Sunday, May 20, 2012


       I live in New Jersey - land of 1000 diners.  They should put that on the license plate, rather than the very misleading 'Garden State' that it currently says there.  My judgement of a place to live is not based on land values or public transportation or anything as bourgeois as that.  First and foremost, there had better be a local diner near by and they better serve a damn fine breakfast.  My local diner is a joint that is called Tiffany Diner (it changed its name last year, but trust me, everyone still calls it Tiffany).  When I lived in Somerville, MA the joint was Kelly's Diner; when I lived in Queens, I was torn by my love of Tasty's Diner and the Neptune.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should always be served in a greasy spoon by a waitress named Flo.

       Like bagels and pizza, I weep for anyone not from around here who does not know the joy of a local diner.  I have been to areas where the only places around are Perkins or Waffle House or Denny's.  Now, I have only eaten at a Perkins' once (I was on the road at 3am in Minnesota and coffee was a moral imperative) and I have never, even in all my travels in the South, eaten at a Waffle House.  But then there is Denny's...ahhh Denny's.  Denny's fancies itself as "America's Diner" which is fine, I suppose.  Too bad it is IHOP without the street cred, but I have come here to praise Denny's, not to bury them.  For a few glorious years in the early to mid 90's, Denny's did something wonderful, that only a national chain could do: they gave out baseball cards with breakfast, thus combining two of my top five things of all time (I will let you speculate as to the other three).  And not just any baseball cards, either...
...but holographic baseball cards!  Made by Upper Deck!  ...and Pinnacle!
That first page is from 1995 and the second from 1996.  Alas, I did not acquire these eating plate after plate of Grand Slam platters, I got them from a dime box in a recent show.  The scans don't do them justice, either, as they are shiny and glorious.  I have looked online and all of their cards were either magic-motion (Sportflix style) or holograms.  I would have considered going to Denny's a lot more back then had I known the cards they were giving out were so damn cool.

Now if you excuse me, I am going to grab breakfast at the erstwhile Tiffany Diner...
That's right, Holly Golightly, I'm having Breakfast at Tiffany's.     

1 comment:

night owl said...

Where to begin?

My parents are diner junkies. They drive around a lot and they're always on the lookout for diners.

I'm much more of a lunch guy (probably because I'm never up for breakfast). With this new diet, I'm forced to reacquaint myself with breakfast -- healthy breakfast. I hate it. When's lunch?

I live in one of those places where you can't find any diners. There are a couple, but that's it. We go to a lot of restaurants and we don't discriminate. If they serve food, we eat there.

But for some reason, we ALWAYS skip Denny's. Never been impressed with the food. The few times I've gone I've almost always have to wait a freakishly long time for food. (They had that catch phrase once that read "A great place to sit and eat." Ever notice that they listed SIT first?). And our Denny's has a history of fights breaking out (we're a military town). Which sounds cool, but not when you're trying to eat food.

The cards are great though.