The Carlisle Diner is home to many a late night full of home-fried potatoes, burgers and milkshakes. Dickinson students frequent this 24-hour establishment after sporting events, for 2:00 AM cravings, and on Sundays, because their country style breakfasts are more than enough enough to get us out of bed. Pat, my favorite waitress, and a common conversation starter among Dickinsonians, usually works the late night shift and as she rounds the tables, you can hear her rattle off everyone’s usual order before they even start to themselves. Pat knows everyone and everyone knows Pat - she even attends graduation every spring! The diner is where you go when you want comfort food: a real grilled cheese, an egg and cheese sandwich with shaved turkey just like Thanksgiving, a true diner burger with caramelized onions, American cheddar and loads of bacon, scrapple and home-fried potatoes that sizzle as the plate is set in front of you.
Diners are staples in small towns, and in Carlisle, this oasis, set just past Biddle Field on High Street, is home to Dickinson students who wish to escape the world of studying for an hour, who want to walk into a restaurant and feel at home, who cherish their favorite booths and the familiar faces. This is place that from the moment I stepped inside, I knew would become part of my Dickinson experience for four years; it always has our backs, including Easter Sunday when it is literally the only place that is open in town. After your meal, if you feel like homemade apple pie and ice cream, or a slice of chocolate cake the size of your table, or a chocolate milkshake, the Diner has all the American classics and the eclectic décor to match.
My friends and I go to the diner when everyone wants something different, because the menu is about 4 pages long with smaller print, we go when we want a little bit of home-style comfort, we go when we need breakfast at 3:00 am, because you do not need a bout of insomnia to crave their pancakes and whipped butter. There have even been times when we have ordered said pancakes and picked them up in the pouring rain. On a Friday night, you can see parts of the football and lacrosse teams joking with Pat, you can hear seniors reminiscing about their first time at the diner, you can see the cast of a production having a bite to eat after a show, and the rest of the tables are filled with groups of friends, spanning across campus, who all share a common thought. The diner is an extension of campus, and therefore an extension of our second home.
Savanna is a junior at Dickinson College, studying Political Science and Security Studies. Australian-born and California raised, Savanna sought out the quintessential college town and found it in Carlisle, PA. She is the programs coordinator Intern at the Stuart House Salvation Army downtown and works as a writing associate for students on campus as well as international fellows at the Army War College. She serves as an all-college senator, working to create, fund and support events for students in Carlisle and the surrounding area. In her free time, she can be found reading on Rush campus, wandering around downtown Carlisle or shopping at Farmers' on the Square!