Fay’s Diner is a throwback to the past when road trips involved stopping at dusty, old diners on the side of the highway. With the paint chips and seen-better-days sign, let nostalgia settle in.
This diner is best accessed when you are heading northbound on highway 2 (to Edmonton) as there is no entry southbound unless you drive much further down to the nearest exit and loop back. From Red Deer, it is approximately 50 minutes away. The rest area is larger than average and includes a government-run washroom facility and nearby rundown, closed grocery store. How I wished that I had the opportunity to see the grocery running before it closed. Does anyone have information or history regarding the former grocery store?
When you enter Fay’s Diner, you will find that it meets all your expectations/stereotypes: newspaper piled up high, bar stools along a counter, cooking area behind the counter, a small CRT (cathode-ray tube) tv in the upper corner with fuzzy reception, and finally, a rough-around-the-edges chef. When I looked at the menu, I decided that I had to get a classic diner order. I picked the Bacon Burger with Fries.
First off, kudos to the chef for using a sesame bun. I have always loved them as I grew up with McDonald’s McChicken burgers. The meat patty was nicely charred. In fact, I have to say it was better done than some of the sit-down restaurants that I have been to. It was irregular in shape which seems to suggest it was homemade. Another plus!
The bacon was tasty though I wished it was a little more crispy. Lettuce was present despite the absence on the photo. To round it out, there was a nice thick slice of tomato. Overall, it was a tasty hamburger. Greasy, yes, but do you expect any less from a diner?
For the fries, they were fresh cut and plenty. It wasn’t as crispy as twice-fried ones, but again, this is what you expect at a diner. Make sure you add your own salt and grab some ketchup because you will need it.
Overall, it was a filling meal and fulfilled my diner nostalgia. It is worth stopping by if you need a washroom break or want to be a little adventurous. I do caution, if you are the clean type, you might be shocked and a little uncomfortable with the interior. However, for anyone who has driven on the QE 2 northbound, it’s worth trying at least once so you can talk about it.