Riverwood is humming on a Friday night. Miss America’s Diner is packed to the rafters, much to the rue of our waitress. With her long blonde hair pulled back into a low ponytail, she’s nigh on the prettiest thing ever to grace a crinoline and a pink gingham dress, with a sunshiny personality to match. Her brief, lip-biting consternation has occurred because we've arrived a bit late for our reservation, and the table has gone. Turns out she's also a fixer - after handing us menus to peruse, she gets hands-on about building us a new one, despite the full house.
Five minutes later we're smiling into a Fat Brown Cow ($9) and a Pink Cow ($8), taking in the kitsch 1950s diner-styled surrounds.
Our respective drinks – a chocolate thick shake, and a strawberry milkshake – also give us a lot to smile about. They’re topped with whipped cream and studded with colourful candies. Further decoration comes from sprinkles, paper umbrellas and twisty straws. Better yet – they’re actually really good, flavoursome milkshakes. The inside of each cup has been splashed with sauce, giving us one more reason to get stuck into them using the thoughtfully provided spoons.
While their burgers do go all the way up to ridiculous three-patty affairs, I was pretty much delighted with my Cheeseburger ($10.50). It’s a well-balanced burger, sandwiching a single, nicely-charred Angus beef patty between two melted Cheddar slices and a well-chosen, sesame-seed covered bun. It’s got oodles of flavour, and is juicy, with appropriate levels of saucing.
An impending cheese coma descends over my dining companion's eyes like a veil, as she gets stuck into her Fat Elvis ($12). Along with lashings of golden cheese, and a cursory dusting of shallots, her kransky dawg boasts smoky BBQ, tomato and mustard sauces, making it quite the sticky-fingered affair. Before I can say: 'we’re going to need more serviettes', they are landed on our table by the intuitive, fast-moving floor team, along with the fries we’d conveniently forgotten about ordering.
Only slightly daunted, we press forward into our Heart Attack ($13.50). They’re a heart-clutching (but reasonably sized) bowl of well-drained, skinny fries topped with bacon and a three-cheese blend of Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Colby. Way too tasty to ignore, in combination with burger and milkshake, they do preclude dessert.
No matter, our ever-smiling waitress ensures I’ll make a return visit by taking the time to discuss the nitty gritty of what makes a good burger (we’re both against over-hyped, bland burgers and over-sweet buns). She also insists on handing me back half of my ten-dollar tip. This has to be one of the least pretentious burger joints in Sydney.
NOTE: This is a Friday night and Sunday night pop-up opening from 6pm. Bookings are essential.
Miss America's Diner
210 Belmore Road, Riverwood
Ph: (0430) 998 548