The Rosebud Diner – Somerville, MA

We stopped in here for breakfast on Monday morning. My corned beef hash was some of the best I’ve ever had. The Worcester semi streamliner has to be my favorite model of diner, and this one is in great shape. Great food in a great building in a great location. What’s not to love?

I later found out that I missed seeing Larry Cultrera (of Diner Hotline and Classic Diners of Massachusetts fame) by a matter of a few hours that day. Funny how those things happen.

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A-1 Diner updated photos

Tried to go again for my yearly A-1 fix, but got the timing wrong. We did, however, hit it with the sun shining on it instead of from behind it for once, so we managed to get some good pics.

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The A-1 is a Worcester semi streamliner located in Gardiner, Maine. There are a couple other posts on it on the blog with interior pics, etc.

Motorized Lunch Wagons- the missing link

The lunch wagon evolved into the modern day diner as it got bigger and became stationary. At the same time some lunch wagon manufacturers, Buckley in particular it would seem, embraced then new automotive technology, modernizing lunch wagons by making them self propelled. Though the diner manufacturers seem not to have continued in earnest with this evolutionary line, self propelled lunch wagons are all over the place today, out of the backs of box trucks or built up on the frames of pickups.

Dec. 1900
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1901
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1903
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1905
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1919.
I’m not sure as to the manufacturer on this, but its lunch wagon lineage is clear. Ornate and looks very heavy.
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A-1 Diner- Gardiner, Maine

The A-1 is one of my all time favorite diners. Great food with an excellent selection served in a beautifully maintained Worcester semi-streamliner in a unique location.

After debating between the South of the Border Burger (with chili and pepperjack) and the North of the Border Burger (with cheese and Canadian Bacon), I picked the North, I figured it was appropriate. My dad got a plain hamburger.
The burgers were big and juicy, the fries were fresh and hand-cut. For dessert we had a slice of oreo cheesecake.

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Front of diner with flowerboxes.

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A-1 Diner website

Gilley’s – Portsmouth, NH

Today started the long drive back to school, from Maryland up to Halifax, Nova Scotia, by way of Gray and Bangor Maine. We take the drive to Gray, Maine every other year or so, to stay at the old family camp, but have always timed it wrong to make the stop in Portsmouth for the legendary lunch wagon.

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A vintage photo from my collection of Gilleys with owner Bill Kennedy.
If I recall correctly, the article is from 1957.
Caption states: “The Night Lunch is an old, old Portsmouth institution. For more than 75 years, the mobile diner has parked on market sq. and old timers await its arrival to buy their franks and beans. Once pulled by horses, a tractor truck now deposits it here each night and picks it up in the morning. Owner Bill Kennedy has run it for 45 years.

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Interior looking towards kitchen

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The current diner was built c.1940 by the Worcester Lunch Car Company, and stays true to the earlier style lunch wagon floorplan, with the small kitchen on one side, and a couple of stools on the other. It was originally brought to the square and left. Later, it was mounted on a truck, upon which it still rests, although its traveling days are over. A complimentary barrel roofed addition was attached to the right hand side of the car in 1996. The diner is in remarkably good shape, retaining it’s original wood and enameled panels inside. The beautiful original vent hood still gleams.

As it has for nearly a century, the diner still turns out good food, inexpensively, and is open late.

The menu is limited, as it should be, to what can be cooked behind the counter at the grill. Hamburgers, dogs, grilled cheese, fries, etc. I ordered the chili cheese dog. Excellent natural casing dog, with a nice crisp to it when bit, on a squishy bun, covered in chili. It was almost impossible to eat without wearing it, but oh so delicious.

Friendly place, great food, served in a rare and well preserved lunch wagon. What more could I ask for?

Fracher’s Diner / Main Street Station – Plymouth, NH

Frachers Diner – 2007
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Yankee Diner – Charlton, MA

Here are some shots I took of the Yankee Diner last April. I was stopped by a Massachusetts State Patrol officer while here, not while I was walking back through the woods, not while I was taking pictures or peering through windows, no, according to the officer, I was stopped for looking suspicious, because I was wearing a long overcoat (it was really cold out) and sunglasses.

The diner was/ is closed, but it’s a nice example of an old Worcester lunch car.

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The interior. Please note the axe at the far end.
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And here’s something, back in the woods that’s of note- the original neon
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