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Steve's Diner (Exeter, NH) in the old Pizza Hut?

Has anybody been in here? I've passed by it many times but I have to admit, the building sketches me out thoroughly. The parking lot is always packed and I'd love to hear what anybody has to say about it. Exeter is in need of a good diner because I believe that Rogan's certainly doesn't cut it.

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  1. I've heard (this is secondhand) that's it's just average and so-so.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bewley

      That's a shame. For a town with so many great little holes in the wall for lunch and dinner (33 Water Street, Loaf n Ladle, The Tavern), I can't believe how subpar the breakfast/brunch scene is. I'm waiting for somebody to move in that can make legit homefries and hash in the AM.

      Anyways, I found somebody's review of it here on youtube:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Jo7z...

    2. My wife ate there a few months ago and was underwhelmed. Found the food a little expensive for the quality & portion size. She had a greek sampler -- items were OK, but nothing to write home about. Since there was a greek angle, I had requested a takeout galatoboureko, but only greek desert seemed to be the standard baklava.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jbh11

        I wonder if their gyro's are the real kind...meat cut off of a rotating spit...not those spam slices that you find everywhere else up here.

        Buh.

        1. re: bigduddyd

          bigduddyd...would you be kind enough to mention some of the great little holes in the wall for lunch and dinner in Exeter. I often find myself out towards that way for work, and have no clue about the area and what is good. Also...has anyone eaten at the Holy Grail Irish pub in Epping? Saw it in New Hampshire mag this month...

          1. re: snl1129

            SNL, Sorry for the delay in the response. First off, the Loaf and Ladle and the Green Bean are both on Water Street, right downtown, and both are very inexpensive lunch places that serve up quality homemade soups and chili's which rotate daily. As for dinner, I'd recommend 11 Water Street (that's actually the name of the restaurant) (http://www.11waterstreet.com/) and The Tavern (http://www.tavernatriversedge.com/). I'd have to give the nod to 11 Water Street. I just feel as though that everything there has a better twist to it, though both places specialize in typical american cuisine. The Tavern serve up these homemade flour nachos which make up in cheese for whatever they may lack in flavor.

            I've been to the Holy Grail. Honestly, it's a dive. They have good burgers and steak tips. But considering the humble culinary area of Eppin', it's the best of what's around. I'd give it a try. I personally have a hard time getting over the fact that it's a church and it looks as such from the street, it's spooky. Like the rectory is still there and everything, yikes. But they have great beers on tap that may just help you see God.

            And of ya, I tried to meet some friends there with my wife two Fridays ago for dinner and drinks around 7pm. Absolutely packed. No place to park but WAY WAY down the street. I'd let you know how long the wait was if we'd even attempted to wait it out-but we didn't. We were horrified. Like I'm not kidding. It seriously was insanely packed.

      2. It is beyond me how anyone could call this place "expensive" It has become a regular haunt for me, with absolutely great breakfast, served all day, with large portions and very low prices. I usually get the corned beef hash, which is the real thing, fresh made every morning with real corned beef. Excellent homefries, and he even makes his own orange marmalade, sooo good. The owner is a baker by trade, and he has a pastry case filled with homemade eclairs, cheesecake, and assorted pies.

        4 Replies
        1. re: terrystu

          I actually ended up going to Steve's for one simple plate of hash. It was good. It was homemade, but part of me was bummed by the fact that it resembles the canned stuff so much. What do I mean? The corned beef is cut up into little tiny pieces along with the taters, and it was compacted into this nice convenient rectangular block that totally gave me the prepackaged jitters. BUT to be fair, it was delicious. The best hash in Exeter. No doubt about that. And the waitress was very friendly as well. I'll be going back.

          1. re: bigduddyd

            I'm happy to hear you liked it. Did you ever try the gyro?

            I think the Holy Grails main attraction is the bar in the church thing. Makes everyone feel a bit naughty while they down a pint and watch the Red Sox.

            I would like to ask you as an aside: Have you tried Las Olas yet? They get a lot of press and I'm curious if they're worthy of it .

            1. re: bewley

              Yes! I've been to Las Olas many times since it opened. I tend to be a burritophile, so you asked the right guy. In my opinion, Las Olas is excellent. The meats, especially the roast pork, are excellent. The cilantro in the rice is super fresh. The salsa's are excellent...especially the corn salsa. One thing that they do that is perfect is before wrapping everything up, they give it a squeeze of fresh lime. To me, it makes all the difference in the world.

