The [Sullivan’s] Diner: Horseheads

Two years ago my husband and I were visiting family in Elmira, NY when our 1999 Ford Taurus shit the bed. Instead of making the 250 mile trip back home as planned, we were forced to spend an extra day in good ole Western New York. I was thrilled, and by thrilled I mean pissed. I was trying hard to make lemonade out of lemons, so I put a smile on my face and said, “lets get breakfast!”
Getting breakfast in Elmira is much easier to do when you have a car. Luckily, the car shop was right next door to Sullivan’s Diner. At the time, Sullivan’s Diner was a rusting tin box. I was very hesitant to try it out but, needless to say, I was not overwhelmed with options.
Sullivan’s Diner turned out to be a pleasant surprise! The food was average and greasy, but the comfortable atmosphere offered us a nice refuge from the stress of our car problems.The place was so small that there was almost no option but to talk to other diners. Like any typical New Yorker, I usually prefer to be left alone. On this day, however, friendly conversation is exactly what I needed!

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Since that rainy day in 2011 Sullivan’s Diner has changed hands and “Sullivan” has been dropped from the name. The new owners have cleaned the place up and it looks better than ever! The metal is nice and Shiny, and the wooden edging that outlines the booths have been refinished. I’m sure the old regulars could care less about these alterations, but we visitors like them lots! My favorite addition to the interior is the marker for the water level of the Elmira flood of 1972.

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So many residents were effected by this travesty, including my mother in law who was pregnant with her first son at the time. She lost many personal items in this flood and has many a story to tell about the event. This marker is a subtle reminder of the strength of the Elmira community.
The new menu is more sparse than the original, but you can still find all of the foods that you expect at a diner. My biggest critique is that there is no fruit on the menu. Nothing! Nada! Nein! But like I said before, the attraction of this diner is not the food. It is the experience of being welcomed into a community of friendly people (who don’t eat fruit).

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Mall Madness

Mall food courts are awesome. These cheap versions of Epcot offer a (sort-of) culturally diverse dining experience for those on a budget. In one sitting you can have a sushi roll from Japan, an egg roll from China, and a chicken roll from Italy. So many countries with so many rolls. How can you go wrong, right? Some how the Arnot Mall got this great American pleasure (and obesity enabler) SO wrong. I’m sure Super China, the star of the Arnot Mall food court, was a hopping place in 1995 but it has worn out its welcome. The man who took my order had some food left on his face from an earlier meal. This should have been enough to turn me away,  but it did not.

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There is a silver lining to this story! The Arnot mall has prepared for the potential food poisoning deaths of Super China by adding the Granite Art store to it’s thrilling selection of retailers. In this store you can pick out and design your own headstone. What a unique asset to a shopping mall! I’m sure all of the parents bringing their small children to take pictures with Santa want to make a pit stop to pick out a headstone and explain death to their kids. Bravo, Arnot. This is fucking brilliant.

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In conclusion, the Arnot Mall sucks but is super convenient if you need to purchase a sweater and a headstone for your pet.