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Diner Blues

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It’s the kind of place you go on a Saturday. You know the place. A small bell, attached to the top of the door rings when you open it, local newspapers are strategically and invitingly placed on empty tables and two waitresses serve the same daily breakfast specials (with slight variation) you’ve eaten since…. well… forever.  Casual dress is best, ponytails and baseball hats are the standard.

Coffee is .89 cents. Oatmeal is $1.00. Leaving no tip is a criminal offense and the unspoken price of admission is (a-hem) news. Not world news. Not political news. Not entertainment news. YOUR NEWS. Tidbits you pass along casually, as if you didn’t know it was expected. I mean, how else would the diner-information-superhighway and thus the small town gossip/rumor mill perpetuate itself, if not for the very local-est of local news?

Welcome to the Sunrise Café. A virtual pillar in our community. Serving the best $2.00 breakfast and hottest local news in town since I was sixteen … and celebrating my love for vintage everything, I thought you might like to share breakfast with me … I do hope you like oatmeal.

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89 replies »

  1. What a lovely way to spend the morning. The price is certainly right, but can I get a side order of breakfast sausages with that oatmeal? And freshly squeezed orange juice? Or am I asking for too much? And as for ponytails, that will have to be you. I can supply my own baseball cap.

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  2. Love old diners and cars! Great pictures! And there is something oh so special about these little “joints”. No matter where I visit, a search for THE diner is on the menu!

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    • I do too 😀 …that’s exactly how I order my oatmeal (yummm) Thank you for your compliment on my age— but I passed the legal drinking age of 21 quite some time ago ❤

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  3. Ooh, I love diner breakfasts. I think I’ll have an egg over easy, homefries and bacon~ unless they have really good French toast with REAL maple syrup (I am from New England, after all)! 😉
    Florida has such awesome vintage cars – love your pics!

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    • Thank you so much Eliza! I HIGHLY recommend the French Toast (which oddly I prefer to pancakes) the Maple Syrup is also deliciously authentic~ believe it or not, I’m not a huge vintage car nut, but I do love their emblems ❤ ❤

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  4. Perfect. You have THE eye for vintage.
    Now correct me if I’m wrong: 89 Cents a coffee? that was in 1957, right? Or do you have an all-year round pass to the Twilight zone?
    Be good. Or bad. (More fun)
    🙂

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    • Hey Brian 🙂
      No you are not wrong~ .89 cents it is– but BELIEVE me when I say, it’s hot, black and cheap… nothing of the Blue Mountain quality I assure you. And if you knew it’s location, you might better understand the prices hahah- it is in an incredibly small, small town (next to the town I live in…) and right next to a restaurant called, “The Mason Jar…” the name alone should be explanation enough lol~ (no I have never eaten there.)

      The Twilight Zone you say? No… but I have often thought since I moved back here from Jax that I had entered it.

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  5. You did such a great job describing this place I know I’ve been to such places, like the Good Food Cafe on Hwy 58. Small town memories. You should write more. Loved the photos too especially the Olds. Thank you for the blues. 🙂

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    • Thank you very much~ there are a lot of places like this where I live 🙂 …and I had no idea that was an Oldsmobile until my 3rd U-Turn ….ok so Im no expert on cars 🙂

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  6. What a great post west! ❤ This is an aspect of your culture that's fascinating to an ol' Brit like me! We have our tea rooms and, perhaps more like you, the 'transport cafés' where truckers go for breakfast – sausage, egg 'n chips – but nothing quite like your diner! All that vintage colour is fab too! Is that your car I wonder?! 😀

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    • Thank you Jane! ❤ "Transport Cafes" … now that's a great name for what we commonly call a "Truck Stop" …. I like your name much better~ somehow it sounds so much….. cleaner…? lolol

      I couldn't resist processing these images by heightening the vintage blues and green under/overtones. Colors that are to me– almost as good as a plate of egg n' chips 😀

