Posts Tagged ‘food’

In Search of the Golden Arrow Diner

November 28, 2018


The Golden Arrow Diner postcard has long been a favorite of Lincoln Highway and diner fans. The back lists it as “Lincoln Highway, US No 1, Langhorne.” After having written books on the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania, and Diners of Pennsylvania, I still had no idea exactly where it was located.

PA-Langhorne-Golden Arrow.jpg

The original books were written pre-Internet, so we now have the world of online resources. But it’s not THAT easy: one site, for example, listed it in 1953 at “City Line ON Roosevelt Blvd, Trevose,” another said “City Line ABOVE Roosevelt,” and yet another, “Roosevelt Blvd NORTH OF City Line” One post said across from a cemetery, another said the cemetery was behind it.

Best I can tell, it was just southwest of Street Road (which is now Old Street Road, dead-ending at newer, wider Route 1). The diner’s name was registered by Emilio Ciotti in 1951. As the postcard back notes, the Golden Arrow was build by Comac in Irvington, N.J., a relatively rare make.


Golden Arrow Diner, 1954. © Getty Images.






The diner moved in 1967, though not far, and became the kitchen for a new, bigger venture of Emidio or “George” and Lena Ciotti: the Golden Arrow Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge Of Trevose, 3631 Street Road, Cornwells Heights, Pa. Check the map above for both old and new locations.

The Bucks County Courier Times of Nov. 17, 1967, said this new location had a plush dining room, cocktail lounge, wall-to-wall carpeting, bay window, and large aquarium. An in-house jazz trio of piano, drums, and upright bass provided “the Philadelphia sound, if you know what that is.”




In recent years, it was sold and remodeled into the Stadium Bar & Grill. This Google Street View shows what may be the diner sticking out of the larger building:

Stadium 2014.jpg

Unfortunately we can no longer check — the Stadium was demolished in 2015, replaced by a park. Now, barely a block away, the Metro Diner serves customers from a modern shopping plaza.

Final odd note — in 1994 there was an ad looking for workers for a Golden Arrow Diner on Rts 11 & 15, Shamokin Dam, Pa., and then a flurry of these ads in 1997. Then that trail goes cold too, more roadside history lost to time….



Marshalltown IA — Stone's Restaurant to reopen

August 26, 2009

A Lincoln Highway landmark closed the past two years is set to reopen. Eagle-eyed “Loungelistener” stopped on his cross-country LH trip to photograph the giant sign for Stone’s in Marshalltown, Iowa, and noticed activity at the closed restaurant. He took this photo and reported on his blog,

As I drove around under the viaduct, I could indeed see action at the restaurant. Workmen were busily scurring around, saws and hammers sounding out. There certainly was something going on.


Indeed, the Marshalltown Times-Republican reports that new owner Steve Badger will reopen on September 1:

“It has been a challenge because starting a restaurant is a very complex process, but you hate to see something that’s been part of the community for so long disappear.”

An aroma of baked goods will add to vintage ambiance ranging from cinnamon rolls, pies and cornbread; edibles will include soups and salads, sandwiches, steaks, fresh fish and diet-conscious or vegetarian foods. A featured entree will be pan-fried chicken – cooked in cast iron skillets — served with fresh mashed potatoes and gravy.

“We’re trying to provide something for everybody,” Badger said. “It’s traditional Midwest cooking.”

And everything will be homemade…. On whether Stone’s will serve dishes reminiscent of menu favorites, Badger said one thing is certain.

“Yes, we’re going to have the pie,” he laughed. “But it might only be a half-mile high.”

Lincoln Cafe chef wins pig cooking competition

April 27, 2009

Sunday’s Cedar Rapids Gazette ran a story about the Lincoln Cafe, along the Lincoln Highway in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Owner and chef Matt Steigerwald won the Cochon 555 competition held in Des Moines on April 19. Below is the story and a photo of the place by PBS producer Rick Sebak.


Cochon is French for pig, so 5 competing chefs prepared a Heritage Pig for judging and public tasting. Steigerwald was the only chef not from Des Moines. The chefs prepared the pigs in their own restaurants and transported them to the competition—for Steigerwald, a 2-hour drive. Some of the items Steigerwald made were pozole (a Mexican soup made with pork and hominy), a pork belly confit, biscuits made with lard, head cheese and Carolina pork barbecue.

