Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DinerCast Episode #1: The Quad Cities USA Family Restaurant

First a little bit about this project.

Since I can remember, I've always had an affinity towards whole-in-the-wall diners and cafes. I worked in a mom and pop shop back in High School, a place called the PineTop Cafe. The Pine Top is no longer there, but my love for this unique culinary and cultural experience has endured.

My love of diners is about more than just the food. It's the atmosphere, the heritage, and the culture. Every time I go into a diner, I hear a new story, meet a new character, and walk away with a fresh perspective.

So to share my love of this uniquely American institution, I've begun documenting my travels to great diners and cafes around the country. So please take a listen and let me know what you think.

The Quad Cities' Family Restaurant

The Quad Cities' USA Family Restaurant

The Quad Cities' USA Family Restaurant sits on the Avenue of the Cities in Moline, Illinois. If you are unsure as to what to expect when you walk into this odd building, you're not alone. Paul and I ventured into the Quad Cities' USA Family Restaurant on a sunny Sunday, excited for the possibilities that lay beyond the dark tinted doors.

View from The Booth

Inside, we were met with friendly staff, patriotic decor, and great food. One of the great surprises on this trip was a theatrically Grecian appetizer, saginaki. This cheesy treat was flamed at our table, with a boisterous "Opa!" to seal in the flavor. The smell was foul, but the taste was awesome.

Saginaki, Anyone?

Paul loves Burgers. So of course he chose a Wisconsin Burger topped with cheese, cheap beer, and Packers fans (minus the cheap beer and Packers fans). Delicious burger, once he had removed the pickles.
Paul's Burger, and Dashing Blue Eyes

I enjoyed a reuben with fried zucchini. The reuben rocked, and the zucchini was a new experience for me. Delicious and unique.

Fried Zucchini and Reuben

Overall, a great experience. The food was filling, the staff was on their game, and the price was right. Definitely a place I'll stop in again soon.

Check (this place out), Please.

Next time you're in Moline, stop in for a gyro or Greek chicken. And check in soon to hear the next DinerCast.

If you have any questions or comments about this episode of DinerCast, please comment or email chris.walljasper@gmail.com. If you've got an idea for our show, send an email and I'll certainly consider it.

Thanks for listening, and tune in soon for more DinerCast!

This episode of DinerCast was produced by Chris Walljasper and Musings of a Renaissance Man in Training, with help from Brian Wilcoxon, Annie Walljasper, and Paul Workman. Photography by Chris Walljasper. Thanks to the Quad Cities' USA Family Restaurant for the great service.

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