The Original Dinerant

300 SW 6th Ave

Portland OR 97204

originaldinerant.com

 

Ok. This is not going to be an elegantly formatted blog.  I’m only back in my hotel room a few moments after enjoying an AWESOME breakfast!  This made possible by my twin cousin who recommend I check it out. Boy he was soooo right!

The Original Dinerant has a very old school feel with a new order vibe.  Located on the corner of Oak and SW 6th Ave.  There’s a light rail stop right in front.  Plenty of parking in  area.  Easy access to walk up.  Bottom line: get there if you can.

I enjoyed the Foraged Mushroom Omelet with HUGE hash browns (some of the finest I’ve had anywhere!), and a side of sourdough toast (they ran out of rye…normally a detractor, but in this case, not at all!).

I also topped the omelet with Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce.  It didn’t need the extra flavor, but I was looking for a little kick to start my day.  

The hash browns were superbly prepared with a golden, crisp outer shell and a delectable, perfectly cooked spud inside.

I hope this post isn’t totally discombobulated. I normally wait to get home and tap it out on my laptop.  And I also know it’s been a long while since my last post, but the Original Dinerant is that awesome!

THANKS CUZ!!!

July 28, 2019

 

Highland Park Diner
960 Clinton Ave S
Rochester, New York 14620

 

highland-park-diner.com

 

 

 

 

[Oops…forgot to publish this one in July…]

I have only been to Rochester on layover once before, and that was when the icky frozen stuff was piled up.  This visit, I had the time to get out and walk on a beautiful Sunday morning in the Empire State. 

To my pleasant surprise, I passed several potential candidates–very cheeky and cute places…but not exactly a diner.  My heart was kind of set on finding a diner.   I whipped out the old iPhone and to my surprise, within a mile, there was what looked like a good old fashion diner!

As I walked through the neighborhood, this very well kept.  The architecture smacked of old meeting new.  It appeared a very deliberate effort was made, and successfully may I add, to bring a younger demographic into a well established neighborhood.  Many of the businesses and cafe-type places I passed were teaming during the mid-morning hours with a wide variety of folks.  It was very welcoming and warm atmosphere. Anyway…

I trundled down several streets and asa I tuned the corner, the Highland Park Diner jumped out at me, and instantly I knew I had the right place for breakfast. There parking lot was filling up, and the tables outside were filling up fast.  Fortunately for me, when I went inside, the counter had space for me, and even before my butt cheek hit the stool, the waitress was getting me a cup of coffee.

The pictures in this post don’t do it justice, but it was a no kidding traditional diner.  The menu was awesome, and for a minute I considered having a milkshake for breakfast,  I sat right under a chalkboard that listed a tasty array of frozen delights.  

I resisted and settled for a traditional breakfast.  Got the Greek Omelet, spuds, and rye toast. It was awesome!  

So much on their menu looked inviting.  You can check them out (and their entire menu) on FaceBook or their website.  

I really enjoyed Rochester, and look forward to checking out more as trips permit…that is as long as its not when the white stuff isn’t piled up outside.

Definitely go to Highland Park Diner if you get to Rochester!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2019

 

Cafeteria 15L
1116 15th Street
Sacramento, California 95814

 

cafeteria15l.com

 

 

 

 

 

Some schedules are harder on the body than others. This layover in Sacramento was slated for about a 9 am arrival with a van time later that day of 10 pm. After sleeping during the day, we flew the all night, red eye to Chicago for about a 5:30 am arrival. 

Red eyes are tough because you need to sleep during the day usually way outside of your circadian rhythm.  Everyone comes up with a strategy to cope with this, and if all else fails you can always call “fatigued” so you don’t have to fly in an unsafe situation.  It’s a part of the job, so you need to deliberately learn how to cope with these situations.

