Top 5 Diner Dishes in America
#5: Meatloaf — 24 Diner
"High-quality comfort food" is what Executive Chef Andrew Curren serves at 24 Diner in Austin. His meatloaf is unlike any other — it's made with 30 ingredients and even contains Monterey Jack cheese. To make sure that no one has to fight over who gets the crispy ends, slices of meatloaf are seared in a cast-iron pan to develop a crust before going out to diners. Curren even dares to say that his meatloaf is better than his mom's.
Find the Restaurant: 24 Diner
#4: The BW Benny — Harry's Coffee Shop
Harry's Coffee Shop in La Jolla, Calif., has been around since the 1960s. Back then West Coasters didn't care too much for the diner, but now customers can't stay away. The restaurant's BW Benny (or bacon waffle eggs Benedict) is a favorite. Co-owner Harry Rudolph III uses vintage waffle machines to make the dense and crispy waffles, studded with bacon. The waffles are then topped with a slice of fried ham, bacon, two freshly poached eggs and housemade hollandaise sauce kicked up with a touch of cayenne.
Find the Restaurant: Harry's Coffee Shop
#3: Nebulous Potato Thing — St. Francis Fountain
St. Francis Fountain has been in operation since 1918 in San Francisco's Mission District. Its Nebulous Potato Thing was invented in 1988 and has been a staple ever since. Managing partner Peter Hood calls it the "best hangover cure," because it's basically a carb overload: a heaping pile of home fries, topped with cheddar and Jack cheeses, a sunny-side-up egg, salsa, sour cream and green onions. It weighs in at three-and-a-quarter pounds.
Find the Restaurant: St. Francis Fountain
#2: Chicken Pot Pie — Agawam Diner
Customers love going to Agawam Diner in Rowley, Mass., because they consider it their second home. Owner John Galanis' father began the diner and created all its recipes, which are at least 60 years old. Keeping the tradition alive, Galanis hasn't changed a recipe, especially not the Chicken Pot Pie, which is made of boiled white meat, peas, carrots and gravy, all topped with a pastry round. The most-unusual thing about the dish is that it's flipped over onto a plate when served, so all the juices get absorbed into the top crust.
Find the Restaurant: Agawam Diner
#1: Custard French Toast — Modern Diner
Located in Pawtucket, R.I., the birthplace of the diner, Modern Diner is operated inside of an old rail car, just like the first diners were. Nick Demou and his father opened the place 28 years ago. Since then the restaurant's top dish has become the Custard French Toast, born out of an accident. Fifteen years ago Nick had made too much vanilla pudding, so he thinned it down and served it as custard on French toast made from thick-cut Texas toast. It also includes a topping of fresh strawberries, blueberries, sliced kiwi, house-candied pecans and raspberry syrup.
Find the Restaurant: Modern Diner
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