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The Plainview Diner
Debra Cohen and Robert Eisinger could hardly agree on anything in our discussion today. Debra is writing a book with the working title "Willpower and Other Weight Control Fairytales: Rethinking the Causes and Solutions to Obesity." She believes people are up against too many powerful influences — from advertising to portion size in restaurants — to stay away from fatty foods or cigarettes without an exhausting and unrealistic effort. Robert thinks grownups get to choose what they eat and drink (though he's all for financial incentives to get people to stop smoking).
If you're a student of regional accents, you might have suspected they share one thing: where they grew up. Twenty miles away from each other on Long Island, as it turns out. Robert, from Smithtown, remembers with particular fondness the diner in Debra's hometown of Plainview. He says his dad loved the lunch specials: soup, salad, entree, a glass of wine and dessert, all for $4! Debra never set foot in the diner. Her family ate out very rarely — a practice she continues today. Was today's debate born three decades ago in family visits (or lack thereof) to a nearby diner?
The Plainview Diner is still doing lunch specials, by the way, with choices from a Philly cheese steak with fries to a veggie plate. Both are more than $4 and wine is extra.