Sittin’ with Steve at Stella’s Diner

When my bowling league teammate Steve texted me earlier this week that he wanted to get together this morning to hand over his share of the loot to cement the trip to see our beloved New York Mets play the Cincinnati Reds next month at CitiField, I suggested Stella’s Diner for breakfast.

I month has gone by since our season at Bowling Green in Cicero has ended and a more than a month remains before that car trip to Flushing with my dear wife Karen and his lovely wife Kristen. It was time to hang and relive the glory of the Mets’ 11-game winning streak and anticipate how much fun we’ll have on that day trip.

Everybody goes to Stella's.

Everybody goes to Stella’s.

Stella’s, a Syracuse landmark besides being the sponsor of one of the squads in our bowling league, is halfway between our Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood and their place in Mattydale.

It’s got the friendly vibe, too.

Turn-back-the-clock style.

Turn-back-the-clock style.

Steve told me he’d already checked in and signed his name on the waiting list yellow pad by the time I worked my way to his side.

We both knew it would be crowded at our meeting time of 9 a.m. Saturday.

People waiting with us there.

People waiting with us there.

People waiting with us that way.

People waiting with us that way.

We both were right. We moved left, moved right, ceding the right of way as done eating made their way to the exit. I told Steve the story about the time a year ago when I met a friend visiting from out-of-town at Stella’s and our waitress said neither of us had been there before, right? When I told her that indeed I’d eaten at Stella’s, a Syracuse guy for 30 years, she found that hard to believe because she’d never seen me at her station. I asked her if she worked every hour, every shift Stella’s was open. We laughed then, and Steve appreciated it now, considering that he works in the food service industry, recently moving over from Jimmy John’s to an assistant manager’s slot with Pizza Hut.

Before you knew it, a half-hour had gone by.

Stop just before you get to Betty Boop Ave.

Stop just before you get to Betty Boop Ave.

The hostess called “Steve,” and we were told to go the them empty table for two over to the right.

Stella's, the signature.

Stella’s, the signature.

Service was quick and friendly. There’s a reason why everybody goes to Stella’s.

Make the cheese cheddar and the toast wheat with my western omelette.

Make the cheese cheddar and the toast wheat with my western omelette.

Make the meat bacon and the eggs scrambled with Steve's french toaste combo.

Make the meat bacon and the eggs scrambled with Steve’s french toast combo.

The food was fine, hot, tasty. The coffee was refilled or offered-to every time the cup was half gone.

There’s more than one reason why everybody goes to Stella’s.

We got to talk about our Mets and that trip to come before sitting down and between bites. When is captain David Wright coming back from injury, and will he ever be completely healthy and productive again? How long will Matt Harvey be able to hold up in this rebound season from Tommy John surgery, and what does so much rest between starts do to his pitching? How long can we stay above .500? Will we hit? Can we contend?

Busy, busy, busy.

Busy, busy,
busy.

When we left at 10:30 a.m., the line to get a table was even longer than when I arrived, with people far out the front door.

I decided to hop around the premises and take some more iPhone 6 pictures, attempting to best capture the feel of the setting of old and new. The mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA sits just a block or two in one direction; old warehouses are adjacent. Off to the other direction the skyline of downtown Syracuse is evident.

Click on any photo in the gallery for a description. Click and hold on the bottom right photo for an enlarged slide show.

Here’s the link for Stella’s Diner’s site.

What’s your waiting limit time for breakfast at a diner? What’s your usual breakfast-out order? What’s your favorite photo, and why?

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59 thoughts on “Sittin’ with Steve at Stella’s Diner

  1. STELLA!!! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. You knew that was coming, right? My favorite photos are of course the food! There’s nothing like a good diner breakfast up north. We don’t quite pull off these awesome breakfasts down South, IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Whatever the problem was, has been fixed. Nope, you don’t need to do anything to be Feedly friendly. I had you listed then noticed you weren’t listed (somehow you got randomly dropped which happens in this crazy online world) but the weird part was when I went to re-add you, it said you couldn’t be found. I tried a few times to no avail then asked you, wondering if you had blocked it somehow. Anyway, you’re back in and you have better things to do with your time this fine Saturday πŸ˜€

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      • So sorry! I’m just glad it was a run of the mill glitch and not something else. No more worries from me (for at least a week), promise πŸ˜€

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  2. I like the outside of the diner πŸ™‚ It has a way of telling us it’s vintage and hip, friendly and yummy.
    Enormous omelet!
    My favorite breakfast, for about twenty years, is Cracker Barrel — You can buy Cheerwine and licorice while you wait. The Old Timer’s — grits, 2 eggs over easy, 2 biscuits with sawmill gravy, (one goes in the gravy and one gets smothered in blackberry jam) plus hashbrown casserole, and two strips of bacon, which I take home for Sadie. Oh! And I eat mine and anyone else’s orange quarters! I only eat it about twice a year, and when I do, I do go on about it! πŸ˜›

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    • You know what you like, Joey, and you like that Cracker Barrel breakfast. I can picture you collecting the orange slices from here and there. That’s classic. I approve, but I’d of course do some tinkering with the food selection. Oatmeal over grits. No gravy with my breakfast. I eat the bacon, too bad for Ellie B. And, finally, yes, the western omelette was HUGE. And I ate every bite. We don’t make omelettes at home, so it’s a treat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love a great diner and especially a great diner breakfast. Chicago used to have lots of great ones — kind of a dying form. However good a place is, though, I’m not willing to wait in line. Either I go only at really off times when I can get in right away or I don’t go at all.
    Love the look of Stella’s.

