So yesterday, for the first time ever, Alex and I decided to go to Ford News Diner. Have you seen this place? It’s a little storefront located at 358 Main Street, almost right next to the Main Street Market where Froyo World, New England Emporium, and the It’s Only Natural Restaurant are.
Anyway, at 11:30 on a Sunday morning, we stumbled down Court Street towards the diner. By 11:50, we were being welcomed in and offered to “sit wherever you want," and by 11:51, the magic began.
Ford News Diner is not your typical breakfast experience, or maybe that's exactly what it is, either way, its old school, neighborhoody, fairly funky vibe is what gives it its charm. The space is small, with seats arranged at a counter, as well as a few small tables.
The “kitchen” is pretty much comprised of a large skillet and some other cooking appliances, all located directly in front of the counter. I found this infinitely thrilling. It’s like American hibachi. You’re never given a menu. Instead, the choices, which are the farthest thing from original, eggs, bacon,home fries, pancakes, and a few other options, are listed on boards on the wall. They also serve lunch, a variety of sandwiches and some blue plate specials.
The waitress appeared literally seconds into our journey at Ford News. “Coffee?” She inquired. Alex took some, I ordered an herbal tea. BAM. They were there. We have absolutely no complaints about the service. “How many years have you guys been opened?” I asked the waitress. “Fifty!” She responded. “Who owns it?” “Oh, she does!” The waitress pointed to a lady who was casually chatting with some customers.
“Hey! How long have you owned this place?” The waitress shouted across the restaurant? “Twenty-nine years.” The owner replied. “Oh, these girls wanted to know.” The owner stood up and came to sit at a stool next to us. “Are you from Wesleyan? Come more often!” She urged us, then she sat, quietly keeping us company, until we had successfully ordered and received our food. Let it be known that this all happened exceedingly fast.
After giving us about half a minute (which is all the time you need) to peruse the menu, the waitress took our order. I got the number one special, two eggs any style (I got egg whites), with toast, coffee or tea, and home fries. Alex got the number six, an egg and cheese sandwich on a hard roll with bacon or sausage (she got sausage), served with coffee and home fries. Within seconds of having written down our order, the paper was immediately handed to one of the two women on cooking duty, and again BAM!
They brushed some oil onto the skillet, cracked the eggs, legitimately threw Alex’s sausage onto the hot surface, tossed the bread into the toaster, swiftly buttered the hard roll and put it on the grill to warm, and then like magic, are heaping piles of breakfast deliciousness were sitting in front of us.
The whole experience of watching your food be made is probably one of the best reasons to go to Ford News. It’s the kind of breakfast you always try to make yourself at home, but it never turns out as good as it would’ve been out. Why? Because those ladies are pros. With a menu that small, everyone ends up ordering more or less the same thing, so they can probably extract the whites from an egg shell in their sleep.
They know exactly how long it takes to cook a sausage, and the perfect amount of butter to slab on a roll. As proven by the bread tossing game they seemed to be playing with everybody’s toast, their aim isn’t so bad either. So how was the food? Honestly? It was pretty delicious. The home fries were incredibly well seasoned and moist. Alex loved her sandwich, which was perfectly proportioned and buttered to perfection. I have absolutely no complaints about my egg whites. And for $5.25? I really did feel like I got a deal!
Nothing at Ford News Diner is spectacular. Don’t come in expecting a unique or artisanally prepared meal. If that’s what you’re looking for, go to O’Rourke’s. It’s also not a good option if you’re craving a crazy omelette with every ingredient under the sun. If that’s what you’re looking for, Athenian is your best bet. No, come to Ford News Diner for a quick, cheap, and typical American breakfast, where you’re sure to find friendly service, good company, and a darn good meal.
- Ari Rudess
Have you been to the Ford News Diner? What do you think?
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