People tend to love diners for many reasons. The restaurants tend to be cheap, quick, and friendly, and to many, they represent a simpler time in the past. Perhaps that is why diners continue to thrive in the modern era, even with so many chains crowding the scene. Across New England, one can find these little eateries in small towns, along rural roads, and in the middle of busy cities. And some, such as the Blue Plate Diner in Middletown, Rhode Island, are right in the middle of busy tourist areas.
Indeed, the retro yet modern Blue Plate Diner, located on a busy road in Middletown, is just minutes from Newport, one of the most popular resorts in New England. And while it is popular, people often pass by it to hurry into Newport, or to go with the many "safe" options in the areas--chains--of which there are many. Those who venture to the generic burger or chicken places are missing out, as the Blue Plate Diner has terrific comfort food that does not cost much more than the food at the chains.
The menu at the Blue Plate Diner has pretty much everything; breakfast is served all day, as any decent diner will do, and the lunches and dinners encompass everything from burgers, steaks, and chicken, to macaroni and cheese and turkey dinners. Good options include the patty melt, which is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with a hunk of beef in it, and the french dip, with roast beef that is some of the best this writer has had in awhile. The waffle fries are tasty, as are the smashed potatoes, and the sweet potato fries are perfect; crisp and not too greasy. Soups at the Blue Plate Diner, including the split pea soup, are also excellent.
If you find yourself in Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, or the surrounding area, consider heading to the Blue Plate Diner. As diners go, it is fairly big, so your chances of getting a seat are good, unlike many places in Newport during the summer. Plus, you are avoiding the chains in the area. And this point, by the way, has not been lost on the people at the Blue Plate Diner; there is a phrase in prominent display inside the diner that says: Thou Shalt Not Worship Golden Arches. Wise words, indeed. Pass up on the arches and head over to the Blue Plate Diner the next time you are in Middletown.
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