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Deluxe Station Diner to Open in Newton Centre

Good news! I saw signs announcing the Deluxe Station Diner, which is going into the old station building at the Newton Centre T stop. No word on an anticipated opening date but it's great to know the project is underway. The diner is owned by the same folks who run the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown.

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  1. I heard about this. Johnny's Luncheonette is okay but overpriced, so I usually drive to the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown for breakfast anyway. This will just save me the trip.Their pancakes are the best!

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    Deluxe Town Diner
    627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

    Johnny's Luncheonette
    30 Langley Rd, Newton Center, MA 02459

    1. This is happy news!

      I love the Deluxe Town Diner. I had what I called a "New England Griddled Dinner" the other night: jonnycakes with butter and pure-maple syrup, linguiça, baked beans, and a 16-oz can of 'Gansett. That were good.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      -----
      Deluxe Town Diner
      627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

      1. Just an FYI -- was talking to Dylan at the Watertown site this morning and she said that the Newton site was set to open on December 6th. She seemed very excited! (So are we!)

        1. Last time I drove by it appeared that renovations were still underway. Have they opened yet? Is there a more definitive date?

          18 Replies
          1. re: sushidad

            It looks like it may be opening tomorrow--still trying to confirm this....

            1. re: hiddenboston

              "Owner Don Levy plans a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Dec. 16, with the restaurant to open for business on Friday morning."

              http://www.newtonvillages.org/2010/12...

              1. re: BJK

                Went to the Watertown one and overheard the server telling someone else it would open next week (Monday 12/20, I think).

                1. re: quirkydeb

                  There is still no set date for the opening of the Newton location. They are hoping Monday 12/20, but there is still a possibility of it being pushed back to a later date in the week.

                  1. re: christineh87

                    Monday would be nice, but it will probably be later in the week. I stopped by Friday and workers were still doing finishing work. Plus, the diner willl need a city inspector's OK to open the doors, but the owner hopes to open before Xmas. The space will be gorgeous. The building was designed by H.H. Richardson, who did other train stations nearby but may be better known for designing Trinity Church in Copley Square. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ho...

                    1. re: NewtonVillages

                      Christmas Eve. Stopped by this morning. Not open yet...

                      1. re: NewtonVillages

                        Damn, mighty cool looking! I had no idea.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Update 1/3: Went by yesterday - still not open but they look mighty close.

                        2. re: NewtonVillages

                          I wonder if they're keeping the sign that lights up when a Boston-bound train is approaching the station!

                          1. re: Blumie

                            They did. Also, I had the Cobb salad. Very delicious. The art deco/victorian/industrial is cool. The layout is decent. The busboy-man clearing tables brings the cart out way too much, getting in the way of guests and servers.

                          2. re: NewtonVillages

                            Very Disney-esque.

                            1. re: bugsmum

                              Source told us this morning that the diner will be open this weekend.

                              1. re: NewtonVillages

                                It actually soft-opened today.

                                1. re: hiddenboston

                                  So does that mean it is now open? I've heard the term "soft opening" before though I guess I don't really understand if that means that they simply opened without fanfare or they just did an invitation only friends and family kind of event to work out the kinks and will open for real sometime thereafter.

                                  1. re: BJK

                                    They were open as of 11:00 this morning:

                                    http://boston.grubstreet.com/2011/01/...

                                    Not sure about their hours today and tomorrow, but it sounds like they will be open for real this weekend.

                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                      I saw the same story. Guess I still don't know what the heck a "soft-opening". Probably best that I call them before I head out for pancakes.

                                      1. re: BJK

                                        Soft opening usually means they are open, but not advertising the fact yet. Gives them a chance to work on smaller crowds before the place fills up.

                                        1. re: L2k

                                          that is my understanding as well. that way they can iron out the kinks in their systems before declaring themselves to be officially open.

              2. Deluxe is indeed open - we went this morning, and they were pretty busy.

                The good parts: the renovations are GORGEOUS - I have fond memories of the building when it housed Coffee Connection (ah, the 80's) and it looks spectacular. My daughter's chocolate chip pancake was delicious, and she loved her side of bacon. My husband got the combo platter, and he said that his sourdough toast was very good, his pancakes were good...

                The not-so-good parts: my feta, spinach, mushroom omlette (they were out of goat cheese