Like an alien spaceship, the West 17 Diner sticks out amidst the rolling green hills through which Route 17 West meanders near Livingston Manor, NY. Picture somebody dropping a 70s disco on the side of the interstate. There’s a curved turretlike structure that anchors the front corner of the building.

Inside, two vast dining areas – one with booths, the other booths and tables – might seat what could possibly number into the hundreds. On this visit it was this side of empty. Maybe the early 1980s color scheme had something to do with it.

The menu is heavy enough to commit a felony with. Pages and pages offer not just breakfast, not just sandwiches, but serious dinners that range from Italian entrees to that diner favorite, the open faced turkey sandwich, not to mention veal and seafood. The wait staff is very professional, very efficient, very personable, and makes you forget that you may not be eating the first thing you wanted to order.

In our dining room (right of the turret when you face the building), the ceiling is disturbingly high, one of the walls is covered in mirror panels, and there’s a sense that something big might erupt from the floor or the kitchen.

It’s like a Broadway set waiting for the chorus to burst onstage for the show-stopping musical number.

Food is good although the kitchen had run out of a couple of items we’d ordered. The menu insinuates that cocktails are available, but the diner had no liquor license at the time of this visit. In the other dining room on the other side, college pennants are the theme of the decor, nearby colleges included.

The round turret (you’ll eventually find out) is the bathroom, just off the main entrance. It’s big enough but could be a touch cleaner. Again, if you dislike big spaces, you’ll wonder why such a high ceiling is necessary.

You’ll also wonder why a Superpages listing doesn’t exist for this mysterious diner. I did. So despite the fact that I diligently googled the West 17 Diner, there is no available business listing, address, phone number or location info that can be reproduced here. The truth is out there. You just have to find it…somewhere in the vicinity of Livingston Manor, NY. Just look for the name on the building that looks like a spaceship – or a disco with a turret.

West 17 Diner
whereabouts not exactly known

Easy to find on a streetcorner on the attractive main drag of collegetown Oneonta, NY (they like to call themselves The City of the Hills), the Corfu Diner takes its name from the Greek island of the same name and the decor of the restaurant keys you into that fact if the name doesn’t. There’s soft blue on the walls, the requisite aluminum behind the counter, and photos of Greek locales on the walls.

A sign that says Thai Iced Tea is available suggests an eclectic menu including items other than standard American fare (but no Thai option on the breakfast menu.) Another indicates they must have a liquor license as there’s a featured wine.

Though breakfast isn’t synonymous with lettuce, the Corfu appears to be heavily into greens later in the day – the large free-standing (not yet stocked at 9am) salad bar hints that dinner is a busy time for them.

But back to breakfast – good coffee, eggs over medium done a bit on the firmer side, home fries more soft than cracklin’ crispy, and generous portions.

The wait staff seemed to have their goth on – black t-shirts and those big ole earhole piercings; the owner (or the manager?) is a slender, attractive, and apparently Greek woman who balances out her staff so you aren’t too scared when you first walk in.

This was a place packed with families at 9am on a Friday – mothers, kids, even fathers (professor dads with the summer off? my best guess) – and many people seemed to know each other. So if the locals hang out in droves, must be worthwhile.

Bathroom was clean and carefully painted with some homey touches – always appreciated.

Corfu Diner
139 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820

(607) 643-0232

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners

Dream of settling down in a small town? Bainbridge is way off the beaten path. A nice place – not self-obsessed and cutesy in the manner of college towns or tourist spots.

Not much cooking in Bainbridge unless you count Bob’s Diner. At night it glows like a beacon, beckoning road warriors to take a break over eggs sunnyside up, home fries, and rye toast.

It knows enough to work the classic American diner theme – booths, lights, aluminum panels behind the counter – and the tall glass pie case patched with homemade signs and names of desserts available (and crossed off when the last crumb is sold.) They push the Sunday brunch which is in a whole ‘nother room behind the main diner area – it’s a buffet apparently and brings the locals out.

This place could double as a Hollywood sound stage depicting a diner. It’s perfect without being Disney-esque. They don’t try too hard – they just are.

You’ll park in back, walk across a crumbling patio (with much potential if they wanted to go the alfresco route), then enter on the side. There’s a small vestibule – diner’s on the right, Sunday brunch area on the left.

Coffee was good, eggs done just right, home fries nice and crisp (diced potatoes seasoned evenly). Locals look like nice folk – they don’t stare you down, leave you to enjoy your meal and gaze out the front windows to admire the town. Across the street a lawyer’s turned a classic old house into his office – even put a shingle out front. Makes you want to move here and do the same – put a sign out – do good work for good people – enjoy the morning sunshine at Bob’s Diner.

The bathroom was clean, no off smells, plenty of soap and paper towels. Someone made an effort to make it look nice. This is a make or break for many establishments. They did it right.

Waitress was friendly, took everything in stride as the joint was hoppin’ at 9 am on a Friday. Had enough time to chat us up a little and greet friends and neighbors who walked in the door. It was a little too early for dessert, but those pies sure looked good.

Bob’s Diner
26 North Main Street, Bainbridge, NY 13733

(607) 967-3111
72 Seat Family Diner, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinners
6am-8pm – 7 Days a Week

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