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Double Diner Discoveries

On our way to the ferry in Anacortes,  DeGroot and I stopped for breakfast at a place recommended to us the night before – Dad's Diner A-Go-Go.  Co-owner Fletcher McLean greeted us warmly and pointed to the chalkboard menu, saying "Or just tell me what you want and we'll make it happen."

I'm easy, so I ordered eggs over, bacon and biscuits. When I complimented Fletcher on the bacon, I learned that they fennel-rub it before smoking over applewood.  Dad's makes all its own charcuterie including sausages, briskest, smoked hams and pastrami.  They even mix up several varieties of their house-brand "Badassco" hot sauce. 

Then he offered me some country gravy for my biscuit.  How good was it?  

Fletcher told me about the 80-year old-customer who told him, "I drove truck for 50 years, and I've eaten country gravy in every truck stop in America.  This is the best I've ever had."  

On our way back home we stopped at the Dad's BBQ truck located next to the O'Reilly's Auto Supply at 22nd and Commercial for a Carolina style pulled pork sandwich.  Juicy, vinegary and just hot enough to make my head sweat a little.

Take heart, eaters too far south of Anacortes to make the trek to Dad's.  They're opening a second location at 2236 Eastlake Ave. E in Seattle some time in early July.

Nancy Goes to the Dog

Naturally, I couldn't wait to tell Nancy Leson about Dad's, and it turned out she'd made a diner discovery, too.

"I was going to Tacoma," she told me "and Mac said I should try the Poodle Dog." 

Credit Nancy Leson
Fife's towering colossus of Diner delight

I couldn't believe she'd never been to the family-owned diner that's been an institution in Fife and beyond since 1933.  Of course she loved it: "The best part was getting to sit at the L-shaped counter, chatting with the couple next to me. They were so  friendly and charming."

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
Nancy's neighbors at the Poodle Dog counter

Nance says the lady told her she had to order the California Eggs Benedict with avocado and tomato.  "Was it the best I've ever had?  No.  But it's not about that," she said.

"It's about the service, the fabulous waitresses and how friendly that place is, how comfortable."

"Seattle has places like this.  The Wedgewood Broiler, or up in Edmonds Claire's Pantry.  There's Lena's, a Greek owned diner in Shoreline."

How about you? Got a favorite diner type joint you frequent?  Let's hear about it.

"If you want to talk you've always got the guys at the diner." – Eddie Simmons character from Diner

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.