When you think of road food, you think of diners and truck stops; places that serve greasy burgers and filling, but fattening food.
On Alberta’s Highway 2, driving north between Camrose and Edmonton, is a little place called Fay’s Diner. Inside is a bar-style counter with stools, a mismatched kitchen, and a large cooler selling Foothills Creamery ice cream.
I had actually stopped there for a potty break at the official facilities next door, and decided to pop in for a quick snack.
A quick look at the menu convinced me to go for some fries and gravy. My fries were decent, but I would have preferred them to be crispier. The gravy threw me back to the kind that I ate back in high school, so I was happy there. So much so that I ate them the way everyone in my high school did; loaded with gravy, ketchup, pepper and salt. (I usually don’t bother with the salt as I find most fries have more than enough salt for me.) It looks like a huge mess, but it’s delish.
Another patron ordered a cheese burger and it looked pretty decent; plenty of lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
The real appeal of the place wasn’t the food though. It was the atmosphere. Slightly grumpy servers/cooks, well-used counter tops, TV blaring in the corner, and photos/autographs of singers, politicians and local TV newscasters on one wall completed the authentic aged diner chic. No Johnny Rockets mini-jukeboxes or brand new formica tables to be found here. The only thing that would have completed the experience would have been super fantastic road food that I could rave about. Ah well, I guess you can’t have everything.
Fay's Diner, side exterior
Fay's Diner, front exterior