The term “comfort food” evokes memories of the meals my parents used to prepare for my sister and I when we were growing up. Dishes like eggplant parmesan, fetinni (pan-fried paper-thin pieces of chicken breast coated with breadcrumbs, garlic, and parsley), and pasta orechietti come to mind. Meatloaf, fish ‘n chips, and chicken pot pie were what my mother would refer to as “English food” that, while not forbidden, was certainly frowned upon in our Italian household. In fact, it wasn’t until many years later, after I had moved out and was living on my own, cooking for myself on a limited budget, that I finally discovered the virtues of mac ’n cheese and chili.

I have to admit that my one and only visit to the place formerly known as Diner was not a positive one. I went with my fellow writers and, when all was said and done, the only menu item to really stand out for us was the Elvis, a magnificent peanut-butter and banana shake. I remember thinking at the time that had I ordered two Elvis’s, I probably would have declared Diner one of my top ten dining experiences of the year. Fast-forward a year and Diner is no more. Instead, Lucky Diner has sprung up at the same location with a new owner, a new staff, a new menu, but still sticking to the original “comfort food” format.

Carl, Martin and I arrived at 6:30 p.m. to a fairly empty room. Although that evening’s specials (written up on the big chalkboard above the kitchen) looked inviting, we were already drawn to some of the offerings on the regular menu. We started with the Tower of Onion Rings that, in all fairness, were more triplex than tower. While the accompanying smoked paprika mayo was a winner, the cornmeal-crusted onion rings that immediately fell apart in our hands proved both messy and devoid of any discernible spicing. Quite the opposite was true for the handcut Kennebec fries. They were crisp, tasty, and not too greasy, but the spiced homemade ketchup was disappointingly mild and runny. Our mains fared much better. I had a very good smoked bacon-belly wrapped meatloaf with buttermilk mash. The meatloaf was moist and flavorful, the bacon a welcome sweet and smoky addition to the dish. Carl ordered the Lucky Sucker Burger and had nothing but praise for his selection, particularly singling out the local mushroom ragout that topped his burger – along with belly bacon, three year old cheddar, and lucky sauce. Martin enjoyed his wild mushroom and aged cheddar, parmesan, and asiago mac ’n cheese, but was unimpressed by its weak consistency. Although the flavors were all there, his pasta and mushrooms were swimming in the thin cheese that had pooled at the bottom of his dish rather than unifying the whole. For dessert, I had the pecan, maple, and bourbon pie a la mode – good, but the Memphis Blues Barbecue House take is still the version to beat. Carl, meanwhile, loved his deep dish apple pie a la mode.

Service was relaxed and friendly, the décor bright and clean, and the prices more than reasonable. Now, if they could only find a way to work the Elvis shake back onto the menu. Or, barring that, maybe some eggplant parmesan.

14 thoughts on “February 13, 2007

  1. I heard a rumor that you are developing a Stargate spin-off for the Animal Planet cable channel. I can just imagine Earth’s dogs, cats, and even fish enjoying wild adventures while fighting the Goat-a’uld, Owl-ri, and searching for the city of Ant-lantis. I think getting the fish to wear boots and carry a GDO would be a bit challenging, though.

  2. I want that pie! How do you people not weight 500 pounds each with all the food you seem to eat? Not fair!

  3. Hi Joe!

    Regarding season 4 of SGA, will we get more of Sheppard’s backstory? For the lead character in a major television show, we still know very little about him; we know he has no family back on Earth, but why not? Why doesn’t he have any family, or people who care about him? I hope in season 4 you’ll finally get the opportunity to tell us (and the team! ;)) Sheppard’s story.

    Also, I was wondering if you have any plans to develop Sheppard’s ATA gene storyline more in season 4? I mean, he has like a ‘super’ ATA gene, right? I absolutely loved how in First Strike he was able to utilize that gene to fly the city, and I think it’d be awesome if there were more to this gene than everyone thought i.e. that it might enable Sheppard to do some really powerful ‘Ancienty’ things, aside from turning things on and flying Jumpers. I just think the fact that Sheppard has such a strong gene offers a plathora of storylines that are waiting to be explored.

    Thanks! And I’m definitely looking forward to season 4!

  4. Given your liking for Asian food and your recent travels I was wondering whether you’d seen Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman (Yin shi Nan su)? I’m not exactly sure of your film tastes, but thought it might be something you’d enjoy if you hadn’t seen it. One afternoon, some years back we had friends come around to watch it. We got so hungry watching it that we had to take a break to go out and rustle up our own banquet before we could go back to it.

