Diners’ oversize booths and oversize pies have long been beacons of hope for teens dumped after prom and frowny clowns looking for new novelty-size props. Take refuge in the crispy crust of an old-fashioned eatery with today’s Groupon: for $6, you get $12 worth of classic American fare at Hot Rods 50’s Diner in Alcoa.
Amid a neon-lit retro backdrop, Hot Rods 50’s Diner serves up a sock-hopping menu of burgers, malts, and other midcentury classics. A host of meat tributes includes the bacon sloppy joe ($5.99) and homemade chili with Angus beef ($1.99 for a cup; $2.99 for a bowl). Burger aficionados find variety in the diner’s between-bun selections, including veggie and turkey varieties and the Chubby burger ($16.99), which the kitchen team stacks with three patties, cheese, and twist-ready accoutrements totaling 30 ounces. Slurping drinkable ice cream in the form of a shake, malt, or float ($2.59–$2.99) proceeds smoothly on old-fashioned stools at a soda-fountain counter, with jukeboxes and pinball machines supplying a more nostalgic American soundtrack than Betsy Ross rapping “The Star-Spangled Banner.” An outdoor patio complements indoor booths and glossy formica tables, all overseen by era-accurate knickknacks and collections of vintage parking tickets.
Hot Rods 50’s Diner
Hot Rods 50's Diner’s checkered linoleum floors, white countertop, and automotive-themed decor transport guests back to a simpler time, when cars were red and shiny. Tunes drone from the jukebox as chefs whip up a sock-hopping menu of burgers, beer-battered onion rings, hoagies, and other midcentury classics. At the soda-fountain counter, staff members blend shakes and malts while gossiping above the bells and pained cries of pinball machines, Servers carry plates of classic American fare to the outdoor patio or formica tables surrounded by booths, all suspended in time by a collection of vintage photographs, license plates, and gas-station signs.