For me, especially after multiple deployments and decades of military life, odd rest cycles are normal. Pilots that have been in the airline biz for a few years also learn how to deal with it.  The newer folks may find it a bit daunting.  Resting before a red eye is not typically something a young budding bird-man/-woman thinks about until they’re faced with the situation.  It’s definitely doesn’t fit the stereotypical, sexy, adventurous notion of airline life.  Anyway…

My red eye strategy is: not drink copious amounts of coffee on the flight (only just enough to stay alert), haul butt to the hotel after landing, find a good comfort-food meal, run the temp in the hotel room as low as it can go, keep the room fan on “high” for the white noise (maids and folks in haul are normal during daytime), and bury myself in a pile of pillows and blankets.

I like to eat a filling meal, but there is a breakpoint where if I eat too much, I can’t get to sleep right away. I’m looking for that perfect food-coma level.  On this trip I almost overdid it, but found the PERFECT meal for the situation.

Several captains had told me to get the Chicken & Waffles at Cafeteria 15L.   I usually go on the word of one person, but this place got highlighted by several folks.  Game on!

The captain I was flying with and I got to the hotel to change, I prepared Antarctica for my sleep, and then we walked on over to grab a bite to eat. It was a short walk along the edge of capital park on a beautiful Saturday morning.   Our timing was perfect and were seated immediately.  We had a good vibe walking up as the restaurant seemed vibrant and with great aromas emanating.  It also had a very cherry Chevy Chevelle parked right outside the front door.  Out interest and expectations were high at this point. 

As soon as we sat down the waitress was prompt to ask us if we would like something to drink.  Had we not had to fly later, the Bloody Marys looked good.  We both got water and a flavored lemonade. Mine was Blackberry infused, and had a bit of fizz to it so they must have topped it with 7UP, or something similar. Very refreshing and not too sweet. Considering my brain wanted coffee because it was morning, but knew it would totally screwup my chances for sleep, the lemonade was perfect.

We ordered–I told the waitress the Chicken and Waffles came highly recommended, and she very energetically agreed.  Seemed like a no brained at this point.  Then my eye caught a glimpse of some truffle oil and Parmesan tater tots on the menu.  So, what goes better with carb-loaded fried chicken and thick Belgium style waffles?  More starch!  Yes, this was shaping up to be a gut-buster.

To cut to the chase, the Chicken was awesome!  Slight taste of pepper in the breading, and perfectly deep fried.  The waffles added a sweetness that complemented it well.  Adding to the savory aspect, the dish was served with a sausage and sage (I think) dippin’ gravy. Oh my!

The tots were excellent too.  I had to stop eating something because I could feel myself filling up not even half way thru the meal.  The tots didn’t get finished because the main event that had been recommended by others really was soo gooood! 

Overall, the meal was fantastic and I managed to fill to the point of promoting food coma without a sleep killing overstuffed stomach. 

If you get to Cafeteria 15L, it’s a wonderful place to meet and enjoy a long meal/cocktails with friends.  Indoor and outdoor seating is available and comfortable, if the weather is agreeable.    And as was recommended to me repeatedly, yes try the Chicken & Waffles.   I’m not an aficionado and have only had the Chicken & Waffles a couple times before in my life, so I don’t have much to compare it against, but this dish here is truly wonderful.

Cheers!

 

 

June 29, 2019

Marcy's Diner
47 Oak Street
Portland, Maine 04101

 

 

 

 

Well, it’s been a while.  Lots of “stuff” going on that had my attention for a while.  Things are starting to find their new normal now.  I also came across an absolutely wonderful hole in the wall, so I though it time to start sharing again.  

I discovered this gem last Saturday morning during a stroll in Portland, Maine.  I’d never been before, and heard a bunch about it from other pilots.  

The regional jet gang I used to share a crashpad with a few years ago had mentioned this airport and layover several times.  They all seemed to love flying the visual approach that lands to the west.  The constantly changing flight path comes in over some gorgeous terrain and shoreline.  Unfortunately for me, it was dark and overcast when we arrived, so we flew a straigh-in instrument approach almost to minimums.

