Nighthawks at the Diner...
So I'm on the prowl for some great diners to visit on my trip to Chi-town in a matter of weeks, it seems. You see, my old man wants to visit his old pal Ed Hopper and I was thinking that later we might slip into some cozy booth in the twilight for some eggs and sausage and a side of toast coffee and a roll.
~Gratuitudes and platitudes...lgt
If you can swing the trip up north to downtown Kenosha, you will find Frank's Diner. Franks is a 1921 diner car thats been in continuos operation since its was pulled to its current location. You sit on a floor mounted swivel stool at a narrow counter and get to watch a short order cook work the grill in front of you from less than 10 ft away. The counter and grill are the center of the place and there is no real dinning room. Since seating is limited, so be prepared to wait because this place is very popular, having been featured on Food Networks "Diner, Drive-in & Dives" this past season. The menu generally consists only of breakfast & lunch items and they usually have a special of the day or two, all the food is homemade (breads, cinnamon rolls etc.). It’s the kind of place where if you go more than once they all know your name. The food is pure and simple, not influenced by today’s low carb, low fat, trans fat scares and trends. Food is prepared the way our grandparents ate since the first diner opened in back the 20’s and has a menu that’s never changed either. I’m talking real butter on buttermilk pancakes as big as your plate, fresh bacon, and hand squeezed OJ.
Franks Diner is frozen in time and a true treasure; they have some of the best eggs, pancakes and tasty burgers you’ll ever eat, and least I forget, it costs only a few bucks, unlike a $20+ sub par breakfast you get at Walkers Bros. or some other places you'll see recommended here.
And lastly; they serve coffee thats strong enough to defend itself....
508 58th St, Kenosha, WI 53140
You should be aware that old-fashioned diners aren't all that prevalent in Chicago the way they are in some other parts of the country (notably the Northeast). Depending on what you're looking for - late hours, or breakfast eats, or "atmosphere", etc - you can probably find what you're looking for here, but it may not be called (or perceived as) a diner. (Just to cite one example, I've never heard Lou Mitchell's called a diner, but it's a long-time place near the train stations just west of the Loop, serving breakfast foods to commuters with similar ambience to East Coast diners - www.loumitchellsrestaurant.com ) It will also help if you indicate which part of the city or suburbs you will be located in.