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.
The vintage diner car's heaping portions of traditional American comfort food earned praise from a recent episode of TLC's American Eats. Owner Kim Kniskern fills the narrow eatery with the sweet aroma of her specialty french toast ($4.95), along with a menu full of morning-time eats that celebrate the moon's inability to steal the earth's bacon. Egg and toast platters draw inspiration from different cultures, such as the American breakfast, which pairs grilled sirloin tips with the ovoid classics ($7.95), and the Polynesian breakfast, which arrives bearing a sizzling helping of fried spam ($5.95). Savory lunch options are also available to sate noon-time cravings.
Lauded for its signature Italian-style pizzas topped with everything from spaghetti and meatballs to mac 'n' cheese, Muncheez pads its menu with burgers, pastas, sandwiches, wraps, and specialty desserts. Diners can nosh on 1 of the 11 signature pizzas, which are flown to the table by a masked, mouthless superhero. Try the Buffalo Soldier, an alfredo-sauced pie topped with buffalo chicken and mozzarella ($7.99/small, $12.99/large), or the Aloha, a Hawaiian-style concoction of ham, bacon, pineapple, and pulled pork ($7.99/small, $12.99/large). Classic and veggie pizza pies also abound.
Chez Ben Diner serves everything you’d expect from a classic American diner—three-egg omelets, triple-decker club sandwiches, and burgers—with an unexpected twist: a selection of authentic French-Canadian dishes. Founded by Benoit and Solange Quirion, the restaurant recently passed to Windsor natives Joel and Anne Quirion who continue the family tradition of friendly service, all-day breakfast, and uniquely Canadian dishes, such as poutine, a combination of fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. The emphasis on traditional Canadian eats hasn’t gone unnoticed: the breakfast poutine earned a mention in Serious Eats, and Roadfood.com calls the cretons—a cold pork spread that can be served on toast or used as stucco on a gingerbread house—“addictive.”