Have you dreamed of eating in a diner you’ve seen on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?
Old-school charm is on your side. The Madison Diner, located in the small town of Winslow on Bainbridge Island, Washington, is in a 1948 Fodero Dining Car. In 2007, Guy Fieri stopped by the diner, which was then called Big Star Diner.
I’d driven by The Madison Diner a dozen times and each time I said, “Next time I’m eating there.” That next time happened over the Thanksgiving holidays.
My partner and I arrived a little after 9 a.m. There was only one spot left in the parking lot (there are around a dozen spaces), which means on a busy day it might be a little tricky finding a spot. My suggestions are the movie theatre parking lot, which is a short walk up the road, the parking lot behind Coldwell Baker Bain (right next door) and City Hall across the street.
Every booth was taken, so we sat at the bar, which we like doing anyway. The dining area was a little bigger than I thought it would be and the stainless steel and art deco design brought out that nostalgic atmosphere. The only thing missing―50s music.
The dinner was originally located in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania and was in operation until the early sixties. Then it sat in a vacant lot in New Jersey until Al Packard bought it in 1996 and shipped to Bainbridge piece by piece.
We both ordered Classic Meat and Eggs. I ordered a biscuit instead of toast, and later decided to add-on a side of sausage gravy, which only cost .50. Yes, that’s right .50! It was good too, packed with sausage and pepper to give it some heat. Breakfast was great. The only thing I would quibble about was the burnt edges on my ham.
Where: 305 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge, WA 98110
What: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
My Favs: Classic Meat and Eggs ($8.99 two eggs with a choice of bacon, sausage links or patties and ham, also you can choose a biscuit instead of toast)
Want to Try: Salmon Hash ($10.99, Pacific salmon sauteed with hash browns, leeks, garlic and mushrooms) and a Wafflewich! ($9.99, Scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese with bacon placed between Belgian Waffle halves topped with butter and powdered sugar)
Service: 3 stars