Dining, American Style
Experience authentic American food with classic music and unique decor at The All American Diner in New Delhi.
For more than 15 years, patrons have come to The All American Diner in New Delhi for its food, and stayed for the classic music, beautiful ambience and unique décor.
“Since the inception of the restaurant, we have received extreme love and appreciation from satisfied customers. We feel really blessed to have guests who have been loyal from our early days and have continued to come back, again and again,” says Aakriti Sachdeva, assistant manager at Old World Hospitality, which operates The All American Diner at the India Habitat Centre.
Diners can be found in every region of the United States. The concept was born when an enterprising man named Walter Scott began to offer prepared food from his converted horse-drawn freight wagon in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1872, says Sachdeva. The original “lunch wagon” was incredibly successful and others imitated the concept, leading to an industry that stretches all across the United States. While most diners have the same basic elements, they showcase their unique flair in their décor items, food specials and hospitality.
At The All American Diner in New Delhi, the décor features classic, padded red vinyl booths, black and white checkerboard tiles, and lots of tin and enamel plaques advertising classic U.S. companies and brands. These have been sourced from flea markets and antique shops from various parts of the United States.
Elvis Presley has a ubiquitous presence at the diner. It boasts of an Elvis clock and a limited-edition “Elvis” Wurlitzer jukebox that plays classic American music from the 1930’s through the 1970’s, including the hits of the singer himself, says Sachdeva.
Even some of the kitchen equipment have a vintage flair, including a retro-style Hamilton Beach blender and an Elektra Barlume Crema Caffè, which Sachdeva calls, “the Cadillac of all coffee machines.”
The diner is located at the India Habitat Centre’s hub, an open space with lawns and a lotus pond. Patrons can sit inside or outside the restaurant. The counter with red vinyl bar stools evokes a particularly American feel, also because of the “soda fountain,” which was a part of mid-20th-century life in the United States.
The restaurant serves American breakfast all day, and also offers extensive lunch and dinner options. All-day breakfast is a trademark of the diner, as many patrons enjoy eating bacon and eggs even for dinner.
The Sunrise Skillet, for example, includes two scrambled eggs, three slices of bacon and two grilled chicken or pork sausages, along with two pancakes. For those who prefer omelettes, The Ultimate contains three eggs, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, chicken or pork sausage and chicken ham, topped with cheese.
Keep an eye out for the diner’s weekend breakfast buffet, as well as Mexican food specials.
If your entire group is especially hungry and arrives early at the diner for breakfast, the Gluttons on the Table offer allows patrons to eat anything they want from the breakfast menu for a flat price. The deal is available only if everyone at the table participates.
For lunch or dinner, consider Surf ‘N’ Turf—chicken steak with golden fried prawns, served with American corn and sautéed vegetables. Another option is the spicy marinated chicken fajita, which is served with vegetables, a flour tortilla and sour cream. For those seeking fish, there’s a chargrilled Norwegian salmon steak with tomato coulis, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables.
The All American Diner also offers a range of sandwiches like Triple Decker Club, Vegetable Hoagie, and Mushroom, Jalapeno and Cheese Sandwich. Burgers are made with the patron’s choice of chicken or lamb. The diner also has a range of options for vegetarians.
Along with soft drinks, smoothies, malts and shakes, The All American Diner offers fancy hot and cold coffees, and cocktails. There’s also a full page of mouth-watering dessert options, like New York-style cheesecake, Brownie Blast, Lime Pie, Affogato and Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
The All American Diner first opened its doors in January 2002. Although it is located within the India Habitat Centre complex, the diner is open to the public. The center houses several institutions and, thus, many of the diner’s guests work in the same complex. But, it also sees visitors from around the world, who attend conferences or exhibitions at the center, as well as those who are simply interested in American food.
Candice Yacono is a magazine and newspaper writer based in southern California.