By Nan Royce
DASSEL, MN Craving some comfort food? Got a hankering for the way mom used to cook?
A stop at Dassel’s Sunrise Diner could satisfy.
The Sunrise Diner, located at 424 Third Street North, opened in June 2017. The business is owned by John and Karen Deitering, and their nephew, Jim Deitering.
John said the Sunrise Diner’s menu and decor were designed to take customers back to the simpler times of the 1950s.
“The diner features chrome tables and chairs and booths that will hold four customers,” John said. “In the center of the restaurant, we have an old-time counter with chrome swivel stools like the ‘50s soda fountains.”
John said the Sunrise Diner’s menu consists of homestyle food favorites.
“For breakfast, it’s bacon and eggs, omelets, and big servings of biscuits and gravy,” John said.
The Sunrise Diner’s menu actually offers much more than John let on.
In addition to eggs, the breakfast menu offers pancakes, french toast, hashbrowns, or hearty oatmeal.
And then, of course, there’s coffee, and plenty of it.
“The Sunrise features New England Coffee, a medium Arabica blend,” John said.
“The Sunrise Diner’s coffee is brewed at 200 degrees and goes directly into a thermos server that will keep coffee fresh,” John continued. “Once our coffee is brewed, it stays hot without placing the coffee pots on warmers that keep cooking the coffee.”
Second square meal of the day
“Our lunch menu is burgers and fries, hot beef, and grilled cheese with chili,” John said.
The Sunrise Diner’s lunch menu is growing, one bite at a time. In addition to the standard burgers and fries, the diner currently offers hot beef commercials, pulled pork sandwiches, patty melts, BLTs, french dip sandwiches, and three different chicken options.
“We just expanded our menu to include cold sandwiches, wraps, and more salads,” John said. Soups and desserts round out the diner’s menu.
Recently, the Sunrise Diner added gyros to the menu; these are roasted on-site.
“A gyro is 90 percent beef, and 10 percent lamb on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomato, and onion,” John said. “We sell thousands of gyros at the county fair in Howard Lake.”
Just for the kiddos
The Sunrise Diner offers selections designed to please most children’s palates. Young ones have a choice of silver dollar pancakes, chicken strips, grilled cheese sandwiches, or the ever-popular macaroni and cheese.
The usual suspects
Like many small-town diners, the Sunrise typically has its own table of smart-talking locals.
“One group of about eight men spends their time talking and playing a dice game,” John said. “Some of them are so dependable that our cook doesn’t even need to see their order. They want the same thing every morning.”
The Sunrise Diner staff is happy to prepare orders for take-out, with a call in advance. John said they intend to add lunch specials to their menu very soon. Choices may include lasagna, meat loaf, and tater-tot hot dish. “Give us your ideas,” John said.
At present, the Sunrise Diner is open during breakfast and lunch times. “Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” John concluded.