Diner Breakfast Complaints

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Greyghost
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2007/05/26 21:32:30 (permalink)

Diner Breakfast Complaints

Diner Breakfast Complaints

I have two main complaints with diner breakfasts. The first complaint is about hash browns and home fries.
Seems anywhere I go these days the potatoes come out the same and it does not matter what they label them as. They are always thinly sliced potatoes about half the thickness one would use for scalloped potatoes. Some places try to season them with onion but that is about it. They are neither hash browns or home fries in my book. To me they are thin scalloped potatoes browned quickly on a diner griddle parading as something they are not. It is always a disappointing experience.

My second complaint is about link sausage. Some diners get it right, but many more do not. I love proper link sausage, but the traditional diners in my area are cutting corners to the point of absurdity. The standard in the old style diners, which are the ones I love, is a very thin link cut in half along with another half link. The customer gets a total of one and a half links of very skimpy sausage which is no longer link since it has been cut in half.

Today I went to a glitzy diner that is not really a diner anymore, but more of a restaurant with a seating capacity of over 300 plus. I had my usual, eggs "home fries" sausage links, coffee and toast. The home fries were the horrid sliced potatoes totally unseasoned except for a sprinkling of bland paprika for color, almost inedible. The sausage was very good, however. Two large 3 ounce beauties served whole and wholly good.

Well, these are my diner breakfast complaints, what are yours?
#1

69 Replies Related Threads

    zataar
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/26 22:49:16 (permalink)
    Unseasoned eggs, potatoes, and seriously bad coffee. Seems to be the norm these days.
    #2
    kland01s
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 06:00:28 (permalink)
    I'm with you on the "hash browns", just had some yesterday. I asked for them crisp and got blackened thin sliced potatoes that were half uncooked.
    #3
    fabulousoyster
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 06:42:07 (permalink)
    I hate diner hashbrowns. Almost uncooked and the potato tastes bad. I order french fries.
    #4
    fdm813
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 07:37:34 (permalink)
    Living in the South, we are not exposed to diners very often. Buy there is a small place (seats about 50) close by. They offer both hashbrowns which are shredded potatoes, frozen I beleave. Then they have home fries which are Idaho bakers that are diced in large chunks with onions, crispy on the outside. Yum! used as a side item with (home made) sausage gravy biscuit. It's a good way to start your day.
    #5
    enginecapt
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 07:44:24 (permalink)
    The deal breaker for me is if they lube their griddle with that horrid tasting "butter flavored" oil.
    That tells me there are corners being cut, not to mention the fact I can't stand the taste or smell of that foul stuff. It reminds me of cat sick.
    #6
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 07:52:24 (permalink)
    American fries, German fries, home fries, hash browns; all I've ordered in Milwaukee have been great. In fact, they are better than what I can make at home so they are the sole reason I ever go out for breakfast. I do always request onion added to them so perhaps mine get some special attention. The few places serving grits seem to do them right too! Now where can I get some good biscuits and sausage gravy in this town?
    #7
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 07:58:23 (permalink)

    Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, whether it is in a proffesional capacity or just to start the day. It is a good idea to ask if the hash is canned as it usually is. That stuff is dogfood and we all know what it costs at the store. Secondly, if you are going to serve the canned variety, don't treat it like the other breakfast meats. The number 'four' is important for these side orders, four pieces of sausage or bacon, 4 oz. of ham and four oz. of canned hash is not the same. Hash should fill the plate. I am not too wild about places that serve half a plate of hash and the other with more potatoes. I do not want that many spuds for the start of the day.

    I am a sausage person and generally find that I will get the standard link style from Hormel, Jones or Farmer John. I see patties that have become thinner so that they cn be cooked in one minute, they are not juicy. I want four links of sausage on a plate, oddly many places will give you two patties to the four links. If I get three halves of a -good sized- link I would be satisfied.

    The potato complaints are valid. I work at two jobs that feature breakfast and serve sliced or cubed potatoes. I am pretty sure that Greyghost would throw the potatoes back to the kitchen at one place as we use leftover dried, discolored bakes from the night before. There is no onion, salt, pepper, garlic or flavor.
    The other place does use boiled potatoes with the addition of onion, garlic powder and paprika. A butter flavored oil is used. No salt or pepper is used at either place.
    While some folks will say that there is S&P on the table, I was taught that they should be used as table decorations.
    I would never want to eat or serve the scalloped thin sliced potato for breakfast. There are problems with them as they do not sit on a griddle properly to get crusty and they break up into small pieces as time goes on. I like the chunky home fry style and absolutely love shredded hash browns. Good shredded hash browns should be golden brown and crusty like a good Roesti. I can get the same results with home fries too.

