Monday, March 16, 2009

Welcome to the Girardi Diner

Having a meal at a diner is usually a relaxing, peaceful event. It’s a time to come together with friends and family, to receive excellent service in a family-owned business, and to eat great food. When I think of diners, I imagine plates piled high with pancakes, hash browns, and sausage as my diner experiences usually occur during breakfast.

One of the best diners in my memory is Eazer’s in my hometown of New Kensington, Pennsylvania. I spent many mornings there eating ham and cheese omelettes while my grandmother chatted about anything and everything. It’s just one of those memories frozen in time, not really a place I go often now, but a place that makes me think of my grandmother and how our relationship once was.

Another great diner is the University Diner in Jacksonville. Conveniently located down the street from Jacksonville University, my husband’s and my alma mater, the University Diner was the kind of place where grease settled on your face when you walked in the door.

In other words, it was awesome.

Perhaps the most alluring diner in my past, though, is the one that has eluded me. Since December is a busy month, filled with shopping, parties, and time with extended family, my husband and I found that we rarely get to spend valuable time together before the year is passed. For that reason, we instituted a tradition of spending a weekend away each December.

We don’t go far.

We’ve gone to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for some quality spa time, and we’ve visited Hidden Valley for some quality snow-tubing time.

Each December, we opt for one or the other, and the trip is always awesome. One thing we love to do is explore the restaurants in the area. Domenick, my husband, prides himself on a psychic ability of sorts, to judge a building by its cover.

We drive around Uniontown, if we’re visiting Nemacolin, or Somerset, if we’re at Hidden Valley, and my husband determines from the exteriors of the restaurants whether they have good food. He argues his ability has never failed, and as an avid traveler for work, he exercises his skills quite a bit.

During one of those trips, my husband’s psychic abilities told him that a diner along the main road would have delicious food.

And it did.

We spent a meal in this little diner, laughed, talked and then went back to our hotel to get ready for snow-tubing, or was it the spa?

See, I insist that we visited the diner while on a trip to Nemacolin. Dom argues it was at Hidden Valley. The simple way to solve that marital dispute is to go back to the diner.

But that’s the problem. We’ve tried to find the diner ever since, but we’ve failed.

We agree that it’s on the main road, on the right side of the road, if we’re driving away from the hotel, and we can both picture the structure of the building. But we just can’t find it.

During our trip last December, Dom admitted we had failed in locating the mysterious diner yet again. He looked at me from behind the steering will and grinned. “I bet it’s one of those places that if you ask the locals, they’ll say (and in a spooky, horror movie voice), ‘Oh, that place burned down 30 years ago.’”

We laughed, but at that moment I knew the elusive diner could turn into a really great story.

I’ll tell you how soon…

1 comment:

  1. If.. Strike that. WHEN you get published, I think you and Dom have to buckle down and find this mystery diner. Then you can have a press event/book signing there. Your book tour won't be at book stores, but at diners!