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With local conversations flowing as freely as the coffee and sometimes sizzling as much as the bacon, it was apparent at the Patriots Diner that a retro sense of community and a connection to our neighbors never really went away in a world often perceived today as too fast-paced, conflicted and impersonal.

At the Patriots Diner in Woonsocket, Rhode Island -- where bright lights and clanging of plates from inside pleasantly contrasted with the morning’s stillness -- one could witness scenes of small town America collectively beginning its morning at this bustling diner.This is an important distinction that sets diners apart: you don’t come here for the fancy decor, so the food better be good!Clearly, many factors create a true diner but in a nutshell, "diner" is a derivative of "dining car" and “diner designs reflected the styling that manufacturers borrowed from railroad dining cars,” according to the Rhode Island-based American Diner Museum web site (The experience, quite simply, brings a wonderful slice of American tradition to the senses -- and taste buds -- that can only be fully realized by frequenting these local treasures.Diners are best known for their history, tradition, an extensive menu selection, large portions of comfort foods at fair prices, quick service, oak and mahogany booths, counter with stools, jukeboxes, a stainless steel exterior, and plenty of neon.That isolationist presence -- contrasting with the community feel of a diner -- changes in a hurry, though.

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