Roberta's Village Inn
Established in 1962, this quaint, '50's-style diner still doesn't take checks or credit cards, but a time-tested menu of buttermilk pancakes, gooey tuna melts, and piping-hot coffee draws a steady stream of devoted patrons. "It's very homey, very comfortable," says one regular. "It's like the Cheers of diners," says another. The long-lasting success story of Roberta's Village Inn—where chefs whip up from-scratch desserts daily—almost went unwritten. As Inland Valley Daily Bulletin writer David Allen notes, Roberta Virgin, the restaurant's namesake, was on the verge of throwing in the towel after her first day of waitressing in 1977. But her mother, a fellow waitress there, convinced her to stay, launching Roberta's 32-year career and ascension to the ranks of manager, owner, and finally Omelet Queen. Though Roberta transferred the reins to her longtime chef Francisco "Pancho" Ramirez, with whom she shares a "mother-son bond," her name remains on the forest-green awning. Francisco preserved the restaurant's moniker in tribute to his old boss, also leaving untouched the recipe for the famous pot roast she used to serve every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening.