You want fresh – you got it. The staff and the food are both fresh…which lends to the experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Tucked away at 59th and 5th in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this diner is a can’t miss destination in itself.
Almost ninety years ago, Anthony Franks wanted to be a restaurateur and saw a diner car advertised for $7,500 in a magazine. With another $315 to cover freight, he could have it shipped cross-country from New Jersey to Kenosha. Shortly thereafter, six strong horses labored down 58th Street pulling Frank’s Diner to its present location.
Franks operated the diner until 2001, when he sold it to a new set of owners. In 2010, it was again sold, this time to the present operators Kevin Ervin and Julie Rittmiller. Franks has been featured on The Food Network on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and in the New York Times.
What hasn’t changed is that you’ll get more sass and more food than you ever expected…and great food at that. Portion control isn’t something Franks is known for. To the contrary, you order their signature Garbage Plate by the full or half size.
Most mortals will have a hard time putting away a full garbage plate for breakfast. To the uninitiated, that’s 5 eggs, mixed with hashbrowns, green peppers, onions and jalapeno peppers, if you like it spicy. But you’re just starting, then add up to five meats, five cheeses and more veggies if you like.
In case that doesn’t fill you, it’s accompanied by what most locals call the best homemade bread ever – toasted and delicious. Your choice of white, whole wheat, marble rye or cinnamon.
Coffee comes with three refills, but tea comes with unlimited free water. You’re gonna need it to wash down a meal like this. Many couples and most seniors end up splitting a half garbage plate for breakfast and still take some home.
With all it has going for it, your first experience with the diner should probably be off hours to enable you to get a seat without a considerable wait. Their Rules of Etiquette require “No Whining” about the food or the wait. “Order what you want, eat what you get.”
When you’re done, pay at the register - and bring cash – no credit cards accepted.
508 58th Street
Kenosha, Wisconsin 53140
W http://www.franksdinerkenosha.com (N.B. site was down as of 9/13/13 - what do you expect on Friday the 13th?)
Maureen Bardwell and her photojournalist husband Doug love to travel the world in search of those unique, off-the-beaten-track restaurants, bakeries, wineries, and local craft shops. If you’ve got a favorite you’d like to see mentioned here, drop us a line. Follow Doug Bardwell on Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+