Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jennie's - New New Year's Tradition?

After a hearty celebration on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2010, we woke up the next morning craving a greasy spoon joint that could sling hash without pretense. So off we went to Jennie’s Diner. I’d always seen a number of semis lined up out back, which is a good sign, because when it comes to diners, I always trust the truckers.

We walked into the inner corridor leading to the main door and found a handful of people already waiting to be seated. The other diners informed me that there wasn’t a waiting list and that you just had to wait. But then people started entering the corridor from either side, some just walking right in, and I could feel creeping anxiety. By the time line moved enough for us to assess the situation, we found there had inefficiently been several empty seats at the counter. We took them…

And found ourselves sitting in front of two cake stands, holding the last two nicely portioned slices of Red Velvet and Chocolate cake. They were moist and beckoning, tempting me to lift the lid and pinch together the leftover crumbs from long-ago savored slices that had no doubt enhanced the mood of the lucky diner. Is it wrong to eat cake first thing in the morning?

I ordered the sausage and cheese omelette ($6.75), added onions (+$0.40) and asked that the home fries be “well done.” I would have added mushrooms as well, but they serve canned mushrooms. I don’t know of anything else where I adore the fresh version, but am so repulsed by the canned.

While waiting for our omelettes, the huskier-than-average man sitting next to us received his single pancake, single sausage patty, and scrambled eggs. I felt like a Lilliputian watching Gulliver eat breakfast. The pancake was so enormous, it spilled over the dinner plate it was served on. It appeared to be 12 inches in diameter and at least ¾ inches thick. The sausage patty was at least twice the size of any other I have seen. He stacked it all on top of each other and put it away. Impressive.

After having watched that display of consumption, I was feeling rather full when our omelettes arrived. The amount of food was equally as daunting, but not one to be deterred, I dived in. The omelette was appetizingly moist, which is my main criteria every since the Toronto Omelette Incident - it was so overcooked and dry, it could have been passed off as toast. The sausage and other ingredients were nicely dispersed throughout, and it had a good salty, fatty flavor to it.

My only regret is not asking about the different cheese options. At Jennie’s, they default to white American. They also always have Swiss, and only sometimes have Cheddar and Provolone.

I’ve never understood the popularity of American Cheese. It’s not so much the mild taste, as it is the gummy texture, a result, no doubt, of its processed existence. In the past, it was traditionally a blend of natural cheeses. Today, it’s mainly culled together by cheese-like elements. Not a fan. Other than my cheese mistake, the omelette was quite good, and the crispy parts of the home fries were exactly to my liking. A shame no one has found a way to get the insides to be crispy as well…

The other notable mention is the servers. They’re sassy, sarcastic, and fun. I couldn’t think of a better place to eat my New Year’s breakfast.

Note: Jennie’s is cash-only.

Jennie’s Diner

2575 Lincoln Highway East

Ronks, PA 17572

(717) 397-2507

1 comment:

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin said...

I always loved Jennie's. When I was in high school, it was our hangout of choice. In the high tourist season, you should realize that it gets very busy. And weekend mornings.