Diner Drivin' Part 5

Yesterday didn’t start off this way, but it sure ended up this way. And bear with me; it was a long day…

So HH and I started off our second day of adventure in Seattle with a trip to Shari’s Restaurant for breakfast – nothing to write home about, and an early drizzly morning at the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup or “Pull-U-Up” as HH likes to call it. We didn’t eat anything, since we had just finished breakfast, but there were scones everywhere! We had already discovered that the SeaTac area was a teriyaki town, but the Fair was definitely all about scones! I was all about the hot chocolate on a rainy day at the Fair – it was delicious.

After two hours of walking around and seeing it all, we are Fair professionals after all - how long can it take to walk about ANY Fair?, we were on our way to…

Snoqualmie Falls was recommended by a friend’s Mom, so off we were to find Snoqualmie Falls. Now I have to give you an aside here, HH says that “when” we enter the Amazing Race I have to drive because I am a terrible navigator and can’t read maps. I want you to know that everywhere we went from Yelm to Puyallup to Snoqualmie and beyond, I did a great job of navigating! Snoqualmie Falls was beautiful and taller than Niagara Falls – so much power!
We were off to, well, we could not quite decide. We talked about Bainbridge Island because one of the stops for Diners Drive-Ins and Dives was located there. Guy Fieri suggested a place called the Big Star Diner. Getting there is not easy. It’s either taking the ferry from Seattle, which we didn’t want to venture into the city at 3:30 PM, or drive all the way around – take a look at a map and find Snoqualmie Falls then Bainbridge Island – after much discussion we decided to drive, why not!

So through some traffic, around Tacoma, up through Gig Harbor, up and around and over a couple of bridges and onto Bainbridge Island – just as the ferries were starting to drop of commute traffic at 5 PM. But no problem, they were headed north and we were headed south. I found a small map that gave me some of the streets on Bainbridge Island, locating Madison Avenue, where Big Star Diner is located just off the main drag – no problem! I directed HH to the north end of Madison Avenue, since I didn’t know exactly where it was, and the first address we saw was something like 14455 – we needed to go to 805. My map skills were not bad; I just didn’t have all the information available to me! Just a few blocks to travel. I also reminded HH that he does not like to cover the same territory twice, so this gave us a quaint scenic tour of the Island. Then Madison Avenue ended. Oops.

No worries, as we traveled down the main highway, at the next intersection we picked up Madison Avenue again, we were almost there! The anticipation was killing us! I felt as though we would be redeemed as soon as we walked into the Big Star Diner. We found it! We drove past the old diner car restaurant and what appeared to be a very available parking lot. Hmmm….
We turned around and pulled in the parking lot. The “open” sign was not on. There was only one car in the parking lot. There was a sign on the door. All of this was not good. Was it out of business? Couldn’t be. Were they closed on Thursdays?! No way.

We got out of the car, looked at the sign on the door – open until 3 PM weekdays, later on Fridays and Saturdays.


Need to read the hours of operation better next time, especially before going 75 minutes out of our way.

HH wasn’t pleased (but still had some humor, just trying not to show it); I was laughing so much I could hardly talk but trying to salvage the situation. We looked for a local to ask about a good place to eat, found one although she had just moved there recently and could only recommend two places – we were in the parking lot of one of them and she said they had the best fries on the Island, sold!

We parked. I prayed. We landed at the Harbor Public House Pub.

Our server, Sarah, greeted us, we told her of our adventure and she was very sympathetic. She was helpful with all our choices, gave great recommendations and genuinely seemed to want to help make up for our misadventure to Bainbridge Island and she did.

Great looking place.

Great view.

Great food! And the Whistling Pig brew did the trick - the best microbrew HH has ever had! It was meant to be. Thanks, Sarah, for helping to make our visit so memorable.

As we got in the car to drive the 90 minutes back to Yelm/Olympia, I reminded HH that it’s about the adventure and the memories, not always about the destination we are planning on. He had to agree.

We won’t soon forget, but may never get back to, the Big Star Diner on Bainbridge Island.


  1. What a delicious looking sandwich!!!! And an adventure besides.

  2. The sandwich was a Rockfish Bahn Mi, and quite delicious!