Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

As I mentioned during our visit to the Silver Skillet in Atlanta GA, the presence of authentic “boomerang” formica usually means a good meal awaits – as was the case with our breakfast at the Arcade Restaurant in Memphis, TN.

Arcade Restaurant Boomerang Formica(a silly smiling girl in the background doesn’t hurt either!)


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One of the best breakfasts we had on our Retro Road Trip was at The Silver Skillet in Atlanta GA. Homemade biscuits and country ham now, please!

The Silver Skillet Atlanta GA Restaurant Exterior

Opened in 1956 and purchased in 1967 by George Decker, the restaurant is still family owned and operated by his daughter Teresa and her husband Jeff. Here’s a photo of what the Silver Skillet looked like some years ago from Flickr pal Julie Wilson.

As you can see from our photo below they have not really changed the decor in all those years – which is a wise move! Not only because it’s RetroRoadmap Worthy but their “period decor” has made them a location for movies, commercials, videos, and print ads.

Dining Room Silver Skillet Atlanta GAWe had no idea we were in the midst of such fame when we sat down at our boomerang Formica table, but later learned that Diners Drive-ins and Dives had stopped by the Silver Skillet to sample their biscuits and country ham (two of my fave things!) –

You can even see glimpses of our seasoned and sassy waitress in the DDD video – I swear she called RetroRoadhusband hon, sweetie, darling more than I do! Ah, those Southern belles.


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The vintage neon clock on the deco glass brick wall of Tony’s Ice Cream in Gastonia NC clearly showed that it was breakfast time, so we stopped by this family owned and operated business for our first roadfood meal on our retro road trip through North Carolina.

Tony's City Ice Cream Neon Clock
Tony’s has been serving the Gaston County area since 1915, and since 1947 they’ve operated out of this yellow brick building right on the main drag in town. They also make their own ice cream here too, just 20 miles or so outside of Charlotte and a short hop off of 85.
Tony's Ice Cream and Sandwiches Exterior
We parked in the handy parking lot and entered through the side door to find a line of folks waiting for their breakfast fix. I was immediately taken with the tile walls, well kept chrome & red leatherette booths and Formica tables, many of them filled with families and local folks.

Tony's Ice Cream Red Booths
We were still getting our sea legs, this being one of our first food stops on our big retro road trip, so we decided to share a standard breakfast sandwich on toast. Looking at the menu now I wish we had thought to get country ham, or a biscuit or something more adventurous, but am relieved that we didn’t get the liver mush!

Breakfast Menu at Tony's Ice Cream

After placing our order (and trying to ignore the looming vintage scale behind us) we waited at the window for our number to be called, and tried not to get in the way of folks coming in the door. I wanted to grab some photos of the outside of the building so I met RetroRoadhusband out in the car where we unwrapped our delicious amalgam of egg, cheese and the everlovin bacon on white toast.

Breakfast Sandwich from Tony's Ice Cream
Mmmm look at that piece bacon sticking its tongue out!

This was to be one of many meals on the road, and I knew I had a burger in my future, so I graciously allowed RetroRoadhusband to polish off most of this sandwich. Next time we’re going through town I’m definitely getting an ice cream, no matter what time of the day it is!

Tony’s Ice Cream
604 East Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 867-7085

Tony's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

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Thanks to all the Retro Roadmap readers who swung by the closing party at the Doo Wop experience last night – despite the traffic could it have been a more perfect day at the beach?

Special shout out especially to Glen Wells of RoadsideFans.com and Mike Engle of NYdiners.com who won the”farthest distance traveled” award – glad they’ll be able to enjoy some of the great vintage south Jersey Diners they saw at the exhibit, before heading back home.


Speaking of my vintage diner photos I’m just about to head down the street and arrange for them to be displayed at Steel City Coffee on Bridge Street here in Phoenixville, PA. Hopefully this will drum up some interest in those diners as well as the diners around our area!

Other fun things coming up:

Many cool vintage places from my trip to Long Island – diners, luncheonettes, confectioners, hamburger stands n more

I finally visit a roadside burger icon in north Jersey – can you guess which one?

Wacky breakfast in Maine at a 100+ year old seaside staple – on my top 10 list of RetroRoadmap worthy places!

Vintage images of Boston’s theatre district- one of my first inklings of my roadside photography interest

and loads more!

Thanks everyone for the interest and support for RetroRoadmap.com, I hope my enjoyment and fun inspires you to go out and do some RetroRoadmapping of your own!


Mod Betty

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Friends, your pal Mod Betty totally has a permanent case of wanderlust. Knowing that if we left the house today to have breakfast at the Frazer diner down the street in Malvern PA, I may not want to come back to the garage cleaning, laundering, floor washing waiting for us back home, I’m determined to stay put for at least a good portion of this beautiful Sunday. But I do recommend that you visit the Frazer diner  when you’re driving down Route 30  looking for an authentic diner breakfast, surrounded by a well preserved vintage diner interior.

Frazer Diner

According to that handy reference “Diners of Pennsylvania” (written by Lincoln Highway Scholar Brian Butko and Kevin Patrick) The Frazer Diner was established in 1929 and built by the Jerry O’Mahony Co, and is currently the only remaining example of an unaltered 1930s O’Mahoney diner. And wow, is the interior nice. The clock even works!

Frazer Diner Clock

I have a personal fondness for the Frazer Diner as Retro Roadsis and I ate here on a Boston to Lancaster road trip back in 1999. In Lancaster I was re-introduced to the musician who would later be known to you folks as Retro Roadhusband, and he and I now happily live within 15 minutes of this classic diner. I’ve got a picture of me in front of the diner from back then – I promise to post – and just so funny to think that when I was eating breakfast at the counter there all those years ago, I had no idea that my life would be so changed by that roadtrip and that I’d be living so close to  that diner, married to that guitar player. Cool stuff, in my book!

