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.”
Lucky Strike Restaurant’s hearty menu of nostalgic comfort fare carries on a tradition that dates back to 1955, when its building was converted from a bowling alley. The signature broasted chicken ($9.50 for three-piece dinner) slices succulent cuts of poultry turned golden by a signature cooking method pioneered by founder Charlie Dugre in the 1960s after froasting and troasting failed to catch on. Bone-in, center-cut pork chops ($12.50) add a choice of two sides to their already-significant bulk, much like a Santa tucking an extra pillow under his suit. At lunch, a platter of fish 'n' chips nets the catch-of-the-day before broasting it and mating it with fries and slaw ($8.95), and breakfast, starting at 6 a.m., lifts lids and perks up taste buds with a flock of omelets ($3.95–$6.50) and meat-centric Hungry Man platters ($7.25–$7.95).
Seated on red leather bar stools, guests at Silver Star Diner sip on fresh-brewed coffee and peruse a menu of comfort cuisine such as half-pound burgers, deli sandwiches, and breakfast skillets. In addition to hearty diner staples, guests can sample a rotating selection of pastries, which are baked on-site daily. Diners can order anything off the menu regardless of the time of day or lunar cycle.
Chefs' spatulas have flipped pancakes and eggs in The Silver Spoon’s kitchen since 1983. In 1996, Jeff and Sue Doyle took over the neighborhood staple, leading Mark Roessler of the Valley Advocate to laud its current incarnation for its specialty, the Crow’s Nest: a bed of hash browns and poached eggs doused in hollandaise sauce. Such delights come out of the kitchen all morning and afternoon on the arms of servers carefully delivering lunch and breakfast goodies to each table. Under the glow of stained-glass lighting, silverware clatters against plates as patrons, ready to dig in, perch upon red-upholstered booths flanked by dark wood wainscoting that gives the room the feel of a homey log cabin. Kids' menus are also available for breakfast and lunch, with offerings of kid-size french toast and chicken fingers.:m]]
Named Best of the Valley for late-night dining in 2011 by the Valley Advocate, Route 9 Diner serves an extensive menu of made-from-scratch entrees 24 hours a day. Homemade baked meatloaf comes smothered in a mushroom sauce ($10.25), and the stuffed filet of sole florentine prepares for travel to hungry diners by packing a savory suitcase of feta cheese and spinach and checking a bag of collectible forks ($14.95). Experience the sweet side of breakfast with m&m pancakes ($6.45) or peanut-butter-chip waffles ($6.75). Or dare unhinged jawbones with a bevy of 7-ounce steak and specialty burgers piled high with jalapeños, mushrooms, or sautéed onions ($4.25–$7.95). Owners Chris and Archie blend into the staff as they patrol the classic tiled floors and counter service to cook and serve their specialties. Route 9 Diner's menu and pricing—like a superhero's nightclubbing alter ego—is subject to change after 9 p.m.
Former longtime waitress Brenda Tresk owns and operates Norm's, which serves a menu of delicious diner fare 24 hours a day. Breakfast maintains Most Important Meal and Best Smile titles with all-day dishes of kielbasa omelets ($9.49) and oven-cured biscuits draped in tasty sausage gravy ($4.89). Sweet servings of silver dollar pancakes ($3.11) or thick planks of texas french toast ($4.49) balance out savory plates, and lunches such as a pastrami Reuben sandwich with fries and coleslaw ($10.29) quell midday midsection rumbles. As guests dine on satisfying portions, Norm’s Americana-infused space, filled with art-deco chrome accents and a resident jukebox, evokes misty memories of a simpler time when everyone wore leather jackets and no one spoke Russian.