ADAMS -- Visit Miss Adams Diner on Park Street any day of the week and you're likely to see something like this:
A customer, maybe someone from out of town, drawn to the 1949 boxcar that houses the diner, being served a hero's plate of food -- a special request, perhaps, complete with fries, onion rings, the works.
"That's awesome, exactly what I wanted," the customer says on this particular day, now sitting before a grilled cheese, double burger sandwich concoction. Whether the person's mouth can accommodate the thing remains to be seen.
"You can thank the Food Network for that," Philomene Belair, Miss Adams' primary cook and co-operator with her husband, Ric, replies.
Specializing in homemade hot and cold sandwiches, Frisbee-like pancakes, eggs and burgers made to order, and a full list of dinner items available on Fridays, the Belairs have built the most recent incarnation of Miss Adams on the foundation of an old-school American diner: Friendly atmosphere paired with a timeless menu of diner classics.
But Ric Belair requires no thought answering what he considers Miss Adams' greatest asset: his wife.
"Spend a few minutes with [Philomene] and you'll know right away," he said, "it's back to the old diner, and that's what everyone wanted, I think. We have customers who are in here four or five times a week who call her ‘mom.' "
Some of these customers may have attempted to take down one or two
Those willing to tackle these Food Network-inspired challenges are hitting at a remarkably low batting average. A lone sole -- Allen Vallieres -- has successfully conquered the pancake challenge, and the Blitz has yet to meet its match. Winners receive the meal free-of-charge, a T-shirt and their picture on the wall.
The restaurant has a long history in town, with the Belairs having reopened it in 2010. The pair have come to think of landing in Adams as opposed to North Adams, where they'd initially planned to open a restaurant, as a stroke of luck. They were even married in the iconic boxcar that same year.
Now, the place is a community staple, hosting fundraisers and other regular events, awarding an annual scholarship to local culinary students and recently adding outdoor seating to accommodate Ashuwillticook Rail Trail users.
"We try to make it family-oriented with that home-cooked feel," Philomene Belair said. "We try to please everyone."
The recent, successful, menu special of a hamburger on a glazed donut illustrates the point, to cite just one example from the constantly-rotating list of new dishes.
Many residents will attest, the Belairs' Miss Adams is true to the original diner, and they've no plans of going anywhere soon.
"We're like a piece of Adams history," Philomene Belair said.
To reach Phil Demers, email