Nighthawks: The tour

While classic diners have been on the decline for a while, diners still exist in our food consciousness as inextricably American, wholesome and good. If you tried to separate from our culinary imaginations a malt arriving with the stainless steel cup on the side, or a towering stack of flapjacks, or a flattop greasy burger, you'd be killing American food altogether. So at his new south Minneapolis outpost, Nighthawks, Landon Schoenefeld takes all that we adore about the diner, even if we've only imagined it, and turns it into an enormously enjoyable culinary leviathan. Take, for instance, the hot dogs, which arrive cartoonishly large, actual footlong length, and occupy roughly half the space of a typical two-person table. Or the pancakes — easily the best I've ever tasted; lacy, floppy, rich, unctuous, and fragrant — in eight flavors like lime coconut pineapple, banana pecan, peanut butter chocolate chip, and bacon kimchi scallion. It's diner classics bigger and badder than they've ever been.