Seriously, he’s writing about a diner? Has he completely run out of things to talk about?
Yes, I am seriously going to talk about a diner. And not just any diner – Allin’s Diner.
When I started this blog I admitted that I wasn’t exactly sure what it would consist of or what it would become. As it turns out, this blog has become an outlet for me to talk about some of my favorite places and the joy they bring me in their own unique way. I’ve talked about Utah, Thousand Hills, Bangert Island, and the Newman Center – places that have provided me solitude, opportunities for introspection and reflection, and some really incredible memories. Allin’s Diner is a bit different from those other places. It’s not this jaw-dropping place of beauty or a place designed for spiritual growth. No, it’s just a small, local diner that seats 20 people tops. It’s by no means a 5 star establishment with the highest quality food. It’s simple – and that’s exactly why I love it.
I’ve been going to Allin’s pretty consistently for about two years. I’d say on average I’m there at least once every two weeks and there have absolutely been weeks where I’ve gone three days in a row (grocery shopping can be a hassle). Some nights I’ll go to bed having already decided I’m going to Allin’s for breakfast in the morning.
I wouldn’t quite classify myself as a regular at Allin’s, but I’m pretty darn close. I’ve been there often enough over the last couple years that one of the waitresses now knows my order as soon as I walk in – scrambled eggs, hash browns, crispy bacon, and white toast. It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own “usual” at a restaurant (it’s a sad dream, I know) and I’m proud to say I’m inching closer to that dream at Allin’s. But for me, it’s more than just the food.
Life can be incredibly hectic and busy. That’s why I think it’s important to find those little pieces of simplicity and serenity when you can. There are many days where the moment I walk out the door I know I won’t be back until late that night, running from one place to the next without much time to transition. Allin’s has become a place that I can go to in order to slow things down a bit. There have been a lot of Sunday mornings where I’m coming off an incredibly busy and stressful week where I’m just mentally exhausted. I know I can go to Allin’s, sit at my usual spot, drink some coffee, and just be. Those moments are invaluable to me because they provide me an opportunity to put things in perspective and appreciate the blessings I have. The fact that it’s a simple establishment helps me to see that sometimes the simple things in life are the most important.
I promise I don’t just go to Allin’s by myself. It’s also become a place for connecting with people – family, old coworkers, friends from out of town, youth groupers, and so on. It’s become a meeting place where I can share a meal with the people in my life. It’s become a tradition of sorts that whenever my friend Jacob comes in from out of town we’ll almost always go to Allin’s on Sunday morning. It’s a time for us to really catch up and talk about life. On my birthday this year my mom asked me if I wanted to go out to eat to celebrate – I suggested Allin’s. Every once in a while the youth group will go to morning mass and then go out to breakfast – I always recommend Allin’s. I’m always looking for more people to introduce to Allin’s.
People probably think I’m weird for always talking about a random little diner, which is fair because it is a little weird. But I encourage everyone to find their own Allin’s Diner. Find a place that provides you comfort and peace. Find a place that allows you to take a breath in the midst of your chaotic, always-on-the-go life. I think you’ll be amazed with the sense of calmness and joy it will bring you.