What’s the best diner in your town?

As we all know from Lee Child’s thrillers, Jack Reacher feels very much at home in a good, greasy diner. FBI Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar of the Hunt for Jack Reacher Series are no strangers to greasy spoons while they’re traveling, either.


Diners are underrated, aren’t they? They’re often open late, you don’t have to get dressed up, and they serve you food  you might be embarrassed to order it anywhere else.

In Get Back Jack, Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar go to a diner in Mexico and find the establishments’ universal characteristics:

“This diner was like every diner. Open floor plan, no privacy, brightly lit, inexpensively furnished, kid friendly. Breakfast served all day, sandwiches for lunch and dinner. No alcohol. Constant coffee.”
Get Back Jack by Diane Capri

In my upcoming newest Hunt for Reacher thriller, Jack and Joe, Otto and Gaspar go to Texas. I’m not sure they’ll have time for fine diner dining while they’re in Texas, but if they did they might visit Biscuits and Groovy in Austin, TX. Check this out:

Greasy Spoon - Biscuits and Groovy

It’s the Donna Summer: “Three freshly baked buttermilk biscuits smothered in white pepper gravy with three scrambled eggs, sausage, Colby jack cheese and chives.”

Does this meal have your stomach growling or revolting? I guarantee Carlos Gaspar would scarf this down!

In another recent blog post, I featured a top diner in Nashville — the Hermitage Cafe.

So what is it about diners that makes Jack Reacher feel at home? And Kim Otto? And Carlos Gaspar? And you and me and millions around the world, but especially Americans? Diners deliver simple pleasures: grilled cheese, burgers, milkshakes. Coffee, eggs, biscuits. Comfortable prices, and booths we slide into with ease. Diners accept us as we are, which is what home is all about.

What’s the best diner where you live?

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

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8 Responses to What’s the best diner in your town?

  1. norm hauer July 14, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    The best diner in our town is the Frenchman’s cafe in Richfield,Mn.

    • Diane July 14, 2015 at 10:05 am #

      Looks like it’s got a jukebox and burgers. I’m sold!!! 🙂

  2. Alison July 14, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    What is with you Americans and white gravy……. Just the look of it turns me off. Gravy should be brown and only on things like turkey chicken or roasts.

    But then there are people here in Ontario and Quebec which put gravy and cheese curds on french fries.

    Both are just so wrong.

    • Diane July 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

      Yes, Alison — cheese curds are a little disturbing, aren’t they? I guess white gravy is, too. But diners here keep serving it so it must be a hit!

  3. Steve July 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    While they aren’t what I would call the best dining in town, the ubiquitous Waffle House diners are the type Reacher would probably visit. They’re prevalent here in Mississippi and in Alabama, Louisiana and, I believe, Florida. Some still have juke boxes and they offer the friendly, down home, yet anonymous, service Reacher would probably prefer.

    • Diane July 16, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

      Can’t go wrong with a Waffle House, right? And yes, Steve, I can vouch for them being prevalent in Florida!

  4. Dianna Slowey-Thomas July 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    honestly while traveling I’ve been fortunate enough to hit some really good old fashioned diners, but in Tampa (hometown) you can’t beat Famous Amos. For that matter,Jacksonville has them too and they are dependently consistent in their food quality and menu. But to be fair, IHOP can’t be beat. You see people in their pj’s and no one says a thing. Open 24 and breakfast the whole time with an endless supply of coffee and great home made pies!

    • Diane July 16, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

      Breakfast served all day long can be such a treat. When you want breakfast, you want breakfast!

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