Dave’s Diner, smothered hot dogs, and rethinking ‘eatery’


We usually drive through Manlius on the way to somewhere else. That’s not a knock on Manlius, just a function of how we get to Wegman’s in Dewitt and to Syracuse. 

It does have a great little movie theater, and some swans. Those are good things. The mayor had to pay a $100 fine after he admitted to breaking his own village’s recycling laws by swiping returnables from residents’ bins. Twice. That’s weird, and somewhat entertaining.

I do wonder if I would pay the village more attention if its school district was called Manlius-Fayetteville and not Fayetteville-Manlius.  Probably not.

Today, Manlius was our destination as we drove to Dave’s Diner for breakfast with our aunt from the ‘cuse. It was my first stop at the diner, which is on Route 173 just west of the turnoff for Route 92. The diner was hopping at 10 a.m.

Dave's Diner in Manlius

Dave’s turns out to be a good stop for a morning repast. A full menu, including all sorts of waffles and toppings. Plentiful portions and reasonably priced. I can’t say anything struck me as unusually good or charming or noteworthy, but on the other hand nothing was bad or overpriced or suspect. Pretty solid all around.

A few news nuggets:

– Friend J wrote to tell me that next time I am in the Glove Cities region I need to venture into Gloversville and try New York Lunch. He highly recommends the smothered hot dogs, a signature item the place has been serving for at least 60 years.  If you are a hot dog fan it seems like you need to visit New York Lunch and then drive to the Hot Dog Hut Cafe just down the road in Johnstown. Which restaurant would win the hot dog derby? Hmmm…

– A new restaurant is set to open in Hamilton: Royal Indian Grill. The owner of the Broad Street establishment runs similar restaurants in New Hartford, Clinton, and Dewitt. We eagerly await its opening and will let you know how we fare. We have eaten at the Clinton restaurant and enjoyed it thoroughly. Wonderful tandoori chicken, chicken curry, and naan bread.

– Roger’s Market in Hamilton closed some time ago. It was a wonderful place for deli sandwiches and microbrew beer selections. It has been purchased and renamed Hamilton Eatery. Not quite the most imaginative of names, is it? For some reason when I saw that name I immediately thought of its polar opposite in naming conventions: the Squat and Gobble restaurant on Route 5 in Vernon. 

If I was going to name a restaurant, I’d lean more toward the Squat and Gobble type moniker than anything with the word eatery in it. That makes it sound like a place that serves cream corn with open-faced sandwiches made with Wonder bread and Heinz canned brown gravy, followed with blue Jello for dessert, or better yet, blue Jello with fruit chunks in it.

Which, now that I think about it, was my Mom’s signature dish during my formative years, at least toward the latter part of every month when my Dad, the Con Ed foreman, was getting paid monthly and we’d start to run out of money around the 20th or so.

I’m sure the Hamilton Eatery will be nothing like any of that, and we wish the new owners, Fabius natives who had been living in Colorado, nothing but the best.

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3 thoughts on “Dave’s Diner, smothered hot dogs, and rethinking ‘eatery’

  1. You know the Squat and Gobble sounds like a gay bar.
    Also, there are people who open restaurants and there people who write about them. People who write about restaurants can’t open one, so they fell the need to pick on a name when they have no idea what they are talking about. As far as I am concerned people like that can just squat and gobble.

  2. This was interesting as always, but it’s August and many upstaters turn their attention to Saratoga Springs and the historic race course. Have you eaten there lately? Any thoughts or advice?

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