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Oakland, CA

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Make Way For Progress! Posted on 01/25/2002.

If I had known of the troubles facing Jones Diner, I'd have made an effort to patronize the establishment when I visited NYC last weekend... When I lived in New York from 1994-1996, I lived a few blocks from the diner, and would eat there with some frequency--less than 5 dollars got you a very filling breakfast, including some excellent buttermilk pancakes. It is also a delightful look back in American culinary history, what with the counter, the booths, and those pies in the case that never ever seem to change.

If the diner does go away, it will just be another incident in that peculiarly American tradition of continual change. And while it would be a little sad, well, That's The Way Things Are. But I find the comments from the guy who wants to build a new three-story diner on the same spot ("We are all about eggs and burgers. We want that classic diner feel.") so tellingly inane that the various commissions involved should block the new development on the grounds of cluelessness.

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Your comments on Jones Diner made me nostalgic for Wayne's Diner, a little establishment across the street from the University of Saskatchewan that a number of my friends patronized regularly. Wayne's was a Saskatoon cultural landmark more for its tenacity than its "Canadian and Chinese" food - my parents remembered its presence when they were university students at the same school. Generally speaking, Wayne's food was terrible - greasy greasy burgers and fries, bland wonton soup, and egg rolls that needed a good wringing-out - but he had a knack with Curried Beef Fried Rice that none of us was able to mimic in our own kitchen. Wayne's is closed now - Wayne and his wife retired and a new business has already tried and failed in the same location. I wonder if Wayne honoured his promise to give my friend D'arcy a copy of the fried rice recipe when he retired...
Posted by StacyK @ 01/25/2002 10:10 AM PST [link to this comment]

First clue that something's not a real diner: more than one story. Hey, I'm a Jersey girl, I know these things.

True diners don't have stories, they inspire them.
Posted by Jen @ 01/25/2002 07:30 PM PST [link to this comment]

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