Do you prefer a hometown diner or a big chain restaurant? Pros and cons…hometown diners are usually smaller and more personal. The waitress or waiter knows your name, remembers your favorite foods, what you usually order and your drink. You might see some friends and acquaintances while you’re dining. Your waitress or waiter might be someone you babysat for or your next door neighbor. If you’re just passing through and chose a small town eatery, you’ll still feel at home because most of the time the décor and ambience is comfortable and relaxing. The menu will usually be filled with homemade comfort foods and desserts that leave you wanting more…although you’ll usually find the portions large enough for a small army! Now that we’ve talked about the pros, let’s look at a few cons. Seating is usually limited and the diner itself is may be small. The menu may be somewhat limited on choices and lower fat versions of familiar dishes. Privacy might be an issue due to the smaller size and the fact that you may know several people, who just might want to chat with you through your meal. Or, if you know the waiter or waitress well enough, they may talk with you throughout your meal. Parking might be limited and you may have to walk a little further…at least the walk back will help burn off some calories!
So now let’s talk large chains…they normally have larger menus with more choices. Lower fat and calorie choices are usually available. Most chains serve alcohol, which you will not find at your hometown diners. Parking is never a problem, unless it’s Friday or Saturday night, then you may have to search or wait for someone to back out. Portions are usually smaller with chains, although you’ll get plenty to eat. Cons: You won’t have to worry about chatting during your meal; the staff will be very busy with several tables and usually won’t know who you are. The food choices and desserts may be more processed than what you will get at a hometown diner. Prices will be a little higher at chains vs hometown diners.
So…which do you prefer? As for me, I love the quiet, personal, friendly atmosphere of a hometown diner. The delicious, less processed, homemade foods are just icing on the cake, literally!