I love diners. I’ve eaten at many in my life and I feel like they provide the best dining experience. My willingness to choose between chain restaurants and their standalone, independent counterparts differs depending on when you ask me. I enjoy going to the older chains because the food they offer is good enough. It’s not great, but it gets the job done. Their history is much richer than upstart chains that dot the landscape. I know that history doesn’t alleviate the issues caused by shortcomings in the present; however, it makes the experience that much more interesting.
I believe that every diner starts out with the same concept. There’s a person who wants to provide people with an experience that’s similar to the one they get at home. This is where independent diners have an advantage over the chains. Due to the way chain restaurants are structured, they can’t care as much about individual customers. The way they conduct themselves makes it apparent that they know that they have several locations, so the needs or objections of individual customers are of little consequence. Exceptions to this generalization do exist; however, these do not prove its inaccuracy in these instances.
The state in which I live does not offer many options that most diner aficionados would deem satisfactory. We have our share of chain eateries. So does everyone though. Things have improved in recent years with quirky little spots popping up in the local area. It remains to be seen whether the progression towards more worthwhile independent dining options is a permanent shift or more or less a blip on the radar. As part of this series, I plan to frequent some of these spots and write reviews about them.
You would be hard pressed to find anything better than a well cooked meal. Add in a dose of atmosphere and you have quite the experience. These are the two things that have made diners the height of Americana for so many years. They take what we love about the meals we’ve enjoyed in the comfort of our own homes and bring it out into the world. I have had many meals at these establishments and I know I will have many more. When I’m not sitting at one of their tables, I’m left craving their food and wondering when I will be able to make it back to their door.