Tuesday, June 1, 2010

East-West Grille In West Hartford Connecticut: Asian Cuisine In A Retro Diner

Delicious Asian Cuisine Served In A Funky Retro Diner

What happens when a Laotian family takes over an old retro diner? You get The East-West Grille, an experiment of Eastern culture in a Western setting. Since the 1940s, there has always been a diner at 526 New Park Avenue in West Hartford, Ct.

In The 1940s, Originally, The Yankee Flyer Diner

But back in the day the "Yankee Flyer Diner' which was brought here from Massachusetts by owner Nicholas Sotirhos was simply an old fashioned eatery where you could get eggs over easy, burger and fries or a BLT and more. The food was fast, comfortable and simple.

Yankee Flyer Diner Replaced in 1960's - Keeps Name

In the 1960s, Nick's son in law (John Kokinis) bought a new diner from New Jersey to replace the original "Yankee Flyer ". John who still flips burgers part time at a local diner (not his) , remembers how his own diner was transported over the George Washington Bridge to its home on New Park Avenue in West Hartford. John's dad owned diners in Hartford in the 1940s.

Manola Sidara, Born In Laos Buys The Diner

John sold the diner in 1989 and The Yankee Flyer has been through many more changes with a few different owners. In 2001, Manola Sidara, born in Laos and raised in Colorado, bought the diner and established a Pan-Asian restaurant which offers a new combination of traditional and "fusion" dishes from Laos, Thailand, China, japan and Vietnam.

While the diner's original turquoise interior is long gone, the current retro style red decor is quite funky and reminiscent of earlier times. And, Manola still serves an American breakfast in the morning and reserves the Eastern menu for for lunch and dinner.

Rave Reviews For The East-West Grille

The East-West Grille has earned rave reviews from diners. Although located in a commercial section of West Hartford (across from Home Dept), the restaurant is superb and worth the visit.
The presentation of the food is exquisite, with lots of attention to detail, garnishing and extremely fresh ingredients. Manola, a professional pastry chef, learned the secrets of Laotian food from her mother, Phet Zamountry. The food is light, flavorful and fairly priced. This restaurant is excellent!

For information and menus visit: http://www.eastwestgrille.com/about/

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. OMG! Two of my favorite things thrown together!!!!

  2. That first picture of the diner made me want to be there without even having read any further! It looks like a fabulous place.

  3. Dianne, this looks like a great place. I'll have to take a road trip-it's only a little over an hour away. Thanks for the tip!