Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fun Playing With Breakfast at the Village Diner

Back in 2004, the owners of Moxie decided to open a small, railcar-styled diner at the intersection of the cities of Orange and Solon (28149 Miles Road). Originally called "Mom's Diner," the space tried to recreate the kind of ambiance and food one might find at an old diner in New Jersey. It wasn't more than a few years before the diner changed hands, then changed hands again, becoming "The Village Diner." The last time Bob and I had stopped in for breakfast was a couple of years ago, and it was pretty bad. We'd written the place off.

Recent life events have us eating out a little more than we'd like. Without naming names as to mediocre or declining places, suffice it to say that we found our weekend breakfast options in the suburbs near our home limited.

We needed to get a late breakfast as we headed out on our first road trip of the summer in August. Something made me decide to look up The Village Diner on Yelp - I couldn't believe the place was still in business because it had been so bad for so long. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a new owner had taken over earlier in 2016, and is reinventing the diner in her image. 

That amazing young woman is Marci Izeman, who has a marvelous resume of food experience ranging from catering to corporate food service. Though we experienced a few service hiccups in the first two of our visits, the food and the friendly atmosphere have kept bringing us back.

Bob's: Double Strawberry French Toast topped with fresh sliced Strawberries and homemade strawberry Syrup.

Mine: Chicken & Waffles Special
Nanci, our server, explained that the reason our food took so long was that the kitchen burned the first piece of chicken and had to remake it. The waffle suffered a little for the wait, but the totality of the dish made up for it. Perfectly fried chicken breast, hot sauce, butter, syrup and powdered sugar over crispy waffle. 

Bob's: Banana Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes filed with fresh banana and walnuts
Most pancakes with bananas around town are exactly that. Pancakes, topped with sliced banana. Here, the nuts and bananas caramelized nicely in the pancake batter as it cooked. 

Mine: Irish Omelet: House made Corned beef, green peppers, onions, and I subbed Cheddar for the usual Swiss cheese. Rye toast.
Winner, winner corned beef dinner! Marci had mentioned on the first visit that she makes her own corned beef and roast beef. The former is featured in this nicely balanced omelet. The hash browned potatoes get an honorable mention for an almost pancake-like texture that elevated the simple breakfast staple. But be forewarned - for some reason related to customer preference, the corned beef hash is NOT made with the silky house-made stuff, but is a food service product.

Bob's: Country Omelet. Sausage, green peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese, served with home fries and toast.

Mine: Chopped Sirloin. Half pound Angus beef patty, cooked to a perfect medium as requested, served with two eggs, home fries and toast.
Wayyy too much food for a single sitting, but very well done. 

Our next visit was more to the lunch side of the menu. The hand-pattied burger and fries satisfied Bob, and I enjoyed the house-made roast beef, served with au jus and more of those crispy fries.

Returning to breakfast on our next several trips, these were highlights: 

Gyro Omelet: Gyro meat, onion, tomato, spinach, and feta cheese, served with toast (rye)
I loved the way the gyro meat was cut up just enough to be omelet filling, but chunky enough to have character.

Monte Cristo Sandwich: Ham, Turkey, Swiss dipped in an egg/milk mixture and fried to a golden brown
This sandwich combined ingredients that aren't my favorites (ham and swiss cheese) with a preparation that can't be beat. Why not sub out the ham and swiss, you might ask? Because I wanted to taste the sandwich as the maker intended it. I really enjoyed it (as did Bob, who got to eat about half of it as leftovers), but would probably sub out the ham and swiss for all turkey and another cheese for my palate if I ordered it again.

Bob's: Country Omelet - Sausage, green peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese.

Eggs Florentine: Two poached eggs, ham, tomato, and spinach, served over on an English muffin topped with Hollandaise sauce.

What is more delicious for breakfast than perfectly poached, runny eggs! Perfectly poached, runny eggs topped with Hollandaise. 

A later order of the Chicken and Waffles special, a special worth getting to the Village Diner for! They have it most weekends, but ask first if your heart is set on it!

Banana Walnut Pancakes, Side of Smoked Breakfast Sausage
We really love the smoked sausage served with breakfast, which in addition to being a nice quality product, is a welcome respite from the ubiquitous ground pork patties served almost everyplace else. 

The Village Diner has become our new "go to" weekend breakfast joint. Though there is a certain balancing of ingredients necessary to make the modest price points (real butter is available upon request, but that's margarine on the tables), the quality is generally very good to excellent; the house made corned beef and roast beef are worthy and the kitchen has a deft hand with staples such as eggs, pancakes and potatoes. Service is generally excellent and friendly. Give the Diner a try and have Fun Playing With Breakfast (or lunch - the house made Egg Salad is on my radar)! 

7:00 am - 3:00 pm
8:00 am - 3:00 pm

28149 Miles Road, Orange Village OH 440-248-1332

1 comment:

  1. Good to know! I too had written this place off after the stellar Mom's Diner changed hands. Will have to check it out again. Thanks for sharing!