      The car… I drove past that accidentally actually I was lost while trying to take an unfamiliar 'short cut.' I really loved the emblem on the back – and had not idea what kind of car it was at first– not until my 3rd pass did I see the "Oldsmobile" name on the front. lol…I'm not too swift with cars I'm afraid– especially the older ones. 🐻 ❤ 🐻

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      • I don’t think ‘clean’ comes into it somehow with the average transport café! I love that vintage colouring – I’ll have to see if I can work it out myself, always love the photos you do like that! An Oldsmobile ah, that’s what it is – just gorgeous! 🙂 🙂

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  7. West nothing like old diners – like stepping back in time and a place to savor the specialness of it. Enjoyed your post and here’s to oatmeal, love the stuff w/cinnamon and sugar.

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    • Thank you! I love them as well, I think they are a very unique facet of the American culture 🙂 …and yes to the cinnamon and sugar on oatmeal –yummm ❤

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    • That’s probably my favorite image in this set– A great deal I’d say for $4.50 😀 …I should have mentioned that adding eggs and bacon changes the price to be about what you paid– but the coffee is still just .89 ❤

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  8. West517,
    I love oatmeal! The next time I do a photo shoot I would love to find an old diner to try and capture the feeling… great shots by the way!

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    • This is a GREAT set. I really like the image of you wife? (I’m guessing) with the other girl– and the first black and white with the maroon shirt- very cool. I love these little places, but finding one that is genuinely “old” vs. a refurbished place can be something of a challenge… but part of the fun. Best wishes and do share your link if you find one! 🙂 Happy Hunting ~

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for inviting us to breakfast with you…these places are great – food is just fine, although nothing special – but what is special is the atmosphere and the history embedded in every grease stain behind the counter.

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    • Well said!! “Food is just fine…” EXACTLY. Nothing special, just everyday– that could be part of it’s charm, sometimes I think some of the most alluring things are found in the every day rhythms of our life, grease stains and all– especially BACON grease stains ❤

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  10. No Mcercury Blues with that Olds. 🙂 We have the New York Bagel Cafe in Panama, and it is about 50% ex-pats and tourists and 50% local. We have tertulias (discussions) there, and some say they are : “going to the office”. 🙂

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    • 🙂 A gorgeous blue car to be sure! I haven’t been to Panama in a few years– is it near Panama City? “going to the office” … that’s a very apt description of what sometimes happens here ❤

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      • yes, in Panama City, in the Cangrejo (crab) neighborhood, an area that is ageing with a little grace, PTY as they say here, which is actually the international airport code. I had to listen to Steve Miller’s Mercury Blues, for sure.

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      • OK yes! I know PTY 😀 I’ve been there quite a few times. I stay at the Riande Hotel- do you know it?

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  11. Mmmmmmm, this sounds like the perfect place, as your description “A small bell, attached to the top of the door rings when you open it…” instantly brings back great memories of my home town. There is nothing quite like having a seat at a diner where you know all the secrets (and they know all yours). I think I miss this most about not being around the States as much as I’d like to be. Places like the Sunrise Café are treasures, and when I do travel those are the ones I like to seek out… Beautiful photos West, that great vintage touch and feel ~ makes me wish I was back in another time.

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    • Thank you! 🙂 I’m so happy you like them and that they gave you a little taste of “home…” I usually prefer this little café to Starbucks (don’t tell anyone :))) )and to this day Jose, (a portly, short order cook would-be chef) still makes the BEST PBJ Sandwich and Chocolate milkshake in the greater Orlando area– trust me, I am quite a connoisseur of said sandwiches 🙂 of course I will be happy to help you find this particular Sunrise should your travels ever lead you here. 🙂

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      • Ha, yes indeed that is the very reason I love such cafés as they have character ~ both there in person as well as on the walls… PBJ and milkshake, I am there. My two biggest weaknesses to this day (PBJ are a staple for me in China). Will have to find my way down your way ~ as that is an offer one day when I’m 120 years old I will be able to reflect on happily 🙂 And same for you if you find yourself over here, dying for a nice dumplings restaurant 🙂 Cheers ~

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