In 1978, a local Stroudsburg man named Bob Besecker purchased a diner on North Ninth Street. He named it Besecker’s Diner.
A few years later, in 1981, Besecker moved his diner to North Fifth Street. This is where my family and I found it two decades later, and where it still stands today.
If you were to close your eyes and picture a classic diner, chances are the image in your head would bear a strong resemblance to Besecker’s.
On the outside, the diner looks like a plain brick building. The sign outside gives the first indication of one of the themes of the diner: the Beseckers love the New York Yankees.
The Yankees’ emblem appears on the sign, the menus, and in several places in the décor of the diner. It is a quirky and ever-present reminder of the family behind the business. Though Bob has retired, his son Mickey is now the manager.
Inside the diner is teeming with the charm of both the vintage and local variety. The front counter offers homemade baked goods, candy bar fundraisers, and locally crafted greeting cards. The entry section of the diner is wood-paneled and carpeted with a plain drop ceiling. The walls are cluttered with Yankee memorabilia, vintage diner signs, and awards the diner has won.
The back section of the diner is home to the bar. It is tiled in cotton candy pink and robin’s egg blue and surrounded by shiny silver stools. The ceiling is curved like the diners you see in old movies. Behind the bar, the homemade pies are displayed along with stacks of cups and pots of freshly brewed coffee.
Besecker’s diner opens at six in the morning and remains open until ten at night. They serve breakfast all day and have daily lunch and dinner specials.
The menu has most of what you would expect a local diner to have: pancakes, potatoes, omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches, and so on. There are also some more adventurous options like seafood, stuffed French toast, and huevos rancheros.
Since the diner’s primary clientele is the local crowd, they try to incorporate local goods into their meals. They offer several dishes made from meat provided by Gary’s Meat Market just five minutes away.
In the twenty years that I have been dining at Besecker’s, I have had the opportunity to sample a significant number of items from their menu. My current go-to is the Gold Rush Chicken Tender Melt. The melt consists of warm grilled Italian sourdough bread, breaded chicken tenders, cheddar cheese, perfectly cooked bacon, and Cattleman’s gold sauce.
I am a shamelessly picky eater, so sometimes dining out is difficult. Besecker’s has always been a favorite because you can customize just about anything on the menu to suit your tastes. I am not a huge fan of the Cattleman’s sauce, so I tend to substitute barbeque.
They have no issues with substitutions or customizations, and they don’t seem to judge you too harshly for eschewing veggies.
If there is one thing on the menu I would recommend to everyone who enters the establishment, it would be the beer-battered fries. Among the many awards decorating the walls of Besecker’s Diner are several plaques praising this specialty. These fries are to die for.
The beer-batter forms a crisp outer layer and the potato inside is perfectly soft. They are usually served hot enough to melt through your tongue, but the burn is worth it to dig in as soon as they hit the table.
Besecker’s tends to be busiest at lunch time, but even at its busiest, I have never had to wait for more than a few minutes for a table. When it is quiet, they frequently let you pick your own table or booth.
The staff is friendly and efficient, and most of them have been working there for as long as I can remember.
As is the case with many other college students, my wallet collects a lot of dust. I eat ramen at home and pinch all my pennies to make sure I can pay the electricity bill. The Beseckers understand. The prices are all pretty affordable. The most expensive item on the menu is the six-ounce Pepper Jack Strip Steak at $10.50.
Over the years I have gone to Besecker’s more times than I can count.
When my grandma is in town she always wants to go for dinner. When my friends wake up hungover it is close and quiet and perfect for a late brunch. When the weather is nice my fiancé and I like to go for a stroll and stop by for lunch or a piece of the pie.
Besecker’s Diner is the perfect place for any meal with any group of people. They serve comfort food, they serve picky eaters, and they serve several out-of-the-box creations for the more adventurous eaters. The prices are low, the food is delicious, and the people are local.
Really, it doesn’t get any better than that.
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