Crazy Otto’s Diner in Herkimer: Small Town Eats
You can't miss Crazy Otto's Diner in Herkimer. Literally, you can't miss the shiny silver of it's exterior, and your stomach definitely doesn't want to miss their take on classic diner food.
Crazy Otto's Diner is special - you get an inkling the second you pull up to the shiny exterior of the original 1952 Mountain View Diner, and that inkling is confirmed when you step inside. The decor is pure kitsch, license plates and rock n' roll stars adorn the classic interior and the atmosphere is cozy and familiar, even if you've never been there before.
Kelly Coffin, whose parents - Kim and Scott Tranter - started their first restaurant in California in 1991, says her parents had intended to retire to Upstate New York when they finally moved out of California. Instead, they were drawn to what was then the Empire Diner, which had fallen into disrepair. Kim and Scott put their plans for retirement aside, and bought the diner in 2007, and Crazy Otto's Empire Diner was born.
Now, Kelly says, they just celebrated their 10th year running the diner and the 65th year the Mountain View building has housed a diner in Herkimer, NY. While that might be a record, Kelly says that in 2010, using "41,000 eggs, (to make a) 2100 square foot (omelette) using 11 individual propane grills, 110 - 8 foot tables" Crazy Otto's got into Ripley's Believe It or Not, and set the world record for largest omelette. There is an omelette on the menu, just not quite as large.
Everyone at Otto's - from Justin, to cooks Hector and Ricky, their stellar server Betsey - and of course, Kelly - contributes to the experience. It's no wonder the diner has been successful for so long.
If you're looking for a taste of history or a darn tasty bacon cheeseburger, take a trip to Crazy Otto's Empire Diner in Herkimer. It's worth the short drive.