During a recent weekend trip to the High Country of North Carolina, I enjoyed sampling fare from a few restaurants in the towns of Boone and Banner Elk.
In Boone, I enjoyed a nostalgic trip down memory lane when I had a Sunday afternoon lunch with some friends at Troy’s 105 Diner. From the sleek, shiny chrome and neon exterior to the juke box and displayed vintage memorabilia in the dining area, Troy’s 105 offers a fun, casual return to the 1950s.
According to the diner’s website, Troy’s is a favorite for both locals and visitors alike. The diner is owned and operated by Troy and Sandra Byrum.
The menu reflects all the traditional diner favorites, such as Country Fried Chicken, Troy’s Homemade Meatloaf and Open- Faced Turkey as well as the Big Bopper Burger Baskets, Sandra Dee’s Fresh Salads and Troy’s Dinner Platters.
In addition, diners can order breakfast at any time during the day. Options available include pancakes and waffles, omelets and breakfast platters with names like the “Big Daddy” and the “Mama Lulu.” Blue plate daily specials are also offered Monday through Friday.
My dining party arrived mid-afternoon and waited only a few minutes for a booth to become available. Seating is available at booths, which are upholstered in sparkling silver and candy-apple red vinyl, as well as at tables and chairs in the same color scheme. Stools lined along the front of the diner’s lunch counter are upholstered with sparkly blue vinyl.
Images of celebrated Hollywood icons from Marilyn Monroe to Elvis grace the walls along with framed gold records and vintage advertisements for such brands as Sinclair Oil and Ford Motor Co. The same glitzy Art-deco style found outside is on prominent display inside the diner as well, from the chrome trim and neon lighting to the black-and-white checkered floor. White posters bearing clever sayings and a plethora of 1950s memorabilia completes the interior design.
The wait staff at Troy’s wear matching black T-shirts emblazoned with the Troy’s 105 Diner logo.
Our server arrived promptly with menus for the four members of my dining party.
The menu offers several appetizers, including Chachi’s Chili Cheese Fries, Matt’s Cheese Sticks, Ralph Malph’s Wings, Onion Rings and Potsy’s Fried Portabella Mushrooms.
I decided to start off my meal with a cup of soup. The selections during our visit included Turkey Chili and Navy Bean with Ham. I chose the Turkey Chili, which came with several packets of crackers. The chili, which featured a flavorful blend of shredded turkey, beans, tomatoes, onions and shredded carrots, provided a great way to whet my appetite.
Although we saw several tempting breakfast platters awaiting pick-up on the counter separating the dining area from the kitchen, my dining party all selected meals from the lunch/dinner menu.
I considered such options as the North Carolina Style BBQ Plate, Steak Tips with Mushroom Gravy and Country Fried Steak as well as the Bacon Cheeseburger and J.B’s Burger, which is a half-pound patty topped with sauteed mushrooms, onions and provolone cheese. I also considered such sandwiches as the James Dean Grilled Asian Chicken and the Richie Valen’s Reuben. The Beach Boys Fried Shrimp Basket also tempted me.
I went with the Troy’s Homemade Meatloaf Platter, which comes with two sides. The side dishes available include French Fries, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Fried Okra, Mashed Potatoes, Mac- N-Cheese, Buttered Sweet Corn and Coleslaw. I paired the meatloaf with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy.
My dining companions chose the Chubby Checker’s Fried Chicken Filet Sandwich, the Patsy Cline Patty Melt and the North Carolina Style BBQ Plate.
I liked my platter, which consisted of two generous slices of meatloaf smothered with mushroom gravy, paired with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy. While the meatloaf and potatoes tasted good (but not great), the Green Beans disappointed for several reasons. The beans tasted as if they had been dumped right out of a can and barely warmed. They also lacked any seasoning whatsoever. I ended up wishing I had chosen a different side.
The other members of my dining party enjoyed the French Fries that came with their meals. Their fries were breaded, crispy and seasoned perfectly.
From a few bites to let me sample them, I also think the burgers and sandwiches outshined the meatloaf. In particular, I liked the Patsy Cline Patty Melt, which consisted of eight ounces of Angus beef topped with sauteed onions and Swiss cheese, served on grilled Rye.
We saved room, quite wisely, for one of the items listed under “The Temptations,” or dessert options listed on the menu at Troy’s 105 Diner.
These sweet conclusions include such traditional favorites as Banana Split, Sundae, Hot Fudge Brownie Ala Mode, Cheese Cake and Ice Cream Float as well as Milk Shakes in such flavors as banana, butterscotch, chocolate, coffee, pineapple, strawberry and vanilla as well as such specialty shakes as Oreo Cookie and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
I chose a Butterscotch Shake while the other members of my dining party chose such shakes as the Cho-Nana (a combination of banana and chocolate) and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Shake.
These smooth, luscious shakes were served in same metal cups the shakes are blended in, topped with a generous amount of whipped cream and a bright-red Maraschino cherry.
These thick, flavorful treats provided a perfect way to end our visit to this 1950s-style diner in the heart of Boone, N.C.
The diner is located in a section of Boone conveniently adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. With the start of the fall color season only about a month away, the Parkway followed by a stop in Boone could provide a perfect day-trip destination. I can’t think of many better ways of ending a leaf-peeper drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway than enjoying an old-fashioned burger or creamy milkshake amid the nostalgia of Troy’s 105 Diner.
AT A GLANCE: Troy’s 105 Diner, 1286 Highway 105, Boone, N.C. (828) 265-1344. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-l0 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Menu items $10.95. Credit cards accepted. Carryout available.