Q&A ANDREW HETHERINGTON SHARES HIS MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES IN THE MAKING OF THIS PROJECT
I really like Bette’s Oceanview. There was this really chilled, eclectic vibe. I live on the East Coast and it had a very different feel to what I’m used to.
Discovering that juke boxes are still alive and well in these diners.
BEST THING YOU ATE?
Fried chicken and waffles with a maple dressing at Frank’s Diner in Spokane, Washington State. I wouldn’t normally order it. It’s an odd combination but it was super tasty, and amazingly light.
WEIRDEST THING YOU ATE?
I had a steamed cheeseburger (pictured left), which was quite odd. The texture was different to a normal fried hamburger. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, even though it was a signature dish.
TOP TIP FOR DINER NEWBIES?
Sit at the counter if you’re travelling solo, so that you can chat to the waiters and watch the cooks at work in the open kitchens. And make sure you go in with an empty stomach!
MOST SURPRISING THING YOU LEARNT ON THE ROAD?
That the diner is still a pillar of the local community in these towns, despite the big franchises that are threatening the existence of these businesses.
WHAT DID YOU MOST ENJOY?
I loved watching the cooks at work; how quick they were and how they were able to remember all the orders coming through. There was a great sense of pride at these diners. It’s technically fast food but often the dishes are made from scratch.
To pull up at Bette’s Oceanview at 6am to see a huge line outside waiting for them to open for breakfast. They are so popular yet they close at 2pm.
BIGGEST DINER FAUX PAS?
The biggest no-no at a diner is not waiting to be seated and not leaving a tip.