Editor’s note: Adam Brandt is a graduate from the Cobra Kai School of Culinary Callousness, where he received their highest award, the Red Apron of Merciless Eating. Aside from eating and talking about eating, he makes pots, paintings, prints, books, photographs, and generally, a big mess. He has been the studio assistant at Mudpuppy Pottery for almost nine years and is attending a local university in a desperate attempt to earn a biology degree.
Nearly a year ago I was underwhelmed with a local diner’s performance and did not hesitate to say so. This time around, they’ve got me eating my words and they are much tastier than I remembered.
Located snugly on the corner of 6th Street in historic downtown Van Buren is the home of the newest location of the Boom-a-Rang Diner. Behind a bar that has long since seen a drop of alcohol, a life-size cardboard cut out of ol’ Dino waits to greet customers hungering for old-fashioned diner food.
The fun of the décor doesn’t stop there. Not by a long shot. Every wall, every surface in this rockin’ old building has at least one piece of memorabilia from a better time. Wondering where the restroom is? It is right down Abbey Road and to the right, where a sign with the King on it awaits the fellas and Ms. Monroe awaits the ladies. In addition to their fun decorating and friendly environment, Boom-a-Rang Diner offers very patient, devoted, kind, and helpful waitstaff. So devoted in fact, that they will go out on the street to invite window shoppers in to fill vacant tables.
Last time, I critiqued the food a little unfairly. I did not see the food for what it actually is: comforting. Have you been having a rough week? Economy getting you down? Why not have the perfect breakfast food to settle your nerves? That’s right, you can order onion rings first thing in the morning. These tasty little root vegetables come sliced, breaded, and fried to crispy perfection every time you order them.
If you’re super hungry, may I suggest the Big Breakfast. This monster comes with 2 eggs however you like them, crispy bacon or sausage patties, hash browns, and either toast or a biscuit and gravy. Their grill cook knows what they doing back there. I have rarely eaten a more perfect over medium pair of chicken babies outside of my own kitchen.
They lose a few points for the packaged gravy, but get those points back for the biscuit. These biscuits are either homemade or a damn fine facsimile of homemade. Either way, kudos to you for that.
My personal favorite has got to be the Eggwich, if for nothing else but the name. Think of a BLT, but then add cheese and eggs to it. It’s brilliant. This little handheld treasure comes across as surprisingly light and rich at the same time. It goes perfect with those onion rings you just ordered.
If your sweet tooth has been giving you fits, Boom-a-Rang offers an assortment of old-style floats, shakes, and malts for your enjoyment. I give the Dreamsicle float two big thumbs up.
If you’ve yet to try out Boom-a-Rang’s newest location, you should make it a point to give them a go. They are definitely worth every penny. Like they say on the menu: “It’s not fast food. It’s good fast food.”
Until next week, good eating to you and yours.
When he’s not beating his eggs, Adam makes time to respond to e-mails that get past his hard-ass spam filter. You can try to reach him at email@example.com
Adam also has this thing called Sandwich Control.