It isn’t quite old enough to qualify for our ongoing series of the area’s classic restaurants, those 25 years or older, but Fairbanks Restaurant can boast of exceptional longevity in its 23 years of service.
Its name is Fairbanks Restaurant but I always think of it as Fairbanks Diner because it has all the trappings of one. The interior is a little worn. The booths, with cushions covered in plastic, are a bit creaky. One of the freestanding tables has metal folding chairs pulled up to it. Some tabletops have ad-splashed mats with menu items and the message that there are “No fancy napkins here, just good home style cooking.”
And that’s likely the reason for its longevity.
The menu is dinerish, too, with such expectable items as meatloaf and chicken and dumplings. But I prefer the Fairbanks for breakfast.
I stopped in one Saturday and ordered a Western Omelet, a three-egger with ham, green peppers and onion accompanied by home fries. I’ve never quite understood why those ingredients should designate an omelet to be western, but it was good.
My companion had a simple breakfast of two eggs sunny side up with a side order of pancakes. The eggs were cooked just so and the pancakes soaked up the syrup and the substance that was supposed to approximate butter.
Service was prompt and diner-friendly.
Fairbanks Restaurant is owned by Dominick and Chin Chu. He’s from Vietnam and she’s from Taiwan. They met when they both worked at 4-5-6 Chinese Restaurant, she as a server and he as a dishwasher.
At Fairbanks Diner, I mean Restaurant, they keep the food good and the napkins unfancy.
Fairbanks Restaurant is at 1800 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park. It is open for breakfast and lunch daily. The phone number is 407-645-3199.