Friday, April 6, 2012

Becky's Diner

As I've said before in this blog, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Therefore, I'm always on the lookout for a great diner or cafe, preferably the kind that serves breakfast all day loooooong.

Recently, my dining companions (one two-legged and two four-legged) and I made our way to Commercial Street to eat at Becky's Diner. I've been to Becky's several times over the past ten, fifteen years or so and the food's always been good, so why not dine there as my Hungrygal-alter-ego and give 'em a proper review? It was a cool, overcast day, perfect for overindulging in comfort food.

The diner was hopping that morning and we had a short wait at the door while the hostess wiped down a table. Once settled, an unsmiling waitress brought over two big, steaming cups of coffee in a couple of hefty mugs - the kind with the rim so thick you have to wrap your lips around it just to make sure you don't dribble. The coffee, good and strong, warmed our bones.

The waitress disappeared for a while and we were actually ready for a coffee warm-up by the time she returned. No matter - the diner was really busy, after all - so we weren't overly concerned about the wait. We ordered a repast fit for a king: two omelets, homefries with peppers and onions, a side of bacon, a side of ham, toast and a blueberry muffin.

After about fifteen minutes, the blueberry muffin and the side of ham appeared at the table, but nothing else. Our waitress plopped the plates down wordlessly and disappeared again without refilling our coffee cups. We figured the rest of the meal would follow shortly and decided to wait for the rest of it before digging in, even though serving a third of our breakfast first seemed rather odd.

We were wrong. We waited another ten minutes as the ham cooled on its plate, then finally I asked another server if she could find our waitress for us. We watched as she searched in vain, even asking another worker of our waitress' whereabouts. The second server actually caught my eye and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, "sorry, she's vanished"! Hungry and confused, we decided to nibble on the muffin and the ham while we waited. Another server refilled our coffee.

Finally, after another five minutes or so, our waitress appeared and brought the rest of the food to the table. She mumbled an apology but again without a smile. She must have been having a really bad day.

Needless to say, the ham was cold, and yet delicious - juicy and sweet and not cooked to death like they do at some restaurants - and not overly salty, either. The muffin was basic, a standard cakey muffin, nothing special. However, the egg-white omelet, stuffed with onions and mushrooms and cheese, was outstanding, as were the accompanying home fries, served with a sumptuous amount of green pepper and carmelized onion. The bacon was tasty and cooked just right - savory and crisp, grilled to a golden brown. And the special that day - a three-egg hash-and-cheese omelet - made us drool like Homer Simpson when he's dreaming of donuts.

For some reason, I got white toast instead of the rye toast I'd ordered, but by that point, I was too hungry to wait any longer and didn't bother to mention it.

After stuffing ourselves, we waited yet again for the check and a doggie bag (can't forget the four-legged diners waiting in the car, after all). The bill, when it finally arrived, came to $34.57 before tip.

I don't think we ever did see the waitress smile. Not once.

Bottom line: food - two thumbs and two paws up; service (for this day anyway) - two thumbs down. Becky's serves up awesome fare and I'm hopeful that we just hit it on an off day. Do give Becky's a try - it's worth the wait!

Becky's Diner
390 Commercial Street
Portland, ME
(207) 773-7070