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How to pick a diner

November 23, 2009

As I have explained before, I’m not the girl who works out as a “change to my lifestyle.” I’m not cutting out ice cream and cookies or hamburgers and fries. Nope, I workout to maintain my lifestyle – the style that includes drive thru windows. I just want to continue my ways as a fast food junkie without requiring bypass surgery at 37. So after working out this morning, I took David to one of my favorite diners for lunch. Mama’s Daughters is not the place to go if you are on a diet. It is also not the place for heart patients, diabetics or the health-conscious. It is, however, fabulous home cookin‘ for the rest of us. It occurred to me while we ate that there are those unfamiliar with the language of Diner Drawl. Allow me to educate you…

There are a few main things you need to look for when choosing a diner:
1) Survey the parking lot – If yours is the nicest car in the lot, your odds are looking good. Be suspicious of any place with luxury vehicles lining the rows. The more beat up Ford pickup trucks, the better.

2) Check IDs – You want to be sure you are in the minority when it comes to the number of people using their AARP discount card to pay for their meal. If you are not the youngest person by a few decades, you aren’t in the right place. If you are surrounded by cute old men wearing hats with fishing lures tied to the seams…you’ve hit the jackpot.

3) Keep your eye on the collars – Diners are not the place for a corporate business meeting, so you want blue collars not white ones. No one knows where to find good home cookin‘ like a man who’s been doing manual labor and has 30 minutes for a lunch break. If you don’t see shirt patches with the logo of an auto, HVAC, plumbing or construction company, you may want to reconsider.

4) Follow the unfashionable – Eating at a diner is about one thing – good food. It’s not the runway. Places claiming to serve home-cooked food where there are 75 people out front in designer gear waiting an hour for a table are not diners. Be suspicious of any establishment where people are dressed in fabrics that require dry cleaning. You are most likely going to spill gravy on your pant leg, so jeans (or the elastic-waisted sweats I wore) are preferable.

Happy dining! Don’t forget to tip your waitress – she has at least 2 other jobs, goes to school and has 4 kids. She works hard and deserves a little extra blessing.

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  • DivaDr175 November 26, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Now you’ve made me hungry for chicken fried steak with white gravy and mashed potatoes. . .on Thanksgiving!! Love the rules and will let you take me to lunch when I come to Dallas.

  • Amanda Watts November 29, 2009 at 3:06 am

    I love that place, I haven’t been there in so long!