The original Sam’s Corner opened in Garden City in 1976, and several decades and two locations later, the 24-hour diner is still going strong.
With “World Famous Hot Dogs,” an appropriate selection of alcoholic beverages, and old-school walk-up counter, Sam’s caters to our inherent American desire to eat fried food and have a drink whenever the heck we want. In an era of fad diets, farm-fresh restaurants, and veggie-juicing, it’s somewhat refreshing to have the liberty to dine at a place where there’s a conspicuous lack of healthy options.
As an all-day and all-night eatery, Sam’s Corner obviously offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast Platter options include eggs with your choice of bacon, sausage, or ham, served with grits and toast, along with Omelet combinations like Western, Cheese, or Ham & Cheese. Other specialties include Steak & Eggs, Brains & Eggs, Scrambled Eggs & Oysters, and the Carolina Breakfast, which is a slice of center-cut ham, two eggs, grits or hash browns, and toast or biscuit. And the list of Breakfast Sandwiches includes all of the familiar meats (bacon, sausage, ham, fried bologna) on your choice of toast or biscuit, with or without egg.
For lunch and dinner, the selection of Sandwiches is astonishingly vast. Hot dogs and burgers, pretty much any way you like them, make up the better part of the menu, but several fish and chicken sandwiches are also available. Standouts include the Ocean Burger, served on pita with American and Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ranch; the famous Foot-long Hot Dog, with chili, onions, and mustard; and the Elvis Special, a grilled peanut butter and jelly, with fries. And if you’re in the mood for finger foods and the like, there are plenty of French fry-chili-cheese options, as well as onion rings, nachos, wings, chicken fingers, pretzels, and cheese sticks.
The vibe depends a lot on what time of day you decide to stop in. For example, certain times during the evening are packed with boisterous hungry people, while at other times you might be the only one in the place. Either way, expect to be charmed, in a retro way. The décor is strictly 50’s diner-style, with illustrated vintage advertisements for many of the food items available. And the seating options stick to the theme – place your order up front and grab a booth, or saddle up to the counter and watch all the action in the open kitchen.