Hampshire. And, that's not all. They also offer Poutine. Never heard of it? Fries with cheese curds on top and then smothered in gravy.
Poutine is rare here in New England, but the folks in Nova Scotia love it; and I love Nova Scotia. See how things work out! Maybe that will be our next adventure !!!
If you want to lay claim to being a dyed in the wool New Englander, order baked beans with your breakfast!
7 AM Northampton, Massachusetts
Rise and shine campers. It's time to make the scene in groovy Northampton!
Things sure have changed since the days of Mac's Diner.
We're starting our day and adventure at the posh Familiars Coffee & Tea. Perhaps a cappuccino and vegan pumpkin muffin will do the trick!
Alternate Destination Worcester, MA
If you want to fly right into the big city from the Land of Milk and Honey, point your vehicle at Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. This area has long been known as the “Little Italy” of Worcester and you’re looking for the Boulevard Diner; another Worcester Lunch Car diner. And that “B” stands for bodacious and boisterous. Just a few booths and the counter. Take a seat at the counter. Biker Joe is just back from Laconia and he’s got stories to tell. When Joe speaks, he set his volume at “11.” That Western Omelet you ordered comes with 3 slices of toasted Italian bread. Enjoy!