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Food & Travel

A diner that has built up its own Mohawk trail

Mike Ryan, the Mohawk Diner owner. Mike Ryan, the Mohawk Diner owner. (Amy Mayer for The Boston Globe)
By Amy Mayer
Globe Correspondent / February 17, 2010

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SHELBURNE - About halfway between the Interstate 91 rotary in Greenfield and the turnoff for Shelburne Falls on Route 2, sits the Mohawk Diner. It’s located in something called the Arrowhead Shops, a strip mall on the Mohawk Trail. What’s striking is that such an inauspicious spot can attract such a following. Once you settle in, you understand why.

Texas French toast and pancakes (with or without blueberries) are served with maple syrup that just may have come from a local tree. But this is not a restaurant preoccupied with the locavore trend or any other fad. Yes, there’s classic diner memorabilia on the walls, including a photograph of an old-school diner with neon lights, but you’ll also see a large framed photo of the nearby Bridge of Flowers, which connects the towns of Buckland and Shelburne in the village of Shelburne Falls.

Omelets are available as daily specials. Order one with sweet Italian sausage, red peppers, and onions or build your own with the house mushroom medley, any number of cheeses, bacon, sausage, or ham. You decide the number of eggs. Either way, you get toast and home fries, which are simple and not greasy. Or, try your favorite filling ingredients wrapped in a tortilla with home fries, guacamole, and sour cream on the side.

Patrick Greenburger of Colrain comes in almost every day because it’s the best place in the area to eat, he says. He likes that the butter is real, the herbs and spinach are fresh, and the portions are generous. “I like a hearty meal,’’ he says.

His companion, Susan Wyant, is happy to come along because she can order a smaller serving. “I like being able to get it a little less hearty,’’ she says.

The server greets them with a familiar hello on a busy Saturday morning, but Greenburger points out that this is not just a breakfast spot. “They have the best hamburgers I’ve ever had anywhere,’’ he says. Daily soups include clam chowder, chili, cheddar broccoli, and roasted butternut squash.

Mike Ryan bought the diner five years ago, just 10 months after it opened. Ever since, he’s been doing most of the cooking. He gets a steady stream of seasonal customers: skiers, hikers, temporary summer residents in area campgrounds; fall leaf-peepers. In the summer he roasts a pig on alternate weekends, and offers pulled pork, chicken, brisket, and more.

Though the place is small and busy, service is friendly and prompt. In this part of the state, crowds are relative. If you have to wait for a table, it won’t be for long.

Mohawk Diner, 1105 Mohawk Trail # 2, Shelburne, 413-625-6643.