Food Porn: Checkers Old-Munchen and Diner By-The-Sea

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CandaceWest.com

Brothers and restaurateurs Mat Moore and Billy Sand.

Diner By-the-Sea is a respite amid a tourists' block, a locals' place, narrow like the boat slips in nearby canals. Even the walls are painted sea blue. Yellow-backed stools march the length of an open kitchen. A cook in a baseball cap dances among burners, a counter, and a fridge underneath. He makes diner fare: eggs, home fries, and toast for less than $4; a short stack with bacon; or Susan's healthy happy veggie omelet for $8.

At night, though, Diner By-the-Sea transforms into the German restaurant Checkers Old-Munchen. Checkers is owned by Mat Moore, brother of Diner By-the-Sea owner Bill Sand. After an electrical fire destroyed the German restaurant's previous location, Moore worked a deal with his brother to operate Checkers out of the diner space.

At 2 p.m. each day, a second round of cooks prep in the tiny kitchen, and new servers spiff up the front of the house. The night menu offers potato pancakes, goulash, schnitzels, stroganoff, and pork shank: a two-pound monster for only ten bucks. Come to think of it, everything is under $10 here. But a side of spaetzle -- those addictive little German noodles -- is my favorite. There's talk of making this temporary pop-up a permanent location. "My brother wants me to stay," Moore says. "I'm thinking I just might." -- Melissa McCart

Published on May 1, 2012

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