eating indie in indy

Oasis Diner 405 W. Main Street Plainfield Indiana

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This place is as American as you can get. The diner was built in New Jersey in 1954 and then shipped to Indiana where it opened along US 40; The National Highway. It served food until 2009 when structural issues forced its closure in 2009.The Historical Society intervened to prevent its destruction. New owners were found and it was moved down the road and re-opened last year. A link to their website is below. There you can find a short video of the move as well as its menu.

According to the reviews on Urbanspoon folks haven’t given a lot of love to this little diner. Of the 3 reviews from this year 2 didn’t like the joint. So I was really interested in eating there.

They do a lot of scratch cooking from biscuits to pies and pastries to gravies. They also make their own sodas. So in that they certainly are following in the diner tradition. And like any self-respecting diner they serve breakfast all day.

We started lunch with an appetizer of fried mozzarella with house made marinara for $6.50.

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As you can see they do it themselves. The cheese is cut into triangles and then lightly battered and deep-fried. They were really pretty good. The sauce they serve with it is has a bit of cream added to it, a nice little surprise.

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Pat went with biscuits and gravy for $3.50 and I decided on a turkey Manhattan for $10. We also had a side of coleslaw each.

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I had a bite of Pat’s food and it was right on and they didn’t skip on the sausage, which is nice.

As for my Manhattan; It was huge.

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They also offer a beef Manhattan but the turkey was cooked in-house which is why I decided on turkey. They shred and not slice their meat, which I find interesting. Regardless the meat was both tender and abundant. They toast the bread which imparts a taste like dressing or stuffing to the dish after it sits under the gravy for a while. An effect I like. As for the gravy they sure do use a lot. So much I really couldn’t tell too much about the potatoes. Also they used a bit of chicken or turkey base which made it very salty. That is something I think they can work on.

So Pat and I were both pretty happy with our food. I think they have some room to improve but don’t most joints? The fact that they make their own fried mozz. app. makes me think this joint is capable of following the tradition of the American diner.

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Oasis Diner on Urbanspoon

8 responses

  1. What a cute place! So glad they didn’t destroy it. I love the look. Who woulda thunk you could make fried cheese wedges? Now I have never heard of a Manhattan, but I can figure out what it is by the picture. I guess there weren’t too many people there that day? The cole slaw looks good. Sure would be a shame to close it down. They’ll just have to go easy on the salt next time.

    May 21, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    • They had a pretty good crowd. Like locusts they came in at one time, ate and left. I think a Manhattan is a mid west and possible eastern thing. Oh the coleslaw was very good. Crisp and cold. A good slaw is a beautiful thing. As for their gravy I think they should make their own stock or at least buy a better base. I want to try their pie.

      May 21, 2015 at 8:46 pm

  2. I’m interested in the house soda 😛 Far for me, but if I’m ever out that way…

    May 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    • I don’t drink soda that much but some ice cream in a house made soda pop might turn my head.

      May 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm

  3. The excitement of finding an old time diner is like discovering a long-buried treasure. They are so far and few between–and I love the fact that these fellows found it a worthy investment. It’s another rare find–people who recognize history that needs to be protected and cherished. It was a lovely little news bit on the video.
    The dishes had some perfect diner shine to them. It’s good to hear they were trying to preserve the food of the time as well as the structure. Hope the recipes find the right chef to make them.
    And did somebody say PIE??

    May 24, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    • Pie. What a wonderful word. I could not agree more. An appreciation of history is often hard to find, and diner recipes are just as singular. Hopefully they will find the right person.

      May 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  4. Harmon

    Can’t wait to try it. I use to eat in the Oasis at it’s original location when I was a kid. Now that I’ve discovered it I plan on giving it a try for old times sake.

    November 3, 2015 at 8:49 am

    • Don’t think you’ll be disappointed. They serve a good meal.

      November 3, 2015 at 8:51 am

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