Well, maybe not our arteries!  But otherwise, trends seem to be cyclical. I was delighted to discover while eating my breakfast before coming to work this past Saturday watching the morning news that the automat has made a resurgence.

Do you remember the automat?  My first impression was awe when as a small lad we entered an automat in New York City, and I watched in amazement as throngs approached the small glass-laden doors, popped in a coin and retrieved a tasty looking piece of pie or a small white porcelain bowl of sliced carrots. I was enthralled by the disembodied hands that rapidly replaced each item taken with a new enticing plate.

I remember seeing an automat depicted in a Doris Day film and I suppose there were many cultural references to them, but perhaps the best remembered reference is that from the song “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” made seductively famous by Marilyn Monroe, whose career was at its zenith when I was a small lad:

*“…A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the rental
On your humble flat, or help you at the automat…”

                                    *Lyrics by Leo Robin

But if you are too young to remember these automated cafeterias of old, don’t despair:  the automat has been reborn. Bamn Foods has brought them back. The food is by no means upscale, but it’s perhaps a little more upscale than the food you may have tasted at the automat of your youth.  When in New York, drop on in:


To the best of my knowledge, no automats ever operated in Vermont.  Please email me to correct me if you know of one that did. Generally, we Vermonters are a bit behind the curve as technology goes. In fact, I am still trying to figure out why I can’t get satellite radio in my Studebaker, but that’s another story. But Vermont is still dotted with pleasant little diners that will bring back childhood memories or help your kids create new family memories. So when in Vermont, stop by the Wayside or the Polka Dot or one of the other culinary anachronisms that remind us that Vermont is such a great place to live in and to travel to—a slice of nostalgia with a side of beautiful.