Veteran diner makes good with classic food in unique setting

On the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day we were looking for a place to grab some brunch. I suggested Miss Portland Diner on Marginal Way and my wife was on board. When we arrived there was quite a line, and though we were told the wait was only 15 minutes, we decided to take the offer of grabbing seats at the bar, which is located in the renovated diner car portion of the restaurant.

Asked to sit at the far end, we complied. The area was lightly decorated with green holiday paraphernalia. My wife quickly ordered a coffee and we peeked at the menus. I also glanced at the specials which the waitress brought to me upon request. At the top of them was the Irish Breakfast – hashbrowns, bangers, 2 eggs, roasted tomatoes, baked beans, grilled biscuit. I wanted to order Irish, but I just wasn’t sold on that one.

I was feeling eggs, though I did have slight hankering for pancakes or French toast. She chose a three egg Omelet with spinach and tomato, which came with homefries and choice of toast – she picked a grilled English muffin. I decided to follow suit and skip the sweeter offerings. I just had to figure out what version of eggs I actually wanted.

There were a number of signature omelets on the menu. Western, Greek, and Thai all sounded excellent, but since it was the day after St. Patrick’s, I was inclined to go with the Shamrock Omelet – signature corned beef hash, grilled onions, and cheddar. It also came with the homefries and I too went with the grilled English as my choice of toast. I guess I was ordering Irish after all.

It definitely took longer than I was hoping it would – likely because they were so busy – but we finally got our food. Our plates looked exactly the same with non-descript omelets, amply buttered English muffin, and a pile of potatoes. They were definitely consistent, at least visually. I quickly squeezed a little ketchup into my plate and got to work.

The potatoes were the first order of business. The first couple I tried – outliers on the plate – were a bit on the cool side. Fortunately, I had a couple more and they were warmer. I liked the taters a lot. They were nicely seasoned and had some garlic to them. While not quite as crispy as I would have cooked them myself, they definitely made up for that with excellent flavor. I used ketchup on some, but they were great without it too.

Not quite ready to try my omelet, I went for the English muffin. That was crispy and thoroughly grilled. It was a bit drippy with butter, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t really good. I threw a little strawberry jam on it and reveled in my sweet, greasy, bread with intense crunch in every bite. It’s probably true that an English muffin doesn’t sound exciting, but I ate the whole damn thing before getting to the eggs because it was so good.

When I dug into the omelet I took a sizable bite and made sure to get all parts of it at once. I was impressed with the light, fluffy egg, but more so with the hash. The hearty, salty, shredded beef was prominent without much filler in the mix. It was an impressive concoction. As grilled onions and cheddar do, they added even more great flavor. It was a little different than my regular favorites, but a delicious change of pace.

Our omelets were quite full and took a little while to get through, but in due time, we finished them. The tab was $22 plus tip. Miss Portland served us good, quality eats. They don’t do fancy – typical diner stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (3 days), but it’s well prepared, flavorful, and they offer a few mildly inventive options. And they are housed in a historical diner car which gives them a really neat look and feel. Give Miss P. a shot and I think you’ll find your hunger happily satiated.

Miss Portland Diner 140 Marginal Way

Stay hungry.

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1 thought on “Veteran diner makes good with classic food in unique setting

  1. giorgio727

    I had breakfast at Miss Portland Diner a couple of years ago and I thought it was excellent and proceeded to tell everyone I knew. I went back several times and felt the same way, but not lately; something has changed and not for the better.


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