The kitschy, neon command—EAT—has been guiding customers to the Ideal Diner in northeast Minneapolis for 64 years. Kim Robinson, a longtime Ideal waitress, recently bought the place and made a few updates: new kitchen, new floor, new stools, and, she says, a “good, good, good cleaning.” But she couldn’t part with the counter, knowing its history as the neighborhood’s gathering place. Robinson added a few items to the menu’s spread of eggs, bacon, and pancakes, including house-made corned beef for Reuben sandwiches and hash. To learn more of the working-class café’s oral history, grab a stool next to Robinson’s 84-year-old mother, a regular presence who waited tables at Ideal for more than four decades.
1314 Central Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-789-7630