              I get the sense that the staff, who you can sneak a peak at when paying at the register, really take a lot of pride in their work. You can tell that this isn't their first rodeo, and I know that at least one of them commutes up from Haverhill everyday to bless this small town with his skills. I know this because I recognized (and verified) that he was a former employee at Tacos Lupita down in Haverhill. Actually, here he is on their website: http://lasolastaqueria.com/about.html

              The place is really clean, like painstakingly clean (which I really respect in a no waiters kind of restaurant) and the quality of the ingredients are great.

              If your'e looking for a quick lunch or a super casual dinner with only $6-7 in your pocket, I'd highly recommend this place. It's FAR superior to the Chipotle/Dos Amigos scene.

              1. re: bigduddyd

                Wonderful, thank you for this detailed response. I guess we will be going soon!

        2. We just returned from Steve's and it was unremarkable. So disappointing.
          Not real diner food, no meatloaf or chicken pot pie. Mostly sandwiches, burgers, some Greek items and desserts. Lots of breakfast choices, though.
          I had a cup of Avglemono soup which was like paste and the lemon flavor was from the bottle. Also had the Spinach pie in phyllo, rice and salad, combo.
          The Spinach pie was micro'd and soggy, rice dry and the salad all yellow & white bits. Ick!
          Hubby ordered Chicken Parm because it was the closest to comfort food he could find. Chicken Fingers over overcooked pasta with sauce poured over the top and a little heated up slice of cheese over the top.
          He had the' highly recommended 'carrot cake for dessert. He said he'd had much better from B.J.'s.
          Oh, well. We were forewarned but thought we'd try for ourselves. Won't return.
          Contessa

          1 Reply
          1. re: contessa1

            Tried Steve's for breakfast with some friends two weeks ago, and it was great. Very tasty corned beef hash and delicious homefries. My friends had omelettes and pancakes, and were very pleased.. I've been back since and thoroughly enjoyed. Can't comment on dinner, as I haven't tried it in the evening, but this is my new favorite breakfast place.

          2. Following this thread, I think it can be said that Steve's Diner does breakfast exceedingly well, but lags behind with the rest of their menu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bewley

              Actually, I think you're correct! My friends who live in Newmarket go there for breakfast and said it's great! But, dinner isn't, unfortunately.......

              Contessa

              1. re: contessa1

                Tell your friends to go to the Big Bean in Newmarket. It's an excellent diner that does everything homemade, including their bread and biscuits, and they always have new and original breakfast dishes.

            2. I went there with an open mind. These folks are Greek and from Long Island so I expected something special and familiar since i am from NY. YUK!!! My wife ordered the Chicken Parm and was seved fried chicken fingers with melted mozzerela and bland tomato sauce over dry and tasteless ziti. She left the whole thing on the table and we went home and ate leftovers from Memorial Day weekend. After a decade of eating on the seacoast i cant name you a place that could do a worse job. We ordered a Sprite at it tasted like the hoses haven't been cleaned for years. Perhaps the breakfasts are better but I doubt I'll come back to find out.

              I had the Greek sampler. I give it a 6 out of 10. I was hoping to try the homemade pie's
              that were tauted as the best but after our experience I said no way.

              This is clearly a place that subscribes to the model that quantity is valued over quality.

              Shame on you native New Yorkers for giving our diners a bad name.

              1 Reply
              1. re: richb_foodglutton

                "This is clearly a place that subscribes to the model that quantity is valued over quality."

                Welcome to "mainstream" NH!

              2. After reading about it here, my wife and I tried las olas the other day. OMG, this is the worst excuse for Mexican I have ever tasted! Three words to describe the food - bland, bland, bland. OK, so that's only one word, you get the idea. The rice and black beans are both completely flavorless as though they were unseasoned, and the "grilled steak" for the burrito was lying in a pool of liquid as though it was grilled yesterday. I requested the hottest of the available salsas and it had no bite whatsoever. The place is run by a lilly-white Irish looking group with no Latinos on the premises. The only positive I can offer is that the place is very clean - sort of sterile - like the food.

                4 Replies
                1. re: terrystu

                  I've heard the same thing from a trusted source, but, here again, people in the area rave about the place. Go figure.

                  1. re: bewley

                    Ok 2 things: maybe I was biased because I recognized the guy working there from a place down in Haverhill, and secondly, I think it's fair to say it's better than Chipotle. No?

                    1. re: bigduddyd

                      Actually I would have to say no.
                      Las Olas is far worse than Chipotle and Margarita's, and that's really saying something. It actually tastes like stuff out of a can. We were there last Saturday lunchtime and were the only ones in the place. Don't think this place will last long.

                      1. re: derekj

                        We finally got to try Las Olas, and this only after I read today that they’re opening a second location in Hampton. I really went with lowered expectation, but must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Since this thread really has to do with Steve's Diner, I'll start a new one and let the fireworks begin!