Overview: From the shining railroad car, to the food, right down to the strong and sweet house-matriarch Arleen, this is the most quintessential diner you will ever eat in. The crowd is a mix of Red Hook regulars and Bard College students, just as it has been for decades. You’ll overhear students sharing stories about their love lives or neighbors consulting over landscaping techniques, and get the sense that you are part of a scene that has replayed itself every day for the last hundred years.
The Menu: This may be the last place where you can sit at a faded counter with a dense, sugar-dusted donut and strong coffee to dunk it in. By all means, partake in this pleasure while you peruse the menu. Regulars praise the breakfasts above all else, particularly the eggs Benedict or the flat-top griddle steak and eggs.
As you eat, you’ll surely notice the mountainous cinnamon buns with towering globs of sugary goo passing by your nose on their way to someone else. On a recent Sunday, Beth Witte, a Bard mom, spent her whole meal listening to her pleading daughters asking to get the treats before finally caving in as soon as she saw one come out of the serving window. You may want to reserve a special trip just for these.
Standout Special: If you are going for lunch try the Silk City special (a grilled turkey and bacon sandwich).
Regulars Recommend: The cinnamon buns, according to Beth Witte (Bard Mom)
Notable Feature: As for the “Historical” part of the name, this is the most well-recognized diner in the state, winning various nods for its food, ambience, and historical value. It is a well-preserved 1927 Silk City style diner manufactured in Paterson, NJ, right on the railroad tracks. It was the fourth diner in the nation to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it was named in Country Living magazine’s top 20 diners in the country.