Modern Diner scores Food Network's best diner dish in the nation

Modern Diner scores Food Network's best diner dish in the nation

PAWTUCKET - Food Network’s "Top 5 Restaurants," hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson, aired a show on Monday highlighting Pawtucket’s Modern Diner as having the top diner dish in the country.

In this episode of "Top 5," the Modern’s custard French toast beat out chicken pot pie, the nebulous potato thing, the BW Benny waffle and meatloaf.

“For next-level breakfast indulgence, try the Custard French Toast at this historical diner. Slabs of Texas toast are dipped in an egg mixture laced with sweet and savory spices. Once fried, they’re dressed up with decadent finishes that include rum-spiked custard, raspberry syrup and candied pecans,” writes Food Network of the dish.

Modern owner Nick Demou said that the dish was born out of an accident 15 years ago when he made too much vanilla pudding, so he thinned it down and served it as custard on French toast made from thick-cut Texas toast. The dish also includes a topping of fresh strawberries, blueberries and sliced kiwi.

“I want to wish Nick Demou congratulations on gaining national acclaim and for the years of hard work he has put into this staple of the Pawtucket community,” said Mayor Grebien of the Modern. “The city is very proud that the Modern Diner is being recognized on such a large stage.”

Read more from the Food Network here.

Or read our story from September when the Food Network came to tape this week's episode.

The Modern Diner has been a staple of the Pawtucket community since 1941 where it was delivered to 13 Dexter St. It was manufactured in 1940 by the John B. Judkins Company of Merrimac, Massachusetts, which manufactured Sterling Streamline diners from 1939-1942. Sources vary as to how many of the diners they made in their years of operation but the highest estimate is 16. Currently, the Modern is one of only two known surviving Sterling Streamline diners still in operation. The other known surviving diner, the Salem Diner, is located in Salem, Massachusetts.

In 1978, the Modern became the first diner ever entered on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1986, the Modern was relocated to avoid demolition to its current location of 364 East Ave in Pawtucket where it has been ever since. At the time, the Modern, along with the land it is now located on, were both owned by the City. Owner Nick Demou and his dad submitted and won the bid for both the diner and the land.