New dining experience: Speedy Greens, Cicero

Before seeing the new Star Trek film this weekend, my buddy brought me to a restaurant he and his wife had recently discovered.

Speedy Greens (8169 Brewerton Road, Cicero) is all organic, primarily veggie/vegan. We were the only people in the place at 12:45 on a Saturday afternoon, so we got good personal service.

We both opted for a combo ($10.29), which included an entree, a side, and a dessert.

I had the spinach and cheese ravioli, a quinoa salad and ayurveda apple chutney. He had a turkey burger, tomato soup, and the apple chutney.

The food is good, the portions a good size, and the price is excellent.

It sounds like what they do most, however, is meal plans – they do three entrees and three sides for the week for $27.69; three salads, a soup and a wrap for $26.69, or three entrees and three salads for $36.69.

It's a takeout package so you have lunch for a few days.

I'd highly recommend the place, if you're up that way. Look for the Holistic Horizons sign.

Everyone loves a diner

I noted in my post about my new village the other night that I'm within a few blocks of two diners, among other businesses.

One of those diners is the Redwood. I could actually throw a baseball through its windows (well, if we both had our windows open), it's that close.

This is a situation that bodes well for weekend breakfast.

I love me a diner breakfast. And I'm willing to wait for a seat to get one. Actually, I wake up early enough that unless I'm meeting someone for a later breakfast, I never have to.

My favorite thing about the Redwood (other than the fact that they're pouring coffee for you before you can get your jacket off) is that if you sit at the counter, you're looking at the grill.

Jimmy runs the place, and it's a family thing: his wife Patty is one of the servers, and there are children and nieces and nephews and everything helping out.

Jimmy knows many of the long time customers, and chats with them, but more than that, he's a joy to watch at the grill. He's got the vats of pancake and french toast batter, along with the containers of diced potatoes on the counter on the left, then as you move to the right he has the grill, two gas burners, a work space, four toasters, and a side-by-side refrigerator.

He never looks like he's in a rush, he doesn't sweat, he knows where everything is and where it's going, when it has to go in, and when it's going to come out.

It's all art to me.

Share your favorite diner experiences in comments below.