For Hometown Cafe owner Doug Gilliland, “lived-in” is the aesthetic theme of his diner. “I want this cafe to look like every little cafe from here to Alliance,” he told the Lincoln Journal Star. Doug pursues this goal with decor that includes traditional plaid tablecloths, a mammoth stone fireplace, and floor-to-ceiling front windows. The diner’s colorful menu maintains the casual theme, including such heartland mainstays as pancakes, or “frisbee-sized mouth waterers,” and oatmeal, or “stuff in a bowl.”
In the kitchen, his wife, Kathy, toils over an oven baking muffins, cookies, and pecan rolls from scratch to pair with three-egg breakfast omelets and sweet french toast. At lunchtime, sandwiches—or “sammiches”—are decked with cranberry-laden chicken salad, pork tenderloin, and house-cooked turkey. After slicing into piping-hot chicken-fried steak, diners can cool their palates with brownie sundaes, or cool sunburnt shoulders by covering them with frothy Hometown ice-cream shakes.