Coney Island Diner

Coney Island diner with bike

It’s been a Mansfield tradition since 1936 and I can see why. The Coney Island Diner in the heart of downtown Mansfield was a highlight of my visit to the city.

It’s traditional American diner fare. That means burgers and fries, ice cream and comfort food. They do breakfast all day so I had a veggie omlette with home fries and toast for just a few bucks. It was a large portion and tasted like something my grandma would have cooked.

The atmosphere is great with dinette tables, booths, a counter and stuff on the walls. And you can tell that it’s a good place because they have regulars. An elderly woman who sat near me waited patiently for the waitress to stop by and confirm she wanted her regular order. And did she want hash browns or home fries today?

Another woman had two children in tow, clearly grandkids, who were having fun sipping milkshakes at the counter. Two men in electric company uniforms kidded with the waitress about her tip over their large platters of food.

My service was great, the food was good and it was delivered lickety split – all requirements of a good diner. If you’re in town for the prison, the carousel park or the host of other fun things to do in the area, be sure to stop by for lunch or maybe just an ice cream treat!

Coney Island Diner is located at 98 N. Main Street and they’re open every day except Sunday. Go check ’em out and let me know what you think!


Elliston Place Soda Shop

Elliston's Place (54)

You know that I didn’t drive all the way to Nashville from Ohio without finding a diner or two. Today, I want to tell you about one just down the street from Centennial Park in Nashville.

One of these days I’ll write about Centennial Park and the full scale replica of the Parthenon that resides there.

But not today.

Elliston's Place (46)Instead, I want to show you Elliston Place Soda Shop. This is one of the few stops this weekend that didn’t feel like a tourist trap. In fact, it was busy with a lot of neighborhood folks picking up take out. At one point, a group came in to celebrate a child’s birthday and some teenagers had seemingly taken up residence but I appeared to be the only tourist in the house.

Opened in 1939, Elliston’s feels like a monument to a slower time. A slice of Americana.

The tile and chrome, the booths and counter all appear to be original. Small jukeboxes hang on the wall at each booth and the red and yellow decor is simply happy.

Like any good diner, your food is made fresh to order and comes pretty quick. I was passing by between meals so I settled for a chocolate sundae the size of my head. Seriously friends, this sundae was huge. It would probably be best to share with someone else but, being alone, I took one for the team and ate it by myself. Yup. I ate the whole thing.

I sat for a while, resting after walking miles and miles that day. That birthday party? Some of the kids wanted to see their milkshakes be mixed. There’s a picture below of three little kids kneeling on stools at the counter while they anxiously awaited their treats.

It was just fun to see.

This place is family owned and operated. Their prices skew a bit higher than you might expect at a diner but sometimes you have to pay the price to support a neighborhood joint. You might get better prices at a fast food chain but you won’t find the atmosphere and caring service that Elliston’s provided me.

I’m told it’s been featured in some movies which I need to look up soon. I badly hope it’s still there if I ever go back to Nashville.

Have a look at some more pictures!

Want to know more? Visit their website! 

Pamela’s Diner

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you are aware that I appreciate a good diner. And when I say a good diner, I don’t mean a place that’s shiny and pretty with a menu of locally sourced organic vegetables.

When I say good diner, I’m talking about the kind of place with a counter, a lunch special and waitresses who know how their regulars like their burgers. I’m talking about the kind of place where retirees gather to swap stories over pancakes and where teenagers can grab a quick bite on their way home from school.

With that said, you’re sometimes able to find that magical intersection of polished atmosphere and local hangout with great food. The folks in Pittsburgh are fortunate to have six diners that fit this description. They’re part of a chain called Pamela’s that’s been serving up breakfast since 1980. Each location has it’s own theme and menu so it doesn’t feel at all like a chain and, as I’m typing this, I’m dying to go try another location. But I digress.

My friend Nichola took me to the Mt. Lebanon location during our marathon weekend last fall.

We tried the Hotcakes, Lyonnaise Potatoes and Gail’s Favorite Eggs which are lightly scrambled with cream cheese and scallions. Holy cow – it was good. Yeah – I’ll never make it as a food critic. “Holy cow, it was good” is probably the best I can do. It all was simply delicious and there was a lot of it.

But just as important as the fabulous food is the fabulous atmosphere. I’m not even going to try to describe it. Just have a look here.


Like I said, each location has a different theme. There’s one near the Strip I’d like to visit for its fifties diner motif.

Want to drool over the menus or maybe plan a visit your next time in Pittsburgh? Check out their website! A couple of things to remember though – they only do breakfast and lunch AND they are a cash only operation. Hit the ATM before you go!