Prospect Mountain Diner | Lake George, NY
Jamie and I made great time getting to Lake George, NY for our New Year’s Trip (2017).
It was a snowy, Saturday morning around 9 am. To kill some time before breakfast, we looped through the backroads taking photographs of mansions and the snow-coated trees.
On our way back through town, we swung into the parking lot of Caffè Vero, hoping to get a coffee and thaw in front of their large fireplace.
As we pulled into the parking lot I said, “There’s no one here. Don’t tell me they’re closed for the holiday too.”
We pulled up to the front doors of the long building and read the printer paper taped to the door. Sure enough, like the other businesses during winter, Caffé Vero was closed for renovations. They were moving their business uptown, to a corner store on the main strip.
“Now what?” Jamie asked. “We can’t check into our hotel room until 2.”
“You mentioned a diner as we pulled off the highway. We can go there for breakfast…” I figured a diner would be open as early as 7 am. They should be taking customers by now.
We drove 5 minutes down the road to a shiny metal diner with a snowy, car-lined parking lot. “Yep, they’re open.”
As I crunched up towards the diner’s steps I thought about the diners in Newton, off 46, and in my own small town. This diner felt just as familiar: “I didn’t think any other states had diners like we do in Jersey.”
We entered the diner facing the small counter area. To the left and right at the ends of the narrow metal diner, were classic red and white leather booths. We were ushered to the back-right corner.
“Coffee?” The waitress asked as I pulled off my ten-tons of layers.
“YES!” Pause. Too enthusiastic. “Please.”
Did I mention I like coffee?
Our waitress left menus and went to get our drinks. I viewed the decorations on our table: an old, metal jukebox with Christmas music. The metal condiment holder filled with jam, salt and pepper. Syrup and sugar-filled to the top; everything was clean and perfectly neat.
The Prospect Mountain Diner’s History
I don’t know about you, but I was an English major in college. So I’ll read anything that’s in front of me, especially a true-story.
The Prospect Mountain Diner, as I read on the front of the menu, really was a NJ Diner. (Ha! I knew it.)
The diner was established in 1950 as a product of the Silk City Diner Company in Paterson, NJ.
Expansion of Route 9 and 9L forced the diner to relocate and rename. In 1968, Mr. Patenaude (the original diner owner), sold the business to Arthur Leonhard.
Mr. Leonhard expanded the diner (in LG) and served various foods throughout its dining room and cafe.
On May 11, 2007, a fire burned the diner to the ground.
By May 2008, the owners rebuilt the diner with the help of the LG Community.
And so is where I sit having breakfast.
Diner Food; Homey and Simplistic
I flipped through the menu debating my options: Belgium waffle or scrambled eggs? I always order scrambled eggs when I go to diners, so I figured that was my best bet – stick with tradition.
I had a good feeling about this little diner. The booths were filled with elderly couples, young couples with children, and a line of locals out the door. Clearly this was the place to eat on winter mornings.
The scrambled eggs did not disappoint (yes, it’s possible). They were not overly greasy. The bacon was crispy but not tough. Everything was hot and fresh. And of course, unlimited refills of coffee is wondrous.
The best part? Breakfast under $20 with tip.
What I also appreciate is that despite the line of people, the waitress didn’t rush me to finish my coffee to turn over the table. We sat and talked for a bit. I watched the snowflakes out the large windows overlooking the parking lot. Jamie and I planned our next stop in town.
If you’re from Jersey and you’re looking for a familiar breakfast spot, definitely visit The Prospect Mountain Diner. I look forward to returning in Spring/Summer to see if local produce is incorporated into the menu.
If you’re visiting Lake George in the winter (before 11:00am), this is the best breakfast option. Drop in once you pull off the highway before continuing to your hotel or ski slopes.
Do you have a favorite Lake George breakfast spot? Tell me about it in the comments!