The Noon Mark Diner had been on my radar since the summer of 2016 when I first read about its homemade Maple-Walnut pie while searching for places to eat in the Adirondack Park. A route to a week-long family vacation in Rainbow Lake took me right past the diner. I was sure glad I stopped in. From local newspapers and magazines available for reading to the full coat and hat hooks and the locally tapped maple syrup for sale, I knew this would be a good place to eat. After reading the menu and finding out that all the soups, breads, pies, quiches, jams, and even English muffins (who does THAT anymore?!) are made here, I became even more excited about the meal.
I grabbed a stool at the counter and started with one of the day’s specials, a cup of corn chowder: very hearty and comforting and a nice surprise on a menu in late summer. I had to try the Michigan hot dog with chips and pickles. The Michigan is a regional specialty in New York’s North Country, going back many decades. At its most basic, it is a hot dog smothered in meat sauce, with mustard and onions. At Noon Mark, onions are served on the side and mustard is on the counter so customers can dress theirs as they like. Each diner, hot dog stand, cafe, and dog cart and drive-in has its own recipe for the sauce; this one does not disappoint. It has a nice amount of cumin and a kick from red pepper flakes. The the split-top bun is a classic regional touch. This is a messy, rib-sticking, multi-napkin affair. One would be well-served to consume it while leaning forward over a plate, lest any of it spill on the floor or wind up as a fashion statement.
Be sure to save room for dessert. Noon Mark has a HUGE selection of homemade pies. I saw many people coming in to pick up pies-to-go from the refrigerated pie case. In true Roadfooder style, I placed my pie order first (a slice of Maple-Walnut, please!) so as not to be denied. It’s not often that I’ve come across this flavor. The crunchy walnuts and assertive PURE maple syrup really shine through. The one mistake I made is forgetting to ask for it warm. While it was very good cold, I’ll bet the flavors pop even more when it’s warmed up.
Noon Mark is quite a find, right in the heart of the North Country, surrounded by sugar shacks, lakeside towns and villages, miles of hiking trails, and stunning mountain views. Definitely worth a special trip.