    I’ve also been wondering whether any of the hints you incorporated into that rhyme you posted in your blog last year relate to what happens to Weir during S4? [Yes, I’ll take any hint. I think I’m developing problems with delayed gratification as I get older. ;)]


  5. Joe,

    Ok got to say really early in morning looking at pictures of food is an intresting way to start a day and make one hungrey. To bad you couldn’t be a guest judge on “Iron Chef America” think you do a great job on that.

    So have we found any storylines for Ronan this season? Has he got one episode maybe so that Jason can show off them acting skills like he did in Sateda? I enjoy Ronan acting with the characters but you got to get more backstory on him; the bits and pieces of stuff you throw in on episodes is nice.

    Well since Sam is in Atlantis for 14 episodes and Tealc maybe dropping in for a visit now got to work on getting Daniel back for another visit. Enjoyed the interaction between him and Morgan LaFey but you gotta give Daniel time to explore Atlantis.

    And may I say “Happy Valentines Joe”!


    Hope Fondy gets you a wonderful box of dark chocolates to keep you healthy:)

    Well the french fries looked good but then you went and said they had spices on them..eww:(

    The Elvis Shake sounds great.


  7. Joe, I have to ask this… Are you always so well dressed? Nice tailored suite?, great matching shirts… 🙂 PS: Happy Valentine’s Day!

  8. Hello Joe!

    Really enjoy your posts and food blogging! Thank you so much for doing so! I love the behind the scenes look at SGA, which I hope will continue to be a show about adults (meaning grownups.) It seemed as though just about every show was set in high school or about childish 20-somethings, so it is nice to see characters who are closer to my own age dealing with the problems of life in another galaxy.

    Thank you very much.

  9. Could you please clarify something regarding ‘Camelot’.

    Was the Asgard ship that was seen an O’Neill class warship or a brand new type of science vessel.

    Opinion is divided in that it was an O’Neill just the scalings were a little off. Also because it was the Asgard’s more powerful ship. So what better way to demonstrate the strength of Ori ships by seeing how easily their best get’s swept aside.

    While those that argue it wasn’t, simply base it on the fact that it looked too small on the screen. Also if it was an O’Neill, then ship was too advanced to be taken down by anything so easily!

    Lastly, Landray said that the Ori ships cut through the fleet. Did the Asgard ship survive the attack by fleeing, or was that destroyed like the Korolev & Ha’taks.


  10. Rumour has it among writers that the Bridge studio digs are the cushiest in Canada. Is this jealousy talking or are you guys being spoiled rotten? And how much do I have to pay you to hire me? (kidding) Don’t blacklist me. (hides in the corner)

    Happy Valentines Day, Joe and Fondy.

  11. Hello Joe,

    I know that you and the other higher ups initially intended for Sheppard and Teyla to gravitate towards each other, but seriously…you guys have to see what translates between them on screen is that they’re not into each other. In fact if it wasn’t for the Ark and Sunday I would have gone on thinking that they weren’t even aware of the other much less like each other; imo, as well as many others, they’re done, whereas John and Elizabeth always had it and still do, which is why they are the right way to go. Additionally, they have a huge fan following unlike any other relating to SGA, for these reasons it would be more prudent of you and the others in charge to go ahead with these two instead. Now my question is, will you guys continue to string us along where John and Elizabeth are concerned or will you finally recognize that they are the perfect pairing and forget about Sheppard and the Athosian leader?

    If I came across a little aggressive I never intended to.

    Thank you.

  12. Well, if you’re going to be good-natured about BSG getting picked up with worse ratings and a bigger budget than SG-1, I will. I just read that they drew only 1.5 million viewers this past weekend. With promotion, advertising, and support from the network similar to BSG’s I have no doubt that Stargate would have continued to score as it always has in the ratings.

    I was happy to see Sci-Fi get so completely pounded pubilcity-wise for cancelling SG-1, and I’m glad that their ratings across the board are down something terrible. Such shoddy decision making deserves such results. The fact of the matter is from 200 onward SG-1 was scoring higher than any program currently running on Sci-Fi, whether it be movie, series, or wrestling.

    I don’t know what numbers SG-1 will see when it returns after such a ridiculous and unprecedented layoff, but I know exactly where to place the blame if it doesn’t do well. Of course, there’s an equal possiblity that it will continue to perform pretty much as it always has, which would be pretty funny. Sci-Fi will then have cancelled their highest rated show outside Eureka (which I’m not sure will do so well after the long layoff, either).

    Like I said, shoddy decision making deserves to bear such fruit. Good luck with season four, though I wish it were season 11 you were working on.

    Michelle Loust

  13. hi, joe,

    can you tell me what episode # sam carter comes into atlantis?

    sally 🙂

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