The next morning, I finally got to appreciate the area, when I left the hotel.  It was as scenic as they said, AND this diner was a huge find along the way.

The place was hopping–a dozen or so folks standing outside as I walked up.  Fortunately for me, I was solo, so I was quickly seated at the breakfast bar, with a perfect view of the cook and griddle.  I was about to get a front row seat to food excellent in Marcy’s Diner.

I got several evil looks as I was escorted to my seat, but as soon as I tasted the food, those glances became very easy to ignore.

The restaurant had a good mix of locals and visitors.  The staff also payed special attention to the kiddos.  The atmosphere was classic diner with great tunes on the sound system.  A very relaxed vibe as artists like Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac filled the air. 

As I sat hovering behind the cook, I watch a good cross-section of breakfasts prepared and plated.  French toast, pancakes, burritos, eggs of all kinds, and muffins…OH, THE HOMEMADE MUFFINS!

I settled in on the Hobo Hashbrowns with two eggs, sunny side up on top — a huge pile of freshly cooked hash browns were blended with an array of peppers, onions jalapeños, and cheese.  I was hungry, but it was a challenge.  I probably should have ordered a half-order.  But then again, it was soo good I didn’t care. 

It wouldn’t have been so bad, had I not seen one of the giant homemade muffins being prepared for someone else.  They looked so good!  They were pulled from the oven, cut in half, had some butter spread on, and then warmed on the griddle next to the good lookin’ (and great smelling) pancakes & French toast.  (See Pictures!!)  

All will power was lost, and I ordered the last “special of the day;” a caramel-apple piece of heaven. OOOOOOOHHHHH!!!

Mandy, seemed to be expediting and directing traffic behind the counter as she prepared the muffins, pancakes, and French toast.  The cook, Julian, was grooving to the tunes, and pumping out plate after plate of good looking dishes.  

Both were extremely friendly and willing to talk to the guy who obviously wasn’t from around this parts.  My Chicago accent still pops out from time to time, and it was easy to tell I wasn’t from Maine (or anywhere near New England).

As I watched in amazement, I started to notice the care and attention both were giving to the prep.  Most dive diners I’ve been in are good, but tend to be on the greasy-spoon (literally) side, when it comes to preparation.  Not here.  Both were constantly tidying up, wiping down, and changing gloves.  My family used to be in the meat market business, and I recognized some of their solid practices to make sure there wasn’t any cross-contamination, and insure quality control.  

The food all came off of the two griddles, and yet the tastes were distinct and fresh.  It was some of the best diner grub I’ve ever had, and I let them know that.

I sat there for just over and hour cleaning my plate, and wasn’t once pressured to hurry up and make room for the next customer.  Customer service was A+.  The overall experience was A++.  Mandy and Julian both invited me back, and I guarantee I will go again when I get this layover.  Heck, I’d even go there on a day or two off to see more the sights in the greater-Portland area, and just to eat there again.  Marcy’s is that good!

I encourage you all to get to Marcy’s Diner.  Bring a huge appetite, and cash.  No plastic accepted.  The prices are reasonable, and well worth the ATM fees.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

August 11, 2018

S & S Diner
2699 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Florida 33137

 

 

 

 

Miami is a special place.  Over several decades, it has seen some very interesting times and changes.  Through it all, the architecture and culture have remained uniquely Miami.  

Current day finds Miami living through a building extravaganza.  You can’t go a quarter mile without seeing renovations or new construction that harkens back to the city’s historic architecture and palate.  It seems like the “powers that be” with regard to the zoning and architecture, have preserved a uniquely Miami-modernistic, pastel infused style.  BIG bucks are being pumped into modern-day Miami.  I’ll never be able to afford a place here, but at least I get to visit.

Layovers for our company include flying into FLL (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International) and MIA (Miami International Airport).  Regardless, either provides opportunity to see and experience a variety of what Miami offers, as far as culture and good eats!

