When I visited the Cranberry Bog at Buckeye Lake a few weeks ago, my pal directed me into Pataskala for an early dinner at the Nutcracker Family Restaurant. I have been a few times but find it such a delight that going again was a true pleasure.
This isn’t exactly the best place to find vegetarian or even healthy food but I do still eat some fish occasionally so I was happy to get the perch special. It was fried to perfection.
I didn’t take a ride!
As you can see in the picture at top, there’s lots of interesting stuff to study while you wait for your food.
I wrote about the Nutcracker Family Restaurant once before. You can read that story and find more pictures by clicking here.
Mary B’s Diner has been on my list for some time. It’s in Parkersburg, West Virginia in an unassuming building on a busy corner.
They specialize in home cooking and, while their menu is broad, it isn’t at all fancy. From burgers and grilled cheese to meatloaf and homemade soups, it seems there’s something for everyone. People at a neighboring table ordered enormous taco salads that looked amazing.
They have a few daily specials and offer breakfast all day. I opted for a veggie omelette that came with hash browns and toast. My mother also opted for an omelette with bacon and cheese.
Their vast menu of homemade pies was too much to resist but I must admit that there were so many to choose from it felt a little overwhelming. By the time our waitress had finished naming them all, I couldn’t remember the beginning of the list. I chose the peanut butter cream and my mother went with chocolate cream. Both were delicious.
The pictures really don’t do justice for the food and certainly don’t tell the tale of the great service. The place was hopping and our waitress made sure we wanted for nothing.
I would absolutely go back. Find Mary B’s Diner at 2212 Pike Street, Parkersburg. If you go, take note that instead of waiting for someone to come and ask how many, there’s a list that you sign your party to. I have never seen this done but it seems to work for them. Find Mary B’s and their menu online by clicking here.
As we approached Davie’s Chuck Wagon Diner, I reminded Johnna that I wanted to eat there for the atmosphere and offered to buy her lunch if our breakfast was terrible.
Honestly, I really just wanted to see the sign and figured it was worth the visit if the food was at all decent. There was no need to worry as the quality of the food and service surpassed even the fabulous atmosphere of this 1957 era diner.
It’s a prefab diner, manufactured in New Jersey and shipped by train to its home here on Denver’s Colfax Ave. Weighing in at 46 tons, transporting these old diners and placing them on their foundations was no small task.
Look at that sign.
Tabletop juke boxes, gorgeous tile work and a counter full of regulars make for great atmosphere. The menu features your traditional diner fare and our waitress was amazing. We hardly waited five minutes before she returned with our steaming hot breakfast plates. I had a veggie omelette, hash browns and sourdough toast and it was all delicious.
Check out these horse tiles.
And the pink tile ladies room.
And the regulars at the counter!
Davie’s Chuck Wagon Diner is well worth a visit if you enjoy diners and vintage okaces. Find the location, hours and menu at their website by clicking here!
Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl is a Zanesville tradition. With its great exterior sign, chrome stools and long counter, I was a sucker for the place before even opening the menu. As my friend Jerry said “it’s not vintage- it’s just old!”
Old indeed. The restaurant began life as a partnership between two cousins in 1948. Those cousins were Jack Hemmer and Tom Mirgon but for some reason the restaurant was just called Jack Hemmer Ice Cream.
That first restaurant specialized in ice cream with counter seating for seven and an additional four tables. They quickly outgrew that spot and moved into their current location in 1950. Tom eventually bought out his cousin and renamed the restaurant Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl.
Tom retired years ago, selling the business to former manager Bill Sullivan. As far as I can tell, he has maintained a high level of service and quality.
In fact, my two scoops ice cream were heaping and the service couldn’t have been better.
The menu includes far more than ice cream and I was impressed to see there was even a veggie burger. I went for ice cream though so that’s what I got along with a pound of fresh roasted nuts to bring home. They also have a case filled with their own decadent looking chocolate candies.
Diners hold a special place in my heart alongside random vintage black and white pictures. This image was on Pinterest and is credited to Frank Bauman who made it for a 1960 Look Magazine assignment.
Other people like the photo because it features the infamous Vince Lombardi who was a Green Bay Packers coach. He was a regular here, often stopping on his way to the stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
But it holds so much more than a famous sports figure. First of all, that’s a rather unfortunate name for a restaurant. It would not do well in our 2020 germ nervous world of COVID-19. But look a little closer. Notice the menu overhead? It gives some insight into what people were eating and what it cost.
There’s a Kellogg’s display filled with single serve boxes of cereals you can still buy. Classics never go out of style. A Pepsi sign reminds us to please pay the cashier while the pie case is nearly empty. You can see the pattern of the countertop and style of dishes they were using in 1960. In fact, it’s all pretty familiar as I’ve been in a number of diners that resemble this one.
While the black and white is amazing, I’d love to see all this in color. Better yet, it might be fun to step into the picture and spend a little time.