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    • Living in the Chicago area, I am surprised at the lack of diners. We have plenty of brunch places, but no diners. Growing up in Pennsylvania, you are making me a little homesick here, Mark.

      But I usually go at off times too to avoid lines.

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    • Saturday mornings, you’re gonna wait at Stella’s. I heard people next to us say the hostess told them the wait today started at 7:30 a.m. It looks good and the food is good and reasonable. Winner. My dear wife Karen and I have a few others we frequent that don’t have waits, though.

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  4. Great looking place Mark – worth a visit if I ever get down that way. Good food, good prices, lots of food, good service, clean – perfect. In all my travels, I think the best breakfasts I have ever had have been at the stainless diners in New Jersey. A lot like Stella’s. We have a similar Diner here in Ottawa called Stan’s Diner http://www.stansdiner.com/best-diner-in-ottawa.html They even have truck parking and are licensed to sell alcohol. Great food, homey atmosphere, good prices, a top rate combination. They do the best club sandwich in town. Greta place to meet and hang out.

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    • Stainless Diners in the northeast are where it’s at, Paul, and Stan’s of Ottawa is part of the club. Very cool. I’d eat a club sandwich there any day. Thanks for the link.

      Hey, Paul’s fans, his regular Sunday Cuppa is moving here tomorrow morning from Willow’s place, this week only. I’m going to post it at 6 a.m. EDT. Paul already sent the copy and photos to me. It’s his usual great guest post work!

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  5. Waiting times would depend. On a vacation and I’m away and have no time schedule….I’m in no hurry. Working and on the run….it’s usually a no wait kind of time limit. I like the looks of your diner MBM. The best part of the look? The people!!!! If a place is packed with people….it’s for a reason. πŸ™‚

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      • Absolutely! The last time I ate at Stella’s was a year ago with my best friends. One of them just found out she had pancreatic cancer. So, we all had those purple wrist bands on, some of us in purple nail polish, and we put our hands together in the middle of the table. Our waitress asked if we would like a picture. It’s one of our favorites – “no one fights alone.” And, a year later….our friend is doing very well! πŸ™‚ I guess we’re due to stop back at Stellas for visit, huh?

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      • Yes, Debbie, a one-year-later picture at the table, same friends, same wristbands and nail polish. Bring a bottle and have the waitress put some on and get in the picture with you all this time. She’s part of the story, now, too. Stella’s legend. I love your tale. Bless your friend, Debbie. I’m glad she’s feeling well a year later. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you enjoyed breakfast with your friend Mark! I’m not a very patient person, I hardly ever wait in lines…you know, unless I’m at the airport and I have no choice because I’m getting on the flight… ❀
    Diana xo

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  7. Mark, there is one thing i miss sooooo much from when IΓ€ve lived in the US- its all the wonderful DINERS!!!
    We dont ahve them here- so its with envie I read about this Stellas diner- and wish I was back!
    have a nice sunday!
    /a

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  8. Enjoyed that visit to your Stellar’s, seems like a step back into history there, great service, great food and atmosphere.
    Your pics did it credit.
    Cheers.

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  9. What could be more wonderfully American than a breakfast in a diner? I have framed pictures of diner waitresses serving egg breakfasts in my dining room; that’s how much I love breakfast images. Reminds me of the places in the book “The Great, Good Place,” a place for community and fellowship, where friendly smiling ladies serve up nourishment.

    Growing up, my folks would drive us to The Omelettry, and we would wait for nigh on an hour around big live oaks on benches and curbs, long-haired hippies beating bongo drums, or yuppies rifling through the reading the thick, expensive Sunday paper–and a kid like me looking at cool pics of Corvettes and Trans-Ams in the free car sale magazines. And once inside that dingy dive, what was my favorite item? A very Austin-y one at that–the broccoli sour cream omelet with gingerbread pancakes. Heaven. Eating out for breakfast is such a comfort, no? On Betty Boop Avenue or not. Now where was Stella?

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    • I wonder about Stella, too, Kerbey. I must do the research.

      I love your tale of your Austin youth. Your parents had it going on to bring you to the hippie breakfast haven, my friend. On Long Island, the breakfast order would have been topped off with the drink: an egg cream. Milk, selter water fired out of a pressurized hose over a spoon and Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup. Why they called it an egg cream is another great mystery of life.

      And about your great framed pictures? How did you get diner waitresses to come to your dining room to serve the egg dishes and who took the photos? Oh, wait, I may have read that wrong, didn’t I? ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I keep my eyes peeled for photographs in books. I found a great book full of pics of lovely diner servers all across the country, with big plates of T-bone and eggs, and neon clocks in the background. You can almost hear them saying, “What can I get you, Hon? An egg cream?”

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  10. WOW! Stella’s looks amazing! I sure do miss the awesome diners in NY! I think my wait time would depend on who I was there waiting with. My go-to breakfast out is scrambled eggs and French toast. YUM! πŸ™‚

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