For this blog, we had an unexpected layover, very late in the day (or should I say early morning) at MIA. Florida weather being what it is, we got delayed for several hours due to thunderstorms.  After a day of dodging thunder bumpers, diverting, refueling, and then and finding the smoothest rides possible into MIA, we unfortunately “timed out” of duty day.  

The FAA and NTSB have done some wonderful research, as a result of some fatigue related accidents and incidents, to regulate and protect pilots and passengers from the insidious effects of fatigue.  Now, there are very clear and specific rules in place now to insure the pilots you fly with aren’t being overstretched and pushed to fly into unsafe situations, with regard to ever-lengthening duty days.  Pilots are empowered by federal regulations to be able to tap-out when they reach a fatigue level that could negatively impact the safe conduct of the flight.  Preserving the wellbeing of the crew and passengers is paramount.  From the the passengers perspective, It can be seen as a real inconvenience, if you’re on a flight where the pilots elect to exercise this responsibility, but the alternative can be potentially catastrophic.  In my few years of flying in the industry, I can say I have never seen or heard of a pilot team using this option to get out of work.  It is a serious situation, and the company, union, and FAA look at each ‘fatigue out’ occurrence  to help determine what caused it.  The events are closely tracked and cataloged to help improve overall safety by avoiding future the events that could lead to a similar fatigue situation, if at all possible.  

Anyway…

In our situation, we didn’t fatigue out, but the rules in place drove us to canceling the last scheduled leg of the day because we would have had too long of a duty day.  The system worked.

After a goodnights sleep, I woke up to a wonderful view of Port Miami, and several condo constructions projects.  Feeling a need to stretch my legs, I got up and started walking north on Biscayne Boulevard.  Within 15 minutes I found a gem of a spot for a uniquely Miami breakfast and Cuban Coffee! 

S & S Diner is a tiny place and easily overlooked.  Had I not been walking past, I would have zoomed past it in traffic.  I am so glad I didn’t. 

As you can see for the pictures, you can sit outside and watch the passersby on Biscayne Blvd.  Considering I hadn’t planned on overnighting in Florida, I only had bluejeans to wear.  I’ve lived in FL in the past, and you do get used to the humidity, but for this short layover, I was not prepared for it–I sat inside enjoying the air conditioning and aromas.  

Looking for something bridge breakfast and lunch, I saw the Grilled Fish of the Day and Eggs.  Served with home potatoes and rye toast, it hit the spot.  The fish (grouper, I believe…I forgot, but it was dang good!) was perfectly done.  I’ve had salmon on Eggs Benedict  before, but to have an entire filet of fish with the golden delight of a sunny side egg oozing over the fish was fantastic!  The potato and rye were perfect for sopping up every last drizzle/bite of egg yoke and fish.  It was also deceptively filling.  

Just as I finished the last forkful, the waiter asked if I would like a Cuban coffee.  Damn skippy I do…”Yes, please!”  A perfect ending to a meal, and a great way to get ready to go fly.  Cuban coffee is probably my favorite vehicle for my caffeine addiction.  Yum!! 

The coffee was delicious, and I wanted to get a second, but I figured more than one might make me too much of a chatterbox for my captain on the first couple legs of the day.  

In preparing to write this blog, I learned from a Miami Herald article online that the S & S Diner (although not the original owners) has over a 79 year history in Miami.  It was in another location for decades, and was forced out by renovations and construction ( I guess this is the double-edged sword of all that construction I discussed early in the blog).  The article by Carlos Frias was very complementary and is worth a read to get a better appreciation of the history of this little gem.  

Regardless of how it got to its current location, I was so please to cross paths with S & S Diner.  Being so close our layover hotel, I will definitely be back.  If you get to Miami proper, I highly recommend you stop in for a bite or a cup of delicious Cuban coffee!!

Cheers!

