Secrets of the South's Best Diners
Don’t miss: Breakfast. Order the blueberry pancakes or raisin bread French toast, and they’ll think you’re a Charm City native.
1700 East Joppa Road; 410-668-2525
Combine 2 ½ quarts milk, 1 ½ quarts water, and 3 cups sugar; cook until boiling. Add ¾ pound of very starchy rice (such as River Rice). Lower heat and cook about an hour or until mixture looks syrupy. Add a pint of milk, 5 beaten eggs, and a dash of vanilla extract. Mix well, and cook for 1 more minute.
Diner Secret: Short-grain rice has more starch and is best for this recipe.
Don’t Miss: Community Nurse Macaroni and Cheese (named for the traveling public health nurses who once showed young mothers how to make nutritious meals)
408 West Rosemary Street; mamadips.com or 919-942-5837
- 1 cup dry milk
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Diner Secret!)
- 1⁄2 pound shredded sharp cheese
- 1⁄2 stick butter or margarine, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 box (16 ounces) elbow macaroni, prepared as directed
- 1⁄2 cup bread or cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix together the first eight ingredients in a big bowl.
Stir in the macaroni and pour into a 1 ½-quart baking dish. Top with bread or cracker crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes. Serves 6.
Don’t miss: The creamiest banana pudding you’ll ever eat. It’s one of Arnold’s down-home dishes that helped the restaurant earn a James Beard Foundation “America’s Classics” award this year.
605 8th Avenue South; 615-256-4455
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 whole green tomatoes
- 2 cups apple juice
- 5 eggs
- 1 dash Tabasco (Diner Secret!)
- 2 cups cornmeal (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 2 tablespoons basil
1. Cut the tomatoes into 12 to 15 slices. Coat slices in flour. Dip in mixture of apple juice, egg whites, and Tabasco. Dip into mixture of cornmeal and basil.
2. Fry in oil until brown.
Don’t Miss: The slightly lumpy (so you know they’re definitely homemade) mashed potatoes
4503 West Lovers Lane; celebrationrestaurant.com or 214-351-5681
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 ½ oz. melted butter or margarine
- 1 can (15-oz.) kernel corn-drained (Diner Secret!)
- 1 can (4-oz.) diced green chilies
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Whites from 3 large eggs
- 2 ½ tsp. olive oil
- ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese
1. In a mixing bowl, combine baking powder, salt and cornmeal.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and hand mix until well blended. Bake in a greased 8- x 8-inch or 8- x 9-inch cake pan at 350° for 20 minutes or until
golden brown on top.
Don’t miss: The low-fat omelet (served for breakfast and lunch). Made with thin slices of turkey and jalapeño peppers, this delicate dish helps you get over the guilt of eating two slices of strawberry pie.
125 Kings Highway; strawnstoo.com or 318-868-0634
- 1 1⁄3 cups sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups whole milk (plus 3 Tbsp., set aside)
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 1⁄3 cup cornstarch
- 4 whole eggs
- 1-2 drops of red food coloring
Mix sugar, 1 1⁄4 cups milk, and margarine until sugar dissolves. Mix cornstarch in separate bowl with 3 Tbsp. milk. Add cornstarch/milk mixture to the sugar, milk, and margarine. Cook in a double boiler for 8-10 min., stirring constantly. Add eggs. Cook 2-4 min., stirring constantly. Put cooked filling in a bowl, and beat out lumps with mixer. Add red food coloring. Let cool 30 min. on counter and 2 hrs. in refrigerator.
Diner Secret: Spread glaze in piecrust; top with strawberries.