Rant: Where Are All the Diners?

How in the name of Ruthie & Moe's have we gotten to this table-scraps state of dinerdom? Blame our Starbucks culture or the scrambled economy. Pin it on Zack Bruell, Jonathon Sawyer and Michael Symon for elevating our culinary tastes. "There are no good diners left in Cleveland," grumbles chef Michael Herschman of Menu6. We won't go that far, but Cleveland doesn't need another martini bar. What we could really use is a great downtown diner. A place where our over-easy eggs are cooked perfectly — even if it's 4 a.m. and we're too drunk to know any better. Where we can sit at the counter reading a folded-up Plain Dealer or The New York Times on our iPad and get treated exactly the same. A spot with Bruell's attention to detail, Sawyer's passion for local ingredients, Symon's affection for simple pleasures and Hershman's sense of nostalgia. "I had a crush on Joanne the waitress [at Shaker Square's Rapid Stop Diner]," he recalls. "On Valentine's Day, she gave me a heart-shaped candle. 'I was, like, 8." That's the place we're longing for. Someone needs to wake up and brew the coffee.
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