Duryea Diner Serves Meals With Loving Touch
Marie Brown has always looked after people, from past jobs as an activities director and caregiver in an assisted-living facility to her current role as owner of a restaurant where she serves homemade American food at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Old Forge native gained some experience cooking for people outside her family during her time working at the personal-care home, but it wasn’t until she bought a friend’s business and put her own name to it that she really began to share her family’s recipes with the greater community.
At Marie’s Diner in Duryea, visitors’ meals get the same loving touch that goes into the food Brown prepares for her own family.
“I cook like I cook at home,” she explained. “You go with your heritage, and I was raised more Italian than anything. I learned more about Polish food when I married my husband, and I make my mother’s coleslaw here. It all came together that way.”
She’s come a long way even from her early restaurateur days in Old Forge when she took over a diner on Lonesome Road. The spot was small but earnest, with everything made hot off the grill in front of diners. Brown casually looked for years for a larger venue to grow her business and found potential in a former doll factory on McAlpine Street that she rehabbed over 14 months with help from her relatives, opening finally this past May.
“My son built the booths and breakfast bar, and my whole big family helped with staining and everything else down to the nitty-gritty,” Brown said. “I really never thought it would happen, and now it’s here. We had a nice warm welcome from the town of Duryea.”
The building was transformed from its previous incarnation of bleak cinderblock walls and leaky roofs to its current state as a warm and cozy diner with a robin’s egg blue interior.
The menu at Marie’s reflects the freshest products available locally, from Murazzi Provisions meats to produce from local growers. Everything is made from scratch, like the muffins (try the blueberry or cran-orange), seasonal zucchini and pumpkin breads, and cakes and pies of any variety, but also the heartier dinner fare.
Brown prides herself on offering the best in comfort foods, from her standout pot pies to her recipes for corned beef and scrapple. She makes her own pork barbecue and chicken and dumplings dinners, and she cooks up pot roasts and roast beef. Her roasted turkeys supply slow-cooked, juicy morsels for dishes such as clubs and open-faced dinners.
And her loyal employees also take pride in their work.
“(The staff) has been with me for a while, so they’re my friends now,” Brown said.
From a former floral shop owner who helps Brown decorate to a baker who used to make tasty goods for a well-known national company, “everybody has their own thing they’re good at,” she said.
“Even the bus girls and dishwashers are a great group of kids. A big thing to me is being respectful and being honest,” Brown added. “(I’m proud) when people are happy and they want to come back. I couldn’t see me doing anything else anymore.”
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT on Twitter
Address: 207 McAlpine St., Duryea
Owner: Marie Brown
Cuisine: Home-cooked American
Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Wednesdays through Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Online: Follow the restaurant’s Facebook page.