    I do not want to eat at any place that does its eggs on a flat-top griddle. They are satisfied with serving you chopped-up scrambled eggs and flat, lifeless omeletes. When I see omeletes being made on a griddle I wonder what part of France did they learn this technique?

    mark

    #8
    Jimeats
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 09:12:12 (permalink)
    Wow I feel sorry for some of you people. I have a great many good diner choices in my area. Home fries are always good to very good, real spuds and nicely seasoned. As far as to eggs off the flat top griddle, that's what a traditional diner has behind the counter and has to be used. The burners off to the side are for other items. You can't expect the grill cook to be useing saute pans for the egg dishes. That's great in a large kitchen with the burner space but in a real diner space is at a premium.
    In the old days you could turn over a stool or booth every 18min.
    Very rarely I have gotten lousey sausage, cheap crap loaded with fillers but their out there.
    My complaint is the breakfast ham, I just hate it when they use a deli type ham. Give me a nice thick cut of ham off the bone. I'll pay extra.
    I frequent a place where they use canned corned beef hash, not a bad product they do add some items to it to make it worth while. Chow Jim
    #9
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 09:20:05 (permalink)
    #10
    Donna Douglass
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 10:18:38 (permalink)
    The above complaints made me realize more and more why I love Waffle House as much as I do!!!!

    I'm not really a breakfast person, but do know good food when I see it, or taste it. The only other place that meets my expectations is a little "Mom and Pop" place in our town where they do know how to cook a good breakfast, whether it be potatoes, sausage, corned beef hash, or whatever. It is all good.

    But my very favorite remains Waffle House.

    Donna
    #11
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 11:14:10 (permalink)


    === As far as to eggs off the flat top griddle, that's what a traditional diner has behind the counter and has to be used. The burners off to the side are for other items. You can't expect the grill cook to be useing saute pans for the egg dishes. That's great in a large kitchen with the burner space but in a real diner space is at a premium.===

    I have to disagree. I worked at a popular 40 seat diner with four burners, flat top and broiler. Watching the show, 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives' there was this one guy who operated a regular sized kitchen and he emphasized how important eggs in a pan were. I was impressed, as it seemed he was doing this with two burners.
    I use the griddle for spuds, pancakes, French toast, breakfast meats, crispy hash and more. That is a lot, and throwing eggs into the mix overwhelms the space (and my) abilities on the griddle. It is easier and better in many ways when you use a pan for scrambled eggs instead of chasing them all over the griddle till they form up. No matter how I try, they seem to pick up other things cooking on the flat-top. For me, too many items on a griddle = a mess. The issue is that I do not like how they come out when I know I can do so much better.
    The difference in a diner that uses burners as opposed to a griddle is what distinguishes it from a lesser hash house. I feel that there is a textural and visual appeal when using pans.

    I agree about ham needing to have flavor beyond the watery deli style stuff. Since that usually is the case, I will go for sausage. If they are doctoring up the canned hash, that's okay. At least they are trying to improve it.

    mark
    #12
    wallhd
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 11:17:46 (permalink)
    I will agree 100% with the posters who say that the home fires/hash browns in so many places are lousy. Is it the quality of the oil used, or the seasoning(s) used, or the seasoning of the griddle or what? I make my own on a stove top Calphon (spelling?) griddle and they are great. Why can't restaurants of all kinds have theirs turn out just as well?

    Wally
    Plattsburgh, NY &
    Cornell '67
    #13
    davezirk
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 11:54:31 (permalink)
    You are right on target. I recently ate at the Fords Diner, in the Fords section of Woodbridge, NJ. REAL home fries, browned on the grill, 2 large sausages split and browned on the grill. I chose the beef as I had not seen that before in this area. Yum.

    The standard diner fries in this area are barely browned, then sprinkled w/ cheap paprika for color. Totally tasteless, don't know why they even bother - most people leave them on the plate to be discarded. What a waste!

    - davezirk

    Originally posted by Greyghost

    Diner Breakfast Complaints

    I have two main complaints with diner breakfasts. The first complaint is about hash browns and home fries.
    [snip]
    #14
    blizzardstormus
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 12:20:07 (permalink)
    Greyghost,

    It sounds like these diners are serving a reconstituted dehydrated sliced or shredded potato. They are a crappy product. The problem is probably a labor situation: either the diners can't afford to pay for someone to make real hashbrowns or they can't find anyone competent enough to make them.

    Most restaurants also use a griddle oil substitute for the butter.
    #15
    sizz
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 13:06:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    enginecapt Posted - 05/27/2007 : 07:44:24
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I can't stand the taste or smell of that foul stuff. It reminds me of cat sick.

    Jack:..........what's a cat sick ? is it something like a slop shoot?
    #16
    enginecapt
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 13:12:24 (permalink)
    The smell is......

