A few weeks ago, I was reminded of how good a diner could be while eating at Don’s Diner in Plainville, Mass.
That might sound odd, but lately we’ve dined at diner-like places clearly missing out on the critical tenets of what makes this dining genre so special. Those tenets: cheap, tasty and filling food, quick and friendly service, pride of ownership, and a diner that actually looks like a diner — not some fabricated, slick version.
Again, I haven’t had much luck at diners the past few years. There have been a few outstanding ones like Dave’s Diner in Middleborough, Mass., and, of course, the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine, but, otherwise I’ve virtually taken my life into my hands at some of these other places. At one diner, I said “hello” to the owner who was outside. She glared at me and turned away. I should have gone somewhere else, but proceeded to get food poisoning from a tuna sandwich there. That’s what I get for deciding to stay for a meal at an unfriendly diner!
Don’s Diner is in a completely different category, based solely in pleasing the customer. I hadn’t dined at Don’s in the past few years, but was so glad to come back during breakfast and lunch. This is a fourth generation diner from 1936 that has retained its authentic diner look and charm with counter booths, chrome, some neon, and tile floors. The always smiling owner, Perry Perreault is a great guy who is out there working his tail off with the rest of the staff. His staff always manages to be pleasant, making you feel wanted the minute you walk in.
Most importantly, the meals always have been excellent here, whether a tuna melt, burger, New England clam chowder, chocolate chip pancakes, blueberry muffin or omelet with hash browns. Pretty much everything is under $10 and never disappoints. Isn’t that what a good diner is all about?
121 South St., Plainville, MA
Tel. (508) 695-7036