Drive down Tolland Turnpike in Willington and you’re sure to notice a railroad conductor near track nine, beckoning you to enter the Track Nine Diner. “Eat Here Or We’ll Both Starve,” the conductor’s sign reads.
It's all part of the fun and inviting, rail-yard-themed atmosphere that owner Jenn Avallone introduced to the community a few years ago in Willington, a few minutes from exit 69 off I-84.
The restaurant flaunts an all-day breakfast menu, with homemade bakery items, and lunch fair with daily specials.
The Track Nine Diner is especially known for its soups, but waitress Laura Merluzzo said it’s difficult to pick a signature dish.
“People come in droves for our New England Clam Chowder,” said Merluzzo. “But our Corn Chowder, homemade hash and bacon are really popular,” she said.
For breakfast, try the stuffed French toast, filled with a tasty concoction of cream cheese and your choice of blueberries or strawberries for $7.25. Grab something off the “Sidecar” if you’re in a hurry - muffins and other sweets made from scratch.
The diner also serves up your traditional breakfast selections with omelets, egg sandwiches, breakfast wraps, pancakes and French toast. Order The Boomer: two eggs, your choice of two pancakes or two slices of French toast, two meats and toast for $8.50, or steak and eggs for $9.50 - the most expensive item on the menu.
The Track Nine Diner presents a variety of lunch options ranging from burgers off the grill, to deli delights, wraps, pita pockets and specialty sandwiches.
Ask for the Willi River Special: grilled corned beef, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, served on pumpernickel bread with coleslaw and a pickle for $7.99. Or perhaps the Red Eye: a whopping 14 slices of bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on your choice of bread, served with chips and a pickle for $7.99. Chances are, you'll only be starving for more.
Track Nine Diner, 12 Tolland Tpke., Willington. 860-487-1619. Open Monday – Saturday 6 a.m. to 2.p.m and Sunday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.