The man behind the Parthenon diners in Branford and Old Saybrook, CT. has brought the same classic comfort food to Mystic. In the Mystic Diner just off the Mystic exit on I-95, John Sousoulas has created a “home away from home” for local folks as well as tourists.
“What I really want is to bring back the idea of a home away from home for people,” Sousoulas says with a big grin – “a great old-fashioned diner that people can frequent often, where they know the food will be affordable, and will have a really high quality and consistency.”
His menu for the 290-seat diner features some Greek specialties reflecting his family heritage along with classic diner fare.
“We have great omelettes, and weekday breakfast specials including coffee that we hope will attract people who work in the local businesses and come from the community, and who will make it a regular thing. We keep our prices low so this will be possible, and we’re continuing the traditions we’ve learned from our diners in Branford and Old Saybrook.”
For lunch and dinner, Souloulas offers daily specials as well as his own favorite recipes like Chicken Souvlaki, Baked Moussaka and Spanakopita. Along with the Greek dishes he serves up a signature Monte Cristo hot sandwich featuring turkey, ham, and Swiss cheese on French toast, Italian dishes like Penne a la Vodka and Chicken Francese, seafood including Sea Scallops, and classic diner fare like Baked Meat Loaf with Gravy, Baby Back Ribs and Chicken in a Basket.
“We’ve combined all the things we’ve done well in Branford and Old Saybrook,” Sousoulas says, “and our goal is that people will come back again and again when they realize how good it is, and how affordable.”
Sousoulas learned the business from his father, who ran the recent award-winning Parthenon Diner in Branford in the 1980s and he knows the local area well because he worked as a computer engineer at Electric Boat while helping out his Dad on evenings and weekends.
“I guess that it got to be in my blood,” he says with a laugh, “but this is what I really love to do.”
The Mystic Diner & Restaurant is at 253 Greenmanville Avenue in Mystic, just off I-95 Exit 90, and next to the Howard Johnson Inn. The diner is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with Breakfast served all day, as well as Lunch served after 11 a.m., and Dinner, served from 4 to 10 p.m.