Overview: Directly off the Taconic on Route 23 you’ll find this feast for the eyes and stomach. The building is a beaming steel bullet with big red DINER letters on top and a sign off to the side featuring the Chief himself. It’s busy on weekends with customers (both locals and tourists) passing through, but is slow paced during the week. Regulars mosey in a couple at a time and are greeted by name. Those who visit often enough earn the right to their own coffee mug, reserved on a shelf of honor. There is amazingly low turnover, with most kitchen staff holding positions for more than a decade. Mauro Lopez Santos bought the place in June after working the kitchen for eight years. He has preserved the existing menu and added some popular menu items and touches from his native Mexico.
The Menu: The diner’s most popular dish is, without question, the fried fish and chips. The texture of the fish is perfect, but use the tartar sauce and coleslaw generously for maximum flavor. Another excellent choice is the Pilgrim wrap: a Thanksgiving throw-down of cranberry sauce, fresh roasted turkey and homemade stuffing all wrapped up and ready for hands-on devouring.
Standout Specials: Weekend breakfast specials run from 8 a.m. to noon. The Southern classics, like country fried steak and biscuits with homemade sausage gravy, are the top options.
Regulars Recommend: The homemade carrot cake, according to Cory (long-time cook)
Notable Feature: If you are looking for both scrumptious food and convenience, this is your best bet. The Martindale Chief carries the added benefit of being the easiest to access off of the Taconic.