There are times when people go out to dinner with the hopes of trying something new, or unexpected. That can be fun, but there's also something to be said for the comforting and familiar. Archie's American Diner gets this. The diner packs its menu with all the staples one would expect, unless of course this is your first visit to a diner, or the planet Earth. Hamburgers and patty melts, chili and clam chowder, BLTs and grilled cheeses?this is comfort food at its most classic. To switch things up, daily fish specials are offered along with fish 'n' chips, calamari sandwiches, and fish-taco wraps.
From a business started in 1979 inside a tiny house on Mission Street, Saturn Cafe has grown into a green-certified restaurant filled with decorated tables, colorful booths, and a retro feel. Every night chefs whip up local and organic ingredients into vegan and vegetarian versions of traditional American diner staples.
In the kitchen, cooks prepare award-winning fries in trans-fat free oil that they recycle into bio-diesel fuel, and craft a BLT on sourdough with fakin' bacon. Skilled hands assemble omelets with organic eggs, red onions, and red chard, and whip up vegan and vegetarian milkshakes to wash down wheat- and gluten-free bites.
Center Street Bar & Grill's airy interior blooms with the aroma of classic American fare, with a subtle nod to Asian cuisines. Center Street Bar & Grill's dinner menu sets the feasting at a fever pitch with robust plates such as the grilled skirt steak with blue cheese ($17.95) and the fiery southwest chicken pasta, corralling corn kernels, red and green peppers, and onions doused in a creamy chipotle sauce ($14.95). The loaded lunch menu, which shares many items with its dinner counterpart, coaxes taste buds into a trot with a starter of calamari fritti ($10.95) or one of seven salads, such as the ahi tuna with capers, frolics, and kalamata olives ($13.95). For the main attraction, five gourmet pizzas and nine lush sandwiches sandwich an eclectic selection of entrees, such as the lemon oregano chicken breast ($13.95) or the spinach-ricotta ravioli ($12.95). The restaurant also sports wireless Internet access and a remodeled garden patio shaded by umbrellas and jealously hovering clouds.
In 2009, Guy Fieri visited Santa Cruz Diner for an episode of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and even he was surprised by the diner's diverse selection. The kitchen staff prepares everything from American favorites such as burgers and meatloaf to Vietnamese dishes such as pho and spring rolls.
With more than 25 years of service in San Jose, City Diner continues to deliver a1950s diner experience with friendly service, a full menu made from local ingredients, and bread delivered fresh every morning. For breakfast, customers can try a short stack of fluffy pancakes ($5.99), which chefs can dot with sliced banana or chocolate chips to form intricate pancake portraits of James Dean ($6.99). Cooks seal the savory union of ingredients in the barbecue-bacon cheeseburger with a crispy onion ring set on top of a certified Angus beef patty ($8.99). City Diner also whips together 66 flavors of 1950s-style milk shakes, with flavors ranging from traditional vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ($3.99) to decadent butterscotch chocolate chip, peanut-butter Oreo malt, and pineapple chocolate strawberry ($4.99). Four-top tables and spacious booths keep vigil over the diner’s checkered floors, and pictures and movie memorabilia deck its white walls in old-time nostalgia, coming alive at night to dance the hand jive.