Often written about in travel guides, and noted by Jan and Michael Stern, and Rachel Ray, it's an old-fashioned dining car style diner that still has table-mounted mini jukeboxes that play two songs for a quarter. (A few of tonight's songs selected by the kids: Brown Eyed Girl, You are the Sunshine of My Life,
Especially as a vegetarian, I find myself fortunate to have this little gem of an establishment in my hometown. How many times can you go out and order a veggie burger at a restaurant because that's the only vegetarian choice? Not at the Blue Benn! They serve TONS of vegetarian items. It's actually the best place in town for Mexican cuisine. I love ordering the spinach and lentil burritos. Tonight I decided to branch out and have the vegetarian chili. They serve it with a jalapeno cornbread muffin that is really moist and has whole corn kernels in it. The chili was fair--not enough spices for my taste--but I loved that it had pieces of carrot, squash, corn, and two kinds of beans in it.
The kids had breakfast for dinner, their favorite option at the diner. Blueberry pancakes and syrup. Owen got to have a side of bacon, which I never really buy or cook anymore. It's fun to live in a small town where the waitresses know your name and have watched the kids grow up. It's a good time of year to hit the Blue Benn--not a lot of tourists so the place was all ours (13 years here and I'm a local I guess!).
After, we went to the Dairy Bar for some disappointing soft serve. They didn't have the machines set correctly, so it was way too soft. I was remembering my days working at Carvel as a teenager and those machines could freeze up on you or be too runny if you didn't know what you were doing. There were these flow levers that controlled how much liquid ice cream flowed into the chambers. I was always proud at my ability to work them and get other shifts out of a jam! As I ate my coffee low-fat yogurt (when what I really wanted was the big moose tracks sundae--hot fudge and peanut butter topping, yum), I remembered how I used to have a soft-serve cone at the start of a shift, AND a sundae or shake at the end. And I only weighed 115 pounds.
Corn muffin and cone aside, it was a nice break from figuring out the freakin' dinner.