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Sunny Day Diner

Route 3, Lincoln, NH - (603) 745-4833
Posted By Michael Stern on October 8, 2015 5:22 AM
Decisions, decisions. Should I choose roast beef hash or corned beef hash? “Try both,” my waitress suggested as she brought a mug of coffee to my booth at the Sunny Day Diner. Brilliant idea, but the compare-and-contrast session that followed was a mind bender. Both hashes are excellent: very finely chopped, soft and moist and almost reminiscent in texture of a succulent boudin. Neither has an assertive flavor. Both, in fact, are subtle and elegant. The roast beef hash, which contains limp little bits of onion and pepper and, of course, potato, is underseasoned in the best possible way, like grandma’s comfort-food hash. Corned beef hash has a bit more punch, a faint briny character, but it too is laid back. Neither offers dramatic surface crunch, but that’s ok. These are all about gentility.

They do a lot of baking at the Sunny Day Diner and among the specialties is banana bread, which is made into French toast for breakfast. It is like warm cake: moist, rich, faintly fruity, and very sweet. It comes topped with maple cream, and the waitress strongly suggested I try it as delivered before adding any maple syrup, which is the real deal, presented in a jug. She was right. Between the banana bread and maple cream spread across it, no more sweetness is required.

As I left, I asked my newfound friend if I had eaten the kitchen’s best stuff. She gave it some thought and instructed me to return for eggs benedict (“the best anywhere”) and a Reuben sandwich that contains the same fine corned beef used to make the hash. I shall return!
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Roast Beef Hash
Banana Bread French Toast
Corned Beef Hash

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Posted By Patrick Gray on January 22, 2015 9:50 AM
How can you not like a smoked salmon omelet? There ain't many places around these parts that you can get an omelet with smoked salmon, so I was as happy as a pig in you know what when I chanced upon the Sunny Day Diner on a skiing trip to Cannon Mountain. They waitstaff did seem a bit perplexed as I mowed through my 3rd omelet before heading out, but I left 'em one helluva nice tip! Well worth the visit, fresh eggs and good smoked salmon.

Pat Gray
Earl of Cavendish, VT
4 star rating
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Posted By Kerstin McConnell on September 14, 2008 10:39 AM
When you walk in, you will notice that in several locations signs from the New Hampshire Department of Food Safety are helpfully posted, advising diners and would-be diners that "undercooked food may be hazardous to some people's health."

We ordered the chicken fingers for our children to split, and were hungry! Not hungry enough to eat them totally raw however. Although cripsy brown on the outside, the insides of the nuggets had not migrated far at all from their originally, and still partially, frozen raw state. When we informed our server that where we're from, while we might roll the dice with a steak or eggs over easy, we like our chicken fingers cooked all the way through, she assured us this only happened at the end of the day. We were quite pleased to learn that had we made the noon seating, we could have enjoyed fully cooked chicken fingers. Unfortunately, we also had to send back the hamburger; we did not inquire whether the burgers might have smelled less foul earlier in the day. Other than that, we quite enjoyed our stay, although we passed on dessert.

We had enjoyed the Sunny Day Diner on previous visits to the area. Unfortunately, we won't be back this century.
1 star rating
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Posted By Ed Smith on July 11, 2002 11:24 AM
You understand the meaning of the word serendipity when you unexpectedly come across this wonderful little diner in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Co-owner Bruce Balch is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a former chef in several major restaurants around the United States. Bruce, along with co-owners Christine (his wife) and Kelly-Ann Kass (also a Culinary Institute graduate) wanted to open a place to serve simple GOOD food. This is the best "Roadfood" we have ever encountered.

It is a classic diner in every sense. The diner was built by the Master Company of Pequannock, NJ. It was originally in Dover, NJ before being moved to Lincoln, NH in 1988. It was placed on a full foundation with a kitchen addition in the back. When Bruce, Chris, and Kelley took over in 1997, they added a complete bakery in the basement. Chris' pies are fantastic, especially when they are topped by Bruce's ice cream made in an early 1900s ice cream maker. Careful attention is paid to every detail, such as obtaining the finest vanilla available for the ice cream and baking. For lunch I had Chris select my food and she served me turkey croquettes with real mashed potatoes and gravy, accompanied by perfectly steamed fresh asparagus. (No overcooked vegetables in this establishment.) Everything, and I mean everything, is prepared from scratch. This is Roadfood prepared with loving care by genuine master chefs. Unbelievable.

It's not just that the diner is beautifully restored and the comfort food is superb. The diner say's "fun" from the moment you enter the door. The young girls that were there to help with serving were obviously there because they loved the diner, the owners and their work. Bruce and Chris are the perfect hosts and love to share every detail of the operation with interested people. This is a diner run by real "people persons." Kelley prefers to work in out of the limelight, but is just as warm and friendly as her partners.

This is a diner worth driving hundreds of miles just to visit. The beautiful setting in the White Mountains of New Hampshire aren't a shabby secondary driving goal either. As Chris herself says, "Stop By, Say Hi, and Eat Pie!!!"
0 star rating
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