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Orem's Diner

167 Danbury Rd., Wilton, CT - (203) 762-7370
Posted By Michael Stern on 6/10/2003 7:15:00 PM
It’s hard to imagine traveling up the commercial bonanza that is Route 7 through Fairfield County today that it used to be a farmland road. When Orem's Diner opened in 1921, a drive in the country was a rare treat for city dwellers, who came this way past dairy cattle and chicken farms. Everything else has changed, and Orem's itself has just moved to spacious new quarters, but the good old diner still does what it has been doing now for four score years – serving inexpensive meals to travelers and serving as an informal meeting hall for local citizens.

The new facility is all chrome and faux marble. Enter and feast your eyes upon the bakery case with cakes galore and cookies the size of dinner plates. There is a counter up and to the left, booths on both sides, and a take-out station straight ahead. (There is no longer a smoking section anywhere.) Judging by the way people used to crowd into the old Orem's, and the way the new place was packed on opening day, you can expect a crowd of customers just about any time after sunup.

Breakfast is served diner-fast and is diner-good: crusty hash browns to accompany eggs, big hot muffins, bowls of warm oatmeal, and plenty of refills for your coffee cup. For lunch and dinner, there are always a couple of excellent soups, some of the specialties being split pea with luscious croutons, lentil, chicken-noodle, and clam chowder. Like so many modern diners, the menu is vast and far-reaching, from a whole page of Italian specialties to Greek gyros and chicken souvlaki on pita bread with a killer garlic cream condiment to corned beef with cabbage, classic blue-plate meat loaf, and sandwiches of all kinds. We are particularly fond of the open-face hot sandwiches – beef or turkey – which consist of tasty meat atop soft white bread sided by great handsome drifts of delicious mashed potatoes running rivulets of gravy.

For dessert: cheesecake, Boston cream pie, or balmy rice pudding.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Soups are especially good at Orems. Different ones are available every day. This is split pea, with croutons, on the first full day Orems opened in its new facility, June 10, 2003.
"Soups are especially good at Orems. Different ones are available every day. This is split pea, with croutons, on the first full day Orems opened in its new facility, June 10, 2003."
Michael Stern





Orems has a huge, multi-page menu, with dishes from around the nation and the world. The one and only thing Jane ever eats is a hot turkey sandwich. The meat is moist and flavorful, the mashed potatoes are for real.
"Orems has a huge, multi-page menu, with dishes from around the nation and the world. The one and only thing Jane ever eats is a hot turkey sandwich. The meat is moist and flavorful, the mashed potatoes are for real."
Michael Stern


Crusty grilled chicken, chopped tomatoes and onions are heaped on a chewy pita bread and accompanied by a chunk of feta cheese (right) and a cup of powerful garlic cream.
"Crusty grilled chicken, chopped tomatoes and onions are heaped on a chewy pita bread and accompanied by a chunk of feta cheese (right) and a cup of powerful garlic cream."
Michael Stern


When Orem's opened in 1921, it was surrounded by open land and Route 7 was a country two-lane.  Much of the road remains two lanes ... packed with traffic during rush hour!
"When Orem's opened in 1921, it was surrounded by open land and Route 7 was a country two-lane. Much of the road remains two lanes ... packed with traffic during rush hour!"
Michael Stern


Orems moved down the road in June, 2003, to this new building that is big and bright and very well air-conditioned!
"Orems moved down the road in June, 2003, to this new building that is big and bright and very well air-conditioned!"
Michael Stern



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