The Oasis Diner takes its guests back to the 1950s, where you expect teenagers to be wearing poodle skirts and leather jackets. Instead, enjoy the nostalgia the restaurant brings and the great food it serves.
The Oasis Diner opened its doors in Plainfield, Indiana, in 1954. It was housed in a dining car delivered via the railroad from New Jersey. The original owners ran it through the 1970s. Additional owners operated the restaurant until 2008.
After an owner closed it due to health issues, the building fell into disrepair. The Indiana Landmarks added Oasis Diner to its list of most endangered buildings in 2010. Current owners Doug Huff and Don Rector commissioned a three-year research before buying the building in 2014.
They relocated the diner from the original location to the current spot. Adding on to the original dining car created the modern Oasis Diner.
As the new owners were looking for someone to run the daily operations, Pedro Caperon was looking for a place to cook. Through a series of cooking demonstrations, Pedro – a South Carolina native – became Chef Pedro.
The chef likes to prepare food the way it was done during the 1950s – by hand using fresh ingredients. And those preparations came through with the taste of the food. My pork tenderloin was moist and tender. The breading was light and tasty. It was hands down the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever tasted. I’m not sure I can eat another pork tenderloin because the Oasis’ version tops them all.
Lisa opted for a breakfast option. She ordered the Quaker, which included two eggs, ham and grits. It was outstanding, too.
We also split an order of fresh made fried pickles.
The Oasis Diner’s theme sparks nostalgia as soon as you walk in. A waitress uniform that would have been worn during the restaurant’s early days is on display.
Photographs from its early days to reconstruction wrap around a couple of walls for visitors to enjoy its history.
The restaurant is a member of Indiana’s Foodway Trails, which highlights key eateries around the Hoosier state. It’s part of the Historic National Road, which was the first federally funded highway running from Maryland to Illinois, crossing six states. Antique license plates adorn a wall.
A throwback to the days of metal lunch boxes covers their history from the 1950s to the 1990s, when plastic took over. I remember watching reruns of the old western “Hopalong Cassidy.” So, the lunch box jumped out at me.
The Oasis Diner needs to be on everyone’s to-do list when visiting Hendricks County. We enjoyed it so much during our visit to the area that we stopped by for breakfast another day. You can stop by for the nostalgia, but you’ll leave knowing you’ve had one of the best meals in your life.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Chef and the Oasis Diner for the complimentary meal. However, all opinions and views are ours.