Published in November 2012
Written By: Spencer Caldwell
Georgie’s Diner & Restaurant in West Haven, which I had driven by scores of times without giving it any thought, proved to be one of my more interesting discoveries. And yes, I realize that’s like saying Christopher Columbus discovered America—Georgie’s Diner already had plenty of customers when I “discovered” it.
The diner apparently was built in 1956 in New Rochelle, N.Y. It became Duchess Diner in Stratford until 1967, at which point it was moved to West Haven and renamed Elm Diner. The diner was subsequently renamed after one of its operators, George Anthis, and completely restored during the summer of 2009. The restaurant has a clean, modern feel to it, and even a nice patio dining area.
Georgie’s menu feels correspondingly modern, pays real attention to sourcing, and is a bit pricier than a typical diner. There’s a vegan menu and gluten-free options. There are reduced-sugar fruit spreads for the housemade bagels. There are Belgian waffles, fresh hand-pressed orange juice, a roasted beet and goat cheese salad, a grouper sandwich, shrimp bisque, crab cakes, chicken Madeira and sashimi-grade tuna.
From Georgie’s diverse menu, there are alternative burgers like veggie, chicken, salmon, turkey and lamb. But burger loyalists should focus on the lineup of 8-ounce Pat LaFrieda burgers featuring a blend of prime chuck, shoulder and brisket. While several nice combinations are offered, it’s difficult to beat the juicy, flavorful Gourmet Burger topped with portobello mushroom and Gorgonzola.
Published February 9, 2010
Written by: Jonathan Starkes
Wanna know what’s buzzin? The fifties are back! At least at 427 Elm Street, that is. At the base of the historic Armstrong Factory is a little piece of history: Georgie’s Diner. After opening in late September, this classic establishment has officially revived my favorite dining experience: the classic 50’s diner.
Georgie’s diner was built in New Rochelle in 1956.
Georgie’s diner was actually built in New Rochelle in 1956. After spending some time in Stratford, the diner finally opened in West Haven as the Elm Diner in 1971. I’ve passed by the Elm Diner more times than I can count and I never noticed it before. Since its glorious restoration this past summer, however, no one can help but notice this shiny, silver bullet.
The diner’s atmosphere is completely retro. Its chrome exterior shines bright in the morning sun. Its interior is just as authentic. The floor is the original design, restored to 50’s perfection before its opening. Hot pink neon lights reflect beautifully off the shiny interior. And of course, it has all the classic components of a diner: bar stools, comfy booths, and a public grille. Entering Georgie’s is truly taking a step back in time, so don’t be surprised if a gang of greasers shows up and challenges you to a race.
Although atmosphere is important, judging a diner’s quality ultimately boils down to its food and service. It is in these two categories that Georgie’s blows the competition away. In just my two visits, I was delighted to taste Georgie’s home-style meatloaf and mouth-watering poached eggs. For those of you who enjoy the classics you won’t be disappointed. Georgie’s also caters to those who enjoy something different or have a limited diet. Using a separate fryer for vegan and gluten-free dishes, all prepared according to GFRAP guidelines, the diner offers a full range of specialty dishes including pork chops, roasted chicken, chicken parmigana, and chicken tuscany. They even have a nice variety of gluten-free deserts including my favorite, the ice cream sundae. Even more impressive is Georgie’s variety of vegan dishes, including Tempeh Reuben, Falafels, and organic malibu burgers. Their full menu is available on their website: www.georgies-diner.com.
In terms of service, Georgie’s creates a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. As soon as I sat down, my coffee was already being poured. I even had a nice chat with the owner, George Anthis and his son Niki about the family’s involvement in the diner’s colorful history. Oh to be Greek!
As if Georgie’s could get any better, they even offer delivery service to UNH. Any time between 11 and 9 you can enjoy something off of their full menu. But I seriously encourage any potential diners to break out their poodle skirts, agitate the gravel, and get made in the shade at Georgie’s Diner.
Dining With Susan
Written by: Susan Noonan, Orange Town News
Georgie’s on Elm Street in West Haven is a true example of the quintessential American diner as it has a rich history. Owned by longtime Orange resident George Anthis and his family, Georgie’s Diner was built in 1956 in New Rochelle. New York. Its first stop in Connecticut was Stratford where it was called Duchess Diner until 1967. It was then moved to its current location in West Haven and renamed Elm Diner.
Through the decades the diner was a meeting place in the community and a little piece of West Haven history as it stood by the proud Armstrong factory. George was one of its many operators, but more importantly, he is the one who commissioned its restoration and so the diner has come to bear his name. George, along with his hardworking family, operated the diner 7 days a week, 24 hours a day from 1971 to 1988. The diner was more than just a place of work. It was a second home, a place where his two children grew up, where he made lifelong friends, and where he and his wife created roots in the United States. Recently the diner had fallen into extreme disrepair. The latest operators had allowed everything to deteriorate. Any more damage and the building would not have been salvageable. During the summer of 2009, the building was restored and its doors were reopened in September. Thankfully, a piece of the past is available for the people of today.
Fast forward to January 2010 and I must say “the joint is jumping”. Some friends, including another longtime Orange resident and retired teacher, Cynthia Butler, had an opportunity to join me for dinner at Georgie’s. This was my second visit and I can’t say enough good things about this newly renovated establishment. George has since retired, but the rich tradition still continues with his lovely daughter Georgette, son Nick, and friend Ivan Acevedo who currently manage the day to day operation of the diner.
Georgie’s is old school and new school at the same time, offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu options alongside traditional “comfort food” including omelettes, pancakes, French toast, hamburgers, onion rings, chicken pot pies, meat loaf, pot roast, southern fried chicken, sandwiches, salads, soups, fresh seafood, just to name a few. Warm homemade crusty bread is served with all dinner entrees. They even make their own bagels. Georgie’s offers freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade along with egg creams, ice cream sodas, root beer floats and milk shakes. Doesn’t this bring back memories?
All desserts are made in-house. Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner specials are also offered. The most amazing thing about Georgie’s (in addition to the outstanding food and service) is the prices. As you know, I am familiar with most of the area restaurants and this one by far is the most affordable.