Steigerwald took home a bottle of Templeton Rye and a trophy that declared him the “Prince of Porc.” The competition is traveling nationally and will be in Chicago next on May 24. For more information go to

Suzie Burger rehabs rare Sacramento gas station

January 17, 2008

Just a block from the official route of the Lincoln Highway in Sacramento, Suzie Burger is a new restaurant in an old gas station (see red circle on map below). The double-canopy station at 29th and P streets was previously an Orbit station, but looks like it was probably built as a Phillips 66 in the 1960s (see the Spring 2005 Society for Commercial Archeology Journal for more on their history).

The above photo from Tom Spaulding, as seen on Flickr, shows the station’s two canopies, somewhat rare. Tom has more than 7,000 images on Flickr, and check out Tom’s blog for tons more great photos and info from that region.)

The station was later converted to Tune-up Masters, then closed and declined into a local eyesore. Locals are thrilled with the rehab, though early reviews on the food are mixed (though in fairness, three months is a normal period of adjustment). The building is not listed in any historical register so the new owners are to be commended for saving, reusing, and reviving architectural details. They have other high-end restaurants in the area. The original Suzie’s drive-in at 24th Street decades ago; Benny Ogata, son of the founders of the original, is an investor and was helping cook opening day.

CA_LHA Sac Map

The Sacramento Bee reports that a basic Suzie Burger is $1.95, cheeseburger $2.95, each one served with dill pickle and carrot sticks. Grilled onions, pickled jalapenos, sauerkraut, pastrami, chili, and a fried egg range from 45 cents to $1.95 each. The menu also includes hot dogs, chili, and cheesesteaks Milkshakes and soft-serve cones also are served. The cafe red-and-white color scheme includes “Suzie” caricatures by Sacramento artist Matt Rallens. The Suzie’s website has nothing yet but the address. The map is from the LHA Driving Maps CD, available through the LH Trading Post.

Diners just got Easier to Find Along the Lincoln

November 19, 2007

Two new online resources will ease your search for classic diners along the Lincoln Highway or anywhere.

OH_St Tr DinerAbove: Earle Hersman at the grill at Jacki and Earle’s Steel Trolley Diner in Lisbon, Ohio, a 1955 O’Mahony-brand diner. Traveling all day across Ohio, there is no bigger thrill than pulling into town, seeing the lights on 24 hours a day, and knowing you can get breakfast, dinner, dessert, or just some coffee for the miles ahead.

Since starting Roadside magazine in the early 1990s, Randy Garbin has published maps to locate and identify diners, those factory-made restaurants with a counter that so many of us love. Then he compiled the info into a bound volume organized by state. Now that amazing database is available on the web at no charge: Diner Finder Online. Visitors to will find the feature in the tabs to the right and need just do a simple free registration to gain access. Once there, you click on a US state, and go to a list alphabetized by name, with city identified and an occasional picture. (Once you’re registered, you can access the site directly at Fellow researchers and food lovers have already contributed dozens of updates and corrections, making it the premiere guide to some 1875 diners. The print version is still available too.

Randy told me, “You could say that this project started back in 1986 when I first became ‘diner-aware.’ I vowed then to find and eat in every diner in the country, and this is part of that effort. It remains a work in progress and I continue to receive dozens of updates and photos from readers every week.” Here’s an example of what happens when you click the entry for the Steel Trolley Diner, 140 E Lincoln Way, Lisbon, Ohio:

Anim Diner gif

Another new source for diner info is Larry Cultrera’s Diner Hotline blog, which I’m proud to say was inspired by my move to blogging. Larry has written the Diner Hotline column for the Society for Commercial Archeology’s magazine (which I design) since 1988. He took his first diner photo in November 1980, then the following July started a Diner Log. He’s up to 806 diners but seems to know every diner’s story and owners, past and present. Check it out at The heartbreaking image at his page top shows the former Rosedale Diner of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, which appeared in 1973 on Daryl Hall and John Oates’ album Abandoned Luncheonette.

Diner Hotline