In my now gathering momentum to search out places that are “just right”, the same team that recently visited Captain Pat’s descended on Abell’s Diner down in Clements. I had driven by it many times on the way to Colton’s Point or some destination deep within “the seventh”, but never stopped there. So last Friday we made a visit about lunch time.
It is located in one end of a non-descript brick building near the intersection of Rtes. 234 and 242, or, if you prefer Budd’s Creek and Colton Point Roads.
(On far end)
It identifies itself with a simple banner over the door –
Upon entering, it was apparent that it was: a) lunch hour, and b) very popular with the local trades people (note truck). Although there is a side room the space you come into has only about five small booths, plus a smallish horseshoe counter that may seat about ten more people on stools. Almost everybody seemed to know everybody else, but nobody raised an eyebrow at our presence. Only a couple of spaces were left at the counter, and they were right next to the exit from the kitchen, so until a customer left downstream of us, it was “’scuze me, pardon me” as dishes came out from the kitchen. In such relatively crowded, cramped, close quarters I feel funny hauling out a camera. Although I did get a couple of shots (with the trusty point and shoot). Here’s a peek toward the kitchen and the flat top where the food was prepared.
Those green pitchers on the far side of the door are filled with Iced Tea (of both sweetness versions) which seemed to be the predominant drink. Apparently beer is not served, although Anderson’s Bar occupies the opposite end of the building (and I don’t know if they serve food).
A very busy young lady greeted us with “what would you like to drink?”, and handed us a couple of menus. Exactly what you would expect: laminated plastic
With that same goofy chef caricature that appears on the banner. Wonder who/what he is. The list of food choices also was exactly what you would expect, sandwiches, hamburgers, baskets of fried stuff, and platters, presumably for dinner. She brought our (unsweetened) tea and water and the classic little green pad with which to take our order. My benchmark sandwiches for a diner like this are a tuna melt, and hot ham and cheese. My eye didn’t find the former so I ordered the latter, grilled, and the other order was for a bacon cheeseburger. Both came with chips although fries were available for a slight surcharge. We stuck with the chips.
Another Just Right criteria is what the décor is on the walls? They passed
Although I am not quite sure of the function of the wire on the sign, it doesn't appear to be doing anything. Anyway, we had a little time to contemplate the condiments and create the standard “diner still life’ shot with my iced tea in a plastic cup. Hot sauce, catsup/ketchup in a squeeze bottle, check...Okay. Fine. Fits.
From my vantage point I could see what looked like my ham and cheese being grilled in the kitchen and soon enough was set before me
Somehow the fact that one of the ham slices didn’t yield to the knife (and NOT cut on a diagonal) was kind of fitting. The cheese was gooey, the ham was NOT just luncheon meat, and on the whole was a pretty satisfying sandwich.
The bacon cheeseburger was also just fine
With equally gooey cheese and by golly real bacon, and a little piece of burger hanging off showing it wasn't a Sysco pre-processed patty.
By the time we left (shortly after one) the place was pretty empty as people had to get back to work. We didn’t!!
Anyway, I will add Abell’s Diner to the “just right” list, not at the top, but certainly on the list. The quest will continue, suggestions welcome but must fit the criteria of being not in their first youth, or a (gulp) chain. Not necessarily a requirement to