The Pink Cadillac Diner
The Pink Cadillac Diner
Sometimes the unplanned restaurant stop turns out to be a real find. This was the case when we stopped into the Pink Cadillac Diner for a bite of lunch after our morning trip to the Virginia Safari Park
The Pink Cadillac Diner in Natural Bridge, Virginia is the perfect spot to get a great meal in between visits to other local attractions. We actually found the diner when we were looking for the entrance to the Safari Park. One look at amount of cars in the parking lot was enough to tell us that would be our lunch spot. We weren't disappointed!
So whether you love diners, live in Virginia or absolutely love pink cadillacs, this diner is for you!
What makes a diner a diner?
According to Wikipedia,
"A diner is a prefabricated restaurant building characteristic of North America, especially on Long Island; in New York City; in New Jersey, and other areas of the Northeastern United States, although examples can be found throughout the US and in Canada. Some people apply the term not only to the prefabricated structures, but also to restaurants that serve cuisine similar to traditional diner cuisine even if they are located in more traditional types of buildings. Diners are characterized by a wide range of foods, mostly American, a casual atmosphere, a counter, and late operating hours."
The Pink Cadillac Diner
Where is The Pink Cadillac Diner?
But what are the hours?
I am glad you asked!
The Pink Cadillac Diner is open
7 Days a week
7AM until 9PM
Lunch at the Pink Cadillac Diner
Since we had found the Pink Cadillac DIner when we were looking for the entrance to Virginia Safari Park, we had already decided to go there for lunch after our visit to the Safari Park. As it turns out, the Park and the Pink Cadillac diner are probably less than a mile from each other.
When I am traveling whether it is a day trip or a trip across the country, or a trip overseas, I look for the locals favorite place to eat. When we pulled up to the Pink Cadillac Diner about 1:30 in the afternoon, the parking lot was still full. Great start. When we got out of the car, great smells were coming out of the restaurant. Our stomach had been growling before we got to the diner. Now they were growling loudly!
When we entered the door to the building, it felt as though we had stepped back in time. The Pink Cadillac Diner is a trip back to the 50s. Along with the pink, the floor and table cloths were black and white checks. The walls were full of 50s memorabilia and of course there was a juke box at the far end of the restaurant.
Even at 1:30, the restaurant was busy. There was a pretty even split of locals to tourists so I knew my instincts were correct.
The waitress came to the table and gave us the menu. What I didn't expect was the choices. I also didn't expect that it would all be homemade. I really was back to the 50s!
We started with iced tea. In the south, Iced Tea means sweet tea. I am a Yankee so I opted for the unsweeted fresh brewed iced tea. It was fresh and it was delicious.
It seemed appropriate to share a vanilla malt since we were in a diner. Wow! It was great. Hmmmmmm dessert to start the meal. You've got to love it!
We were told that the onion rings are hand cut as well as the fries. The fries come with a spicy seasoning on top. Forget the diet, we were already gone with the vanilla malt. What are a few fries and onion rings after that?
No, we didn't just have fries and onion rings. My daughter ordered the Mushroom Onion Burger. Let me say I don't remember the last time a burger I had was actually ground fresh on site, but it was here and boy it was good. It was juicy and huge and cooked to perfection. The brew city fries and onion rings to go with it were perfect.
I took a chance and ordered the Sandwich of the Day. It was a Softshell Crab Sandwich. I must admit that I had to pause before ordering to consider the fact that Natural Bridge is not near the water. I was assured by our waitress that the sandwich was getting rave reviews. She was not exaggerating. The sandwich was lightly coated and fried to perfection. It was meaty, juicy and really flavorful. I ordered a side salad and wonder of wonders, it was topped with homemade salad dressing.
We had every intention of enjoying a piece of homemade pie. If you are going to start with dessert you better end with it. Lemon meringue is my daughter's favorite. She is picky about her lemon meringue. Was there any question it would be as good as the rest of the meal?
A great dining experience is not just about the food. Oh the food is important of course and the Pink Cadillac Diner did not disappoint. What the Pink Cadillac Diner did was create a lasting memory of our day. From the moment we drove up to the pink building we were smiling. When we opened the door to the diner, we were greeted by a great interior. It was 50s retro, but it was clean and bright. The waitress was down home friendly and the banter between the waitresses and the regulars added to the atmosphere.
And wonder of wonders, even the restrooms were clean.
I had fun watching other diners with their meals. There were plenty of smiles and groans from over eating. I was not alone!
I must now admit, I could not finish my food, but I did make a brave attempt. I brought home leftovers. And I didn't eat again until the next day!
The next time I head down the road on I-81 in Virginia I will time my journey to take Exit 180-A. I will also make sure I am very, very hungry.
And for you that have never been there; once you exit take a right and "follow the signs until you see the Pink Cadillac Outside..."
You will be glad you did!
Ya Gotta love a Pink Cadillac!
Make diner food at home!
Now that you are nostalgic for Diners, here are some links to a few links for you!
- Diner City, online guide to classic diners and the American Roadside
Online directory of roadside architecture featuring photos of classic diners, motels, gas stations, route 66, googie coffee shops, and highway history
- New Jersey Diners
FIND A DINER: Are you lost somewhere in New Jersey and looking for a quick inexpensive meal just like mom used to make? Click here to go to our interactive map ROADTRIP: Cruisin' up and down the parkway, in and out of counties, with nothing better to
- Lori's Diner - Home
to a San Francisco tradition... For all of you nostalgic diners out there, here is a time machine to take you back to the good old days! Back to the neon lights, flashy architecture, and rock 'n' roll of the fabulous 50's! Designed to pay homage to t
- I Love 50s Style Diners and Drive In Restaurants | An Anonymous Group with Personal Stories, Support
Do You Love 50s Style Diners And Drive In Restaurants? Join an anonymous group with personal stories, support group forums, and experiences. Also includes surveys, quizzes & videos A group for fans of...
Before or after The Pink Cadillac Diner - A few fun stops!Click thumbnail to view full-size
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© 2009 Annette Geiger