Frazer Diner Counter

Retro Roadhusband and I ate there late last November, when I snapped these photos. As you folks will know, I take pains to ensure that people don’t appear in most of my photos, but was still a bit shaken when I was reprimanded by the waitress for taking photos. Determined to work through that, I approached her after we had eaten and since we were one of the last couples in the diner, asked if I could snap a few shots, making sure that no people were in them, and she gave that the OK, explaining that some folks don’t like to get their pictures taken. (Like she has to tell me- I don’t like getting my picture taken at all!)

Frazer Diner FridgeOh, and don’t feel too bad for us slaving away at the Hacienda all day, the carrot in front of our nose is a trip to Shankweiler’s Drive In tonight, and they are America’s oldest drive in movie theatre.  What did I tell you? Glad my wanderlust is good for Retro Roadmap!

Update: I found the photo of me in front of the Frazer Diner 10 years ago en route to see RetroRoadhusband:

Frazer Diner 1999

Frazer Diner
189 Lancaster Ave
Malvern, PA 19355
(610) 251-9878

(I’ve tried to move the offical Google Map Marker for the diner, as its placement was wrong, but you can’t go wrong following the official Pennsylvania Retro Roadmap directions!)

Frazer Diner on Urbanspoon

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On the topic of newly reopened vintage diners we made a quick dodge into the Prospect Diner in Columbia PA last week and were pleased to find friendly service and incredibly affordable food, even though our visit was within minutes of their 2pm closing.

Prospect Diner Route 462

We weren’t sure what we’d find inside because of the dark glass windows, but were somewhat pleasantly surprised to see the diner must’ve gone through a recent remodel with new red booths and counter. Though it was a bit too “Happy Dazed” for my austere decorating tastes, I loved the fact that it was clean and cheery on a freezing afternoon!

Prospect Diner Interior

I have to hand it to our waitress, who could’ve easily rolled her eyes at us as we opened the door within 15 min of their closing. Instead she smiled, sat us at a booth and gave us the lunch menu which had an incredible steal of some specials on it. I had my standard BLT, Retro Roadhusband had a tuna sandwich, both came with fries and a drink and I swear our bill was less than $10 for the entire meal! This diner is worth the easy hop off of Route 30 (Prospect Road exit= Prospect Diner, easy to remember!) and cheaper than fast food!

As we left the diner we noticed that the railing on the outside was a handy thing, keeping diner patrons safely away from the traffic and guided towards the large parking area to the side.

Prospect Diner People Catcher

As the cold wind whipped over the farm fields across the street we scurried to the Retro Roadmobile for warmth, happy with the knowledge that we could add yet another vintage diner to the Retro Roadmap!

Prospect Diner
4030 Minute Drive
Columbia, PA 17512
(717) 684-0469

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Today’s sunshine after yesterday’s sleeting miserableness made me want to take a retro road trip to grab an ice cream, and if I weren’t so beat from work a perfect destination would’ve been The Circle S Ranch House in West Lawn, PA.

Luckily Retro Roadhusband and I roadtripped up there last week, so I can tell you all about it!

Ranch House Neon Sign

Serving Greater Berks County since 1973, RRH and I were intrigued by the great neon sign and the western motif. Decorated in a 1970’s interpretation of the old west, replete with knotty pine paneling, cowboy paintings, faux old signs and giant wagon wheel chandeliers with spurs on ’em, it’s a bit like the Brady Bunch interpretation of the wild west. Pardner.

Please Wait to be SeatedWhile trying to research the restaurant online the only review I saw mentioned that it was her “grandmother’s favorite restaurant” and I could totally see that. There were grandmas mixed in with families with kids and when I posted a photo of the neon sign to my Facebook account, friends were reminiscing about showing up here after junior high school dances!

They’ve got a bit of a “western” flair to some of their names, but alas their “Wagon Wheel” was a burger and not a slab or slice or chunka, as we products of the 70’s TV think of a wagon wheel! The food is affordable and a nice alternative to the chains in the area. As I said to RRH when I ate my BLT, “There’s nothing wrong with regular food for regular folks”.

Welcome to the Circle S Ranch House

I wasn’t  planning on having ice cream and in fact our next stop was supposed to be a giant dairy twirl down the street in Wernersville (we’ll get there soon, don’t worry). But when I saw trays go by filled with ice cream sundaes, banana splits and dishes of ice cream ALL WITH A PRETZEL perched on EACH ONE I was POWERLESS to resist the lure  of my favorite flavor combo “the crunchy salty with the sweet cold smooth” – powerless, I tellya.

The Pretzel Made Me Get It!“the crunchy salty with the sweet cold smooth”

The ice cream was smooth and flavorful, they had butterscotch topping and you just can’t get that everywhere nowadays and even Retro Roadhusband was thinking he should’ve gotten a sundae after he kept tasting mine. I’m hooked.

The place was bustling when we were there (hooray!) so I did not get to ask anyone about the reason behind the pretzel on each ice cream. Since this is practically pretzel country with Tom Sturgis pretzels are made just down the street, that must have something to do with it.

Who am I kidding? They put a pretzel on each ice cream because it sells ice cream to folks who weren’t planning on eating it- folks like me! I fell for it, but that’s fine, it was sweet and delicious and I’ll be glad to bring them my ice cream business and help keep their great retro signs lit.

Exit Circle S Ranch House

The Circle S Ranch House
2738 Penn Avenue
West Lawn PA 19609
(610) 678-6282

Circle S Ranch House on Urbanspoon

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