Tag Archives: Cool restaurant angles

Diner Critique: St. Francis Fountain (San Francisco, CA)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 3

Moving is always seismic. Not only does it involve adjusting to a brand new physical space, but all the tangential aspects of everyday life shift too. New doctors, new places to run, new routes to work…

And when you write a diner blog, a new go-to neighborhood diner.

St. Francis Fountain was within walkable distance from my new house, in my new city in my newly car less world. Clearly it was only a matter of time. Continue reading

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Diner Critique: Cooperstown Diner (Cooperstown, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 5

If you’re in Cooperstown, N.Y., chances are you’re there for baseball (with the exception of locals and those seeking out Brewery Ommegang of course).  Baseball and food go hand and hand however (see slideshow for details), and that’s why an establishment like the Cooperstown Diner needs to fit into your travel plans. It may appear less extravagant than that hall just down the street, but there’s just as much charm and value here for baseball purists and the rest of us alike.

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Diner Critique: Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn (Angelica, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 3

The saying goes it’s about the journey not the destination, right? On that criteria alone, the best diner in the world is located in rural western New York.

You really need to be in the know and have true breakfast passion to make your way to Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn. It’s only open from the beginning of February through the beginning of April.  The closet cities are Buffalo and Rochester… and each manages to be about an hour and a half away. If it wasn’t for a PBS breakfast special, this wouldn’t have even been on my radar.

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Diner Week Critique: Funk N’ Waffles (Syracuse, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

DirectionsWeb siteOverall Rating: 5

What is a diner? In the past I’ve found folks who define it based on cuisine and the smartest man in CNY diners has his own six-point checklist.  Can a diner double as a locale for the best local (and eventually national) bands to perform while in town? Can it sell vinyl and local art on the side? Can you place it in a space below one of the Top 50 college bars in America?

Funk N’ Waffles answers yes to all those. A self-proclaimed cafe started near Syracuse University by two grads has become a go-to hangout for students and community members alike.  Folks come for the music, the atmosphere or perhaps the Gimme! Coffee, but no matter the reason FnW seems to have something everyone can like. Continue reading

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Diner Critique: Roscoe Diner (Roscoe, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

DirectionsWeb siteOverall Rating: 4

That isn’t even the sign out front of The Roscoe Diner… it’s the sign greeting you as soon as you enter the town of Roscoe. I never heard of the “World Famous” Roscoe Diner before embarking on my dead diner journey, but apparently many others have. The diner has its own Wikipedia entry outlining its brushes with fame. Rudy Guiliani campaigned there and Jets’ CB Darrelle Revis did too (for a contract, not a Senate seat though).

I’ve never come across a diner with such inherent hype and couldn’t pass the opportunity to see for myself. Despite the ESPN Jets’ beatwriter’s take, The Roscoe Diner might not be truly world famous but it’s certainly a worth-wild stop along NY-17.  Continue reading

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Songs of the World Cup Critique: Kelly’s Dockside Cafe (Ithaca, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 4

“Kelly’s Dockside Cafe” to the tune of “God Bless America

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Diner Critique: The All-Night Eggplant (Syracuse, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 4

The only time I’d ever been to the All-Night Eggplant as an undergrad was with one of my sophomore year roommates. He was your typical college student who half-practiced the religion he was raised in, and the Eggplant became a favorite destination because of his Jewish eating restrictions. There were date nuts, fun NYC diner lingo all over the menu, Mel Brooks posters covering the walls and lox prominently featured as a breakfast sammich and omelet filling. I went back with another friend during Hanukkah 2009 and have to say it didn’t disappoint this time around either (no word on whether SU Men’s BBall folks Kris Joseph and Wesley Johnson were there eating kosher though). Continue reading

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