The 4 Aces is an original Worcester Lunch Car, #837 to be precise, but you won’t really know that until you step inside, because the red clapboard house built over and around the lunch car almost completely obscures it. Once inside, you’ll be comforted by the classic sight of a 1950s diner, with original tile floor, if such sights comfort you, as they do us. You can step beyond the confines of the original diner to other dining rooms but why would you ever want to do that?
As you admire the place you will probably spy a glass case filled with huge, dark, gnarly donuts. This is how you want to start your meal, if there are at least two of you to share. Otherwise, make it your meal. But don’t just order a donut. Order “The Donut.” What’s the difference? They take one of these made-here sour cream donuts, split it in half like a bagel, and grill it on the flat top until it’s hot and crusty. Then it is topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of local maple syrup!
The donut itself is a quintessential North Country specimen, plain as porridge, barely sweet. Even the whipped cream, grill, and sweet syrup can’t make this dish giggle. Only a hint of a smile is present, and that’s all we ask for. These New Englanders are not a frivolous people.
What else is there to eat at 4 Aces? How about corned beef hash, made in-house the classic way with what appears to be leftover corned beef. There’s also red flannel hash (with beets) for those who want to get really New England. They like to adorn their menu items here with definite articles, so you can choose from dishes such as The Hash Slinger, The Joker, The Big Ace, and The Basic at breakfast, or The BBQ Burger, The Gobbler, and The Scrod Filet at lunch.
Daily specials are a huge thing here, especially on weekends, when their creative juices are really flowing. Here are some examples: “Nam Pla Scrambled Eggs w/ Water Chestnuts, Wasabi Peas, Pickled Ginger, & Mung Bean Sprouts. Toasted Peking Duck Pot Stickers w/ Hoisin Sauce Fried Won Ton & Sticky Rice” or “Sauteed Garlic Tiger Shrimp, Grilled Seaweed (Hiyashi Wakame), 2 Poached Eggs, Bloody Mary Hollandaise Sauce, on Jasmine Rice.”
They have a smoker out back, so you might see a special like this one (for breakfast, mind you): “Smoked Beef Brisket w/ Horseradish Red Chili Au Jus, 2 Eggs Your Way, Oven Roast Potatoes, & Choice of Toast. Balsamic Cipollini Onion Garni.” Then again, they may go strictly old-school: “Pot of Yellow Eye Baked Beans w/ Raisin Brown Bread 4.99…w/ Two ¼ # Franks 9.99.”
Their specials menus are posted on their Facebook page, where you’ll also find quotes both pithy and prosaic, just like you’ll find posted above the counter in the diner:
“It’s no sin to get sauce on your chin.” – Bishop Tutu
“I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.” – Mae West
“When a man’s best friend is a dog, that dog has a problem.” – Edward Abbey
If we lived nearby, we’d eat here every week.23 Bridge Street West Lebanon NH 03784 603-298-5515 4 Aces Diner’s Website 4 Aces Diner on Facebook