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.
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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.
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.