Bank Street, just off Church Street, Burlington, VT

An enduring classic: Wedged between an alley and the side of a building on Bank Street in downtown Burlington, Vermont, the Oasis is a true, classic diner… A slightly older east coast equivalent to the west coast coffee shops, this is one of those vaguely railroad-car-like prefab eateries that is all tile, formica, and art moderne-accented stainless steel. Shiny once, now somewhat dulled by the patina of time. The food is typical, basic diner fare… nothing too daring, nothing unfamiliar, nothing to write home about…

Mid-day at the Oasis: But then again, diner food shouldn’t be anything to write home about. Places like these are about getting out of the rain, getting out of the dark night and into a gleaming little bright spot where you can hunch on a stool or slide into a booth for awhile. At least that’s what it used to be all about. So why does the Oasis Diner close in mid-afternoon, just after the lunch hour crowd is gone?

My first time back after an absence of many years… Sad to say the two old guys who used to be familiar fixtures behind the counter are no longer around, replaced by an Oasis Diner t-shirt-wearing staff who rock out to AC/DC on the radio as their shift comes to an end. My order – a cup of coffee and a peanut butter and bacon sandwich – is the last of the day at 2:45 p.m.

The Breakfast of Champions, the Lunch of Presidents: Sat in the same booth Clinton did when he stopped here for lunch a little over a decade ago. Wonder if Bubba chose something healthier than peanut butter and bacon…

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