    EDIT: Not that I'd know.
    #17
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 14:18:17 (permalink)
    As Felix Frankfurter may have said..."I may not know the definition of cat sick, but I know it when I see it."
    #18
    Phildelmar
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 14:31:03 (permalink)
    Cold and/or overcooked scrambled eggs
    #19
    skylar0ne
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 18:16:31 (permalink)
    My chief complaint with breakfast eaten out, at a diner or elsewhere, is with the bacon. I absolutely love the taste of bacon, but don't serve me pale, half-cooked strips of fatty meat that have to be chewed like a piece of bubble gum. Bacon should be cooked until it's brown and crispy, and most of the fat has been rendered out. I always ask that the bacon be crisp and well-done, but half the time it does not come that way.
    #20
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 18:51:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by skylar0ne

    My chief complaint with breakfast eaten out, at a diner or elsewhere, is with the bacon. I absolutely love the taste of bacon, but don't serve me pale, half-cooked strips of fatty meat that have to be chewed like a piece of bubble gum. Bacon should be cooked until it's brown and crispy, and most of the fat has been rendered out. I always ask that the bacon be crisp and well-done, but half the time it does not come that way.

    And I hardly ever eat bacon out because they cook it the way they like it. At least at a Waffle House I can get it cooked properly (meaning the way I like it) by telling them I want my bacon light.
    #21
    Greymo
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 19:27:10 (permalink)
    I guess that I am the only one with this complaint...............cold unbuttered toast with a cold pat of butter on the side. It makes me think of eating breakfast in England. I want my toast hot and buttered. Went to a diner yesterday (where the toast is always cold and unbuttered) and ordered the pita bread which one could have instead of toast. The pita bread arrived hot and dripping with butter. Hard to figure.
    #22
    Greyghost
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 20:10:26 (permalink)
    I am glad there is so much interest in this topic, I no longer feel so alone in my complaints. I concur with a lot of the complaints posted here.

    Diner breakfast ham was a good example. I have had diner breakfast ham sliced so thin you could see right through it if you held it up to your face. Not only that, you could see clearly through it as easily as you could with rose colored glasses.

    Pancakes are another sore point. Many places around here advertise blueberry pancakes. Do they have blueberries in them? No. What they do have is some vile blueberry goop served on the side that one can spoon on top of the very ordinary pancakes. Wish we had a Waffle House around here, Donna...sounds wonderful.

    It is hard to screw up eggs, but apparently many places do, especially with scrambled. Omelettes, don't even try. As has been observed in these postings, diners are not equipped to do them. Diner omelettes come out as some sort of weird frittata concoction.

    All that being said, I love diners, especially the very old ones. They draw me like a moth to a flame. I love the history, the old time atmosphere and the colorful customers. I do wish diner owners would take their places as seriously as I do and offer good old fashioned food that is worthy of the heritage of the places they own.
    #23
    lindsey
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 20:12:55 (permalink)
    TWO WORDS.............HASH WHITES! What is with these cooks that think cooking hashbrowns on one side......then plating them is Aok??? These suck....and I always have to order them well done......repeating...cooked on BOTH sides! There should be a law against this!!!!!!!!!
    #24
    Billfish
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 21:30:48 (permalink)
    Some diners around here (and other places I have been) think they are quite clever (and efficient) and will fry up a pound or so of bacon at a time and shove it off to the side of the grill or into a holding pan.Even if the bacon were fried perfectly,at most the first couple of orders will be any good.Like most cooked food,and unlike a fine wine,cooked bacon does not improve with age.
    The most annoying trend in diners around here is their refusal to deliver butter to be served with toast,muffins,etc.They will give you a little bowl with some jelly and some margarine.Sometimes if you gripe enough they will "find" some butter in the back but I know of a couple places that say outright they dont have any and that is that.
    #25
    MissJohnnycakes
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 23:43:27 (permalink)
    It's not just bad oil/fake butter or choice of seasonings that makes bad potatos:

    It's BAD TREATMENT of the potatos before they hit the pan or griddle. Potatos should have fresh potato flavor, and that gets washed out if they fry precooked potatos (boiled or baked or ANYthing cooked). Frying precooked potatos also makes them mushy, ugh.

    Keep the cook's mitts off the salt shaker, too! I can add my own salt and pepper. If he/she uses a nice blend of herbs, that's good. But please, there is salt and pepper on every table, and some of us can't stomach oversalted food.

    Yeah, I hate anything but fresh-cut french fries, too.
    #26
    MissJohnnycakes
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/27 23:48:28 (permalink)
    Old orange juice!

    I no longer order OJ unless it is fresh-squeezed. Had too many encounters with warm, stale juice that has sat around all day long after the frozen concentrate met the tap water. Or worse, even started to get that fermented taste.
    #27
    Rick F.
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/28 02:39:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Donna Douglass

    Donna
    Quick personal note. Where do I know you from? School sounds right--HS in California, grad school in Memphis, seminary in Evanston seem most likely. Or am I out of my mind, which is possible or even likely?
    #28
    Donna Douglass
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/28 06:53:44 (permalink)
    Sorry Rick, I'm an Ohio girl all the way. "Girl" said with tongue in cheek as I'm 78 years old.

    The only time I've not lived in Central Ohio is the nine years we spent in Phoenix, AZ from 1990 to 1999.

    Donna
    #29
    John A
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    RE: Diner Breakfast Complaints 2007/05/28 07:34:37 (permalink)
    Greyghost,

    Come to my house






    John
    #30
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