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East Idaho Eats: The Rusty Lantern Diner is Ucon’s hidden secret

East Idaho Eats

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UCON — A family-owned local restaurant is Ucon’s hidden gem, serving up delicious food you might find at your grandma’s house.

As you walk into the Rusty Lantern Diner, a sign invites guests to turn off their phone’s ringer, listen to cowboy tunes and take a moment to enjoy the family atmosphere.

“Word of mouth is our best advertisement,” said Shera Hart, whose family owns the restaurant. “Every day I have somebody that says … it’s their first time, (and) they don’t know how they didn’t hear about it until now. It is a hidden secret out here in Ucon.”

The Hart family opened Rusty Lantern in November 2010 and has now been serving the greater Idaho Falls community for more than a decade. Over the years, the restaurant has prided itself on making fresh-made traditional foods.

“We like to do everything the hard way,” Hart said. “Which is the good way. Made from scratch. We like to put a lot of love in our food and our customers enjoy it.”

People can find a range of items on the menu depending on the time of day. From homemade hotcakes in the morning to the restaurant’s signature Big Lantern burger at other times of the day. The Hart family hopes the food brings people back for more.

The Big Lantern Burger comprises two third-pound chuck beef patties topped with bacon, mushrooms, swiss cheese, pickle, lettuce, onion and mayonnaise. The burger sits so high on the plate it is nearly impossible to take a single bite of the entire burger.

The Rusty Lantern also offers a Philly cheesesteak, a Reuben sandwich, fresh-cut fries and daily soup specials served with bread. Diners can find the restaurant’s Angus beef prime rib on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“Once you have the food you will be back,” Hart said. “We have people that come here three times a day.”

The Rusty Lantern Diner is open Monday through Saturday and people can make reservations by calling (208) 522-2254. The restaurant is located at 10868 North Yellowstone Highway in Ucon.