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Blue Benn Diner

314 North St., Bennington, VT - (802) 442-5140
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/26/2007 1:11:00 PM
We have seen the Blue Benn referred to as a "gourmet diner"; but Roadfood devotees need not worry. This definitely is not an annoying reborn streamliner in which an ambitious chef recasts the image as a retro-chic eatery serving New American cuisine. An original Silk City diner manufactured in the 1940s and planted on its current site along Route 7 in 1949, the Blue Benn remains a true-blue hash house.

Yes, you can eat interesting (and very good) international dishes that are not at all typical of a classic diner, i.e. Syrian roll-ups or vegetarian enchiladas; but the traditional diner fare is not to be missed: pot roast, turkey dinner, meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

Breakfast is served all day, natch, and it is an especially good time to squeeze into a booth or find a counter seat in the pint-size hut. The Blue Benn seems always overpopulated with customers; and its walls are plastered with a virtual confetti of hundreds of signs listing arcane and modern specials from creamed chipped beef on toast to soya sausage. The commotion is presided over by a team of waitresses whose dexterous repartee cheers on customers to greet the day. It’s hypnotic to watch the coffee-pot-armed professionals maneuver the confines behind the counter and among the short line of wooden booths of the creaky old monitor-roof diner.

And oh, what a joy it is to ease a fork into a steamy slice of corn bread French toast or a stack of crunchberry pancakes with turkey hash on the side. And don’t tell anyone, but we love to greet the sun with Blue Benn Indian pudding, a primordial cornmeal and molasses samp that is, technically speaking, dessert … but makes a salubrious morning cereal when served warm and dolloped with cream instead of ice cream.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Pancakes
French Toast
Indian Pudding
Corned Beef Hash
Donut
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Crunch berry pancakes, ready to eat! It was mid-January, but those berries packed powerful fruit flavor.
"Crunch berry pancakes, ready to eat! It was mid-January, but those berries packed powerful fruit flavor."
Michael Stern





A more-than-ample serving of corn bread French toast
"A more-than-ample serving of corn bread French toast"
Michael Stern


This stack of blueberry pancakes cries out for butter and a spill of maple syrup.
"This stack of blueberry pancakes cries out for butter and a spill of maple syrup."
Michael Stern


A substantial donut, as Vermonters prefer. Krispy Kreme has yet to open a branch in the Green Mountain State.
"A substantial donut, as Vermonters prefer. Krispy Kreme has yet to open a branch in the Green Mountain State."
Michael Stern


Blue Benn Diner's crispy corned beef hash can be ordered as your main breakfast dish or a smaller portion on the side.
"Blue Benn Diner's crispy corned beef hash can be ordered as your main breakfast dish or a smaller portion on the side."
Cliff Strutz


Traditionally Indian pudding is served as dessert. We like it for breakfast, too. That's a scoop of ice cream on top, melting fast in the hot grain.
"Traditionally Indian pudding is served as dessert. We like it for breakfast, too. That's a scoop of ice cream on top, melting fast in the hot grain."
Michael Stern


Early morning: the Blue Benn is not yet totally filled with customers, as it soon will be.
"Early morning: the Blue Benn is not yet totally filled with customers, as it soon will be."
Michael Stern


Until every stool is occupied, thus constricting elbow room, the counter of the Blue Benn is a great place to read the newspaper. Note the countless signs posted along the wall, advertising kitchen specials.
"Until every stool is occupied, thus constricting elbow room, the counter of the Blue Benn is a great place to read the newspaper. Note the countless signs posted along the wall, advertising kitchen specials."
Michael Stern


There are so many signs advertising specials that they had to start hanging them on the old art deco clock.
"There are so many signs advertising specials that they had to start hanging them on the old art deco clock."
Cliff Strutz


The juke boxes lined up along the counter feature plenty of oldies.
"The juke boxes lined up along the counter feature plenty of oldies."
Michael Stern


We love the look of a well-worn counter, where millions of elbows have eroded the Formica.
"We love the look of a well-worn counter, where millions of elbows have eroded the Formica."
Michael Stern


The Blue Benn is a roadside classic.
"The Blue Benn is a roadside classic."
Michael Stern



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