Patriots Diner is a throwback to the 1950s, a time when restaurants and soda fountains served as important hubs of socialization. The menu there deepens nostalgia with dishes that the owners hope emulates the cooking most people grew up with. Under glowing lights like hanging martini glasses, plates brim with juicy burgers, fish and chips, meat loaf, and pork chops. Coffee cups warm hands next to all-day breakfast offerings of omelets and waffles beneath walls decorated with vintage magazine covers and photos of Christopher Columbus’ wooden scuba flippers. The restaurant’s neon-blue lights are easily seen from the roadside and match the dining room’s royal blue booths and chrome-trimmed stools.
You're probably thinking, "That sounds great, but I've never bought a car or a computer without first reading the Wikipedia definitions for car and computer—I'm not about to buy a Groupon either without a briefing." Well, neither would we, and since this is everyone's first Groupon, allow us to briefly explain how it works.
Sparky's Coney Island System was first opened in 1915 by Theodore Kanelos, who envisioned a place where families could come for quality wieners. Nearly a century later, the restaurant is still going strong after being handed down through the generations, serving both warm breakfasts and classic wieners. Patrons can chow down on wieners slathered with meat sauce and onions, crispy fish 'n' chips, and stuffed omelets at any time. Or, if something green or lighter is required, there's grilled chicken or clam chowder.
Though it's been recently renovated under the new ownership of a local brother and sister team, the diner still retains all the vintage touches that made it so uniquely classic, including a huge neon sign, a projecting vestibule, and a stainless steel exterior. The nostalgia seeps into the menu, as well, making the old-school diner a popular spot for local folk, politicians on the campaign trail, and time-traveling greasers. Breakfast, which is available 24/7, includes staples such as french toast and steak and eggs, and lunch features the likes of meatball sandwiches and the Al Mac burger. At dinner, entrees such as gravy-smothered meatloaf.
Even while honoring the old days, the local owners of Al Mac's aren't afraid to embrace the future. They actively seek to reduce their carbon footprint, adopting eco-friendly practices such as composting, stocking recycled materials, and using all-natural cleaning agents.
At Good Days, the gears on a 1950s vending machine turn, sending a Coca-Cola bottle tumbling to the bottom. Smiles festoon vintage photos hanging on walls. And on hot days, an ice cream window refuses to stay shut, its staffer serving an endless line of customers who await their chance at a locally-made scoop. This is where the nostalgic and the simply hungry go to quell their cravings for American fare and breakfast served all day. In booths and at tables, forks dive into fish and chips, moist turkey roasted in house, and French toast made with dense slices of banana-nut bread. The restaurant is open seven days a week, just enough time to try almost everything on the menu or proclaim a new favorite dish 21 times.
Wielding a bountiful bevy of certified U.S. comfort foods, Johnny's Luncheonette has garnered fame and fortune from myriad magazines. No matter how late you get up, Johnny's celebrated crunchy french toast ($7.95) is always waiting to greet your face. For diners whose style doesn't include a breakfast out of bed, Johnny's serves burgers and sandwiches as well as classic American dinners. Eating a 50s burger (served with coleslaw and a pickle; $7.50) brings people back to a time during which they almost certainly weren't alive, and a roast turkey dinner with stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and choice of bread ($12.95) transports the mouth to a different day and age without the aid of a flux capacitor. Pair any delectable selectable with an old-fashioned malt ($5.50) or a raspberry-lime rickey ($3.50) to complete the mouthsemble.