The exterior of Blue Moon Diner doubles as a lesson in classic Americana. A neon sign perches atop the polished chrome exterior of the long, low building, which evokes a nostalgia for the 1950s even before you step inside and see the silver-trimmed booths and covers of Life magazine hanging on the walls. The menu is another throwback to yesteryear with its diner-style burgers, rich milkshakes, and Cadillac-size breakfast plates.
Ever since 1958, Red Coach Restaurant has been serving up a classic combo: juicy burgers and ice cream shakes. The restaurant was originally known as the Snack Bar; owners Bob and Jeanne Durkheimer changed the moniker when they relocated into the historic Charles F. Berg building, according to The Oregonian. They preserved the restaurant's original spirit, however, bringing along their original stainless steel kitchen appliances and 1920s-era cash register. The Durkheimers retired in 2008, passing the eatery along to their daughter Kim. Many regulars?some of whom first visited as children?still come by for lunch. Today, though, they bring along their own families.
Like the restaurant's family-friendly vibe, the beef that goes into its burgers is wholesome. It's hormone-free, and comes from cattle raised on Montana's open rangelands. Diners can also dig into garden burgers or sloppy joes paired with hard ice cream milkshakes and malts. High-backed vinyl booths offer enough privacy for diners to chat comfortably or sing songs about their social lives.
Like the chef behind it, the Blueplate reuben occupies two worlds. The house-seasoned ground beef and pork speak to Chef Reiter’s fine-dining history, but the preparation—griddle-fried and loaded with sauerkraut, swiss, and russian spread—befits the classic American theme of this modernized 1950s lunch counter.