 

July 14, 2018

McCormick Cafe
2419 Montana Avenue
Billings, Montana 59101

 

mccormickcafe.com

 

As a fighter and bomber pilot in the USAF, you don’t get much exposure flying into civilian airports.  Even the trainer I instructed in had fairly lengthy runway needs, as well as ground support equipment requirements most civil airports couldn’t accommodate.  I did get a few really memorable airshows, but in general, most the flying was around the same flagpole.  
Several of my airline mates, who came up  flying regionals on their way to the mainline, typically got exposed to a wide variety of small markets, somewhat remote, and/or austere airports.  This mismatch in experience usually manifests itself in me being really excited to go somewhere new, and the captains I fly with having flashback to their regional days.
I mention this because most pilots who move to the mainline fleets generally think their regional-type flying is a thing of the past.  Well, not necessarily.  My airline is starting to relook the routes the 150-passenger-type aircraft (like the A320 & 737) are flying.  I currently fly the Airbus 320 and 319, so we’re seeing more very interesting places like Eugene OR, Missoula MT, and Burlington VT.  On this particular trip, I got tagged off of short call reserve to fly a leg to Billings MT.  Yes, the captain had some great stories from days-gone-by, and it was a very memorable layover.

Billings is huge on charm, and McCormick Cafetypified its warmth. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the old McCormick Hotel. Walking in the first thing that struck me were the high, red brick walls with an ornate ceiling and period light fixtures.  The very next thing I couldn’t help but notice was the chalkboard menu, and mouthwatering aromas that drew me even farther into the establishment.

After close study of the menu, I set my sights on the Toucan.  I can honestly say, I was very surprised when it arrived at the table.  I had no idea what a treat I was in for.  As it turns out, the Toucan is kind of like a breakfast calzone.  It was incredible!  Loaded with sausage, scallions and cheese, the savoriness of the main dish was very well complemented with a side of fresh fruit.  It also filled the plate, so the rest of the day, i really didn’t get hungry until our last leg of the day that evening.  Overall, McCormick Cafewas a win-win–great last and penalty of food for the price.

If you ever find yourself in Billings, I can highly recommend the 

McCormick Cafe.  It’s in a really neat setting, and is tasty too!  

Cheers!

June 29, 2018

Schilo's
424 E. Commerce Street
San Antonio, TEXAS 78205

 

Schilos.com

 

 

 

It’s been a crazy summer.  Flying was plentiful, and as a result, keeping up with this blog on my days off dropped in priority.  I don’t intend to blitz you with a single massive post.   My hope is to knock out one a day for the next few days to help catch up.  Here we go…

Visiting Texas you can usually find BBQ and TEX-MEX fare.  But have you ever heard of German-Texan grub?  Yep…German-Texan.  Without getting into a lengthy history lesson, Texas has a few areas/towns that were settled by German immigrants.  This cultural influence is fused and blended into the greater San Antonio area.  It manifests itself nicely just a few yards off the River Walk in the heart of this historic Texas city, in a 100+ year old establishment named Schilo’s.

Wandering in off of Commerce Street, you can quench you Texas-sized thirst with a Texas-brewed Shiner Bock; German-brewed Hefeweizen or Doppelbock; a variety of wines; or for the early risers, a Mimosa or Bloody Mary.  On especially hot days, and for kids of all ages, the root beer floats are thirst quenching too.  Unfortunately for me, this visit was only a few hours before continuing a trip, so it was coffee and water for me. 

After a morning walk on the river, I went to my “go to” breakfast, the Papa Fritz.  Eggs to order, hash browns or grits, toast (yes, rye) and your choice of meat.  Yes, if your looking at the pictures of the breakfast, those sausages are a bit large.  Everything is BIGGER in TEXAS!  The truth is it’s because they are bratwurst–remember the German-Texan influence?  YUM!!!

It was a bit warm out on the June morning I visited, but I also wanted to try something that had caught my eye last visit.  You may notice two coffee mugs next to the plate.  Take a close look at the one on the left,  That is a really awesome, thick, cup of split pea soup.  Delicious!

Schilo’s has a solid selection of uniquely German-TEX fare.  As usual, I over ate, but it was well worth it.  Needless to say I didn’t need to touch a meal until later that evening.  

I love San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country in general.  If you find yourself down on the river, take the time to climb the steps to street level at Commerce Street, look for the Schilo’s signage less than a block away, and wander on in to take a fantastic break.  You won’t be disappointed.

Cheers!

July 1, 2018

 

Savannah Georgia

 

 

Sometimes I miscalculate.  This trip was one of them.  I will correct my errors in the future. 
We arrived really late in Savannah after a wonderful day that started in Miami.  I spent the morning with two very special people I love dearly.  We had a wonderful breakfast, great Cuban coffee, and drove around Miami and South Beach looking at all the booming condo construction and homes not even the most senior airline captain could afford.  Miami is a wonderful city, and it was so nice to see the rejuvenation of the classic architecture along with the new, impressive edifices.  Not snapping pics during this great morning was mistake number one.
From MIA, I flew three legs with surprisingly few thunderstorms, arriving in Savannah for the first time in my life.  A very full day.  It was dark, but flying into Savannah/Hilton Head International was really delightful. Scattered clouds and dark, but the area looked really nice, and being the only jet in the pattern made for quiet, easy, smooth, and quick approach into the aerodrome.  The captain must have been impressed with my landing (or something I did) because he told me he’d get all the rest of the checklist items that put the jet to sleep for the night, and I could say goodnight to the folks as they departed.  I love this part of the job.  
All the folks who fly with us have a unique and important reason for being onboard. It’s always nice to see that that had a good flight. Every now and then they share their stories for why they’re traveling, and everyone of them makes me feel special to know we helped get them where they wanted/needed to be.  It is really cool to still be flying airplanes after over three decades, and serving people at the same time.
The hotel we stayed at was on a sleepy little street; even its bar closed just before we arrived.  So, I made the decision to get a good nights sleep and hit a diner in the morning.  This 16-hour layover would surely allow for some good diner hunting in morning. Oops…mistake number two.
Well, there are a lot of great looking classic diners in very reasonable walking distance, but the really intriguing ones were all closed…Sunday morning.  “Strike Three!”    I lose track of my days so easy on trips—one of the hazards of the life.  Anyway…
It was a beautiful morning and hadn’t topped 90 degrees yet, so I decided to see Savanah on foot with a little run. Wow!
Ok, all my professional stunt drinking family and friends out there (You know who you are!), this looks like a place we have to hit at night, several nights in a row.  The term “Pub Crawl” comes to mind.
I trotted down to the river, which by itself was totally impressive with the HUGE ocean freighters gliding by, tugboats, and even the Coast Guard.  Other than negotiating cobblestone streets and strategic foot placement while running, it was awesome.  Restaurants, pubs, specialty shops, parks, people…fantastic!
I should have headed straight down to the river for a couple hours after checking in to the hotel.  I could have easily rested the morning and afternoon before an evening report time.
I see another blog on a Savannah adventure n the future—so much to see, now that I know better. Top on the list may be The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, The huge Gulfstream Aerospace complex on the airport, the Georgia State Train Museum, and yes the really cool diners.

 

June 12, 2018

 

Wally's Restaurant
1006 N. Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068

 

wallysparkridge.com

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure how long Wally’s has been around, but it’s been at least 30 years because my family and I would frequent this place regularly when I was in high school.  Time is a heck of a test, and Wally’s, thankfully, has weathered the test of time well. 

Wally’s gyro sandwiches are by far the best I’ve ever had anywhere.  They are always loaded with fresh stuffings, tasty Tzatziki sauce, and HUGE.  Because I hadn’t visited in a few years, I wanted to overdose on this lip-licking lamb delight, so I ordered a Gyro Plate.  The oversized plate was overflowing with lamb, veg, and french fries.  Every bite was fantastic.  

Early on after diving into the sea of meat, I realized I was in for a challenge, and the fries were just filler.  For the first time in a long time, I couldn’t clean the plate!  I even took my time enjoying the RC airplanes hanging from the ceiling, as well as the ball game on the TV, but I just couldn’t muscle through it all.  You definitely get your money’s worth here.

I am so glad the schedulers put me on long call this day, allowing me to reacquaint myself with this old friend.  On the corner of Northwest Highway and Oakton Street, it’s not hard to find Wally’s, if your in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  The place has an expanded menu to include burgers (and more), but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Gyros!

Cheers!

 

 

June 10, 2018

Planet Java Diner
72 S Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104

 

planetjavadiner.com

 

 

 

Life in the airlines can take you to really wonderful places, but sometimes commuting (if you don’t live where you start and stop trips from) traps you away from home…unless you’re willing to purchase a REALLY expensive ticket at the last minute.  This is why the last couple weeks have been void of posts.  I got “stuck” at work.  Fortunately, I have a few cool places to share with you.  Additionally, WordPress and BoldGrid, the software I use to manage this site, are awesome on my laptop, but I still haven’t mastered them enough to maintain format and layout continuity on my iPad.  I usually craft posts after I get back home on my laptop.  Eventually I hope to get smarter on how to manage this site better on the road while on my iPad.  Anyway…

I’m beginning to love the Pacific Northwest.  Every time I get a layover there, and even during my Air Force days visiting various installations in the region, I’m more and more impressed.  It’s absolutely stunning from the air as we fly in and out of places like Vancouver, Portland, Eugene, and Medford.  In particular, Seattle is a wonderful place to visit.  For the aviation enthusiast, you have Boeing Field with a variety of cool aircraft on the ramp, as well as the the Aviation Pavilion Museum of Flight to keep in touch with the past.  Seattle also offers a very scenic downtown area with Duck boat rides.  I even saw an outfit offering “underground” tours.  Presumably there are tunnels and other once forgotten hideaways lurking below the bustling streets above.  Next time I get a few hours, I plan on taking a tour.  Oh, and there is no lack of coffee shops for the caffeine fiends out there.  Every turn of every corner seems to have something to offer.  And, thats how I found Planet Java Diner.

At the the hotel, a quick internet search hit me with a ton of possibilities.  It was only 55 degrees out and a little misty, but it was a nice respite from the muggy, hot weather I’d been encountering lately.  Fortunately, I always pack a long-sleeve shirt and light Columbia jacket, even during the summer months for this very reason.  They also come in handy in hot climates for visiting businesses that blast the air conditioning to sub-arctic levels.  I hate being cold.  Well now…enough of the travel packing tips.

So, I’m enjoying the morning walk seeing all the great architecture and historic places like Pioneer Square.  I must have walked a few miles, but it didn’t matter because ever turn was and adventure.  I hadn’t gotten to the waterfront yet, so I blindly took a turn towards the water on South Washington Street.  The tree draped street was quiet, but about halfway down the block, on the sidewalk, a red sandwich sign caught my attention.  As I got closer, I could finally see “Planet Java Diner” with a bold arrow indicating OPEN pointing at doorway I may have passed by had it not been for the sign.  Thank goodness for that lil’ red sign–what a discovery!

Super cozy place with an eclectic array of do-dads and nicknacks scattered all over.  Oodles of character!

The menu had a great selection of items you could oder anytime.  So many good looking items; tough to pick just one.  Considering I was in a wonderful little diner, I elected to go with the “Diner Scramble.”  Loaded with mushrooms, feta, spinach, sausage and onions, it hit the spot.  The enormous side of hash browns, as well as the side of rye toast, made this a perfect breakfast for my brisk brisk walk.

Seattle is a really neat place.  If you find yourself there, go hunting for Planet Java Diner — you will love its charm and taste.  

Cheers!