EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — The shiny new trophy that sits above the counter in Jigger’s Diner is a nice touch, but it isn’t what made winning a cook-off on CBS’s The Talk an incredible experience for owner Karie Myers.
The passenger car-style diner has been open since 1917 and was named one of the best diners in New England by Yankee Magazine. It’s known for its johnnycakes, which are what helped Myers win the competition on national TV against Jeannette Liebers, owner of Sweet Mimi’s Café in Saratoga, New York.
“About a week and a half ago, I got an email from a producer of The Talk, asking if I would be willing to go out to Los Angeles to make johnnycakes for a food face-off,” Myers recalled. “Of course, right away my reaction was: absolutely!”
Myers said there were a couple factors that led to her being chosen. The producers initially wanted a pancake face-off, which led to someone suggesting johnnycakes, and when they searched “Rhode Island johnnycakes,” her name popped up.
Another reason was that the show wanted to feature local restaurants who were successful in weathering the pandemic.
The winning dish featured the cornmeal-based johnnycakes topped with sausage, avocado and hollandaise sauce.
Myers said her business takes pride in serving the community and being able to support other area businesses and farms. Many of their ingredients are purchased from within the state.
“I want to support local businesses, just like everyone else wants to support us,” she said.
Myers said without her team at Jigger’s and the support of the East Greenwich community, none of this would have been possible.
“I have an amazing team of workers here and without every single one of them, I wouldn’t be here,” Myers said. “Not only that, I have a lot of loyal customers that also ordered through the pandemic and have been great supporters. We have just received such an amazing, overwhelming support through all of this. It was just a great way to represent Rhode Island.”
Jigger’s Diner will be opening a second location on Boston Neck Road in North Kingstown. Myers said the hope is to have everything in place by the end of May.
The Talk airs weekdays at 2 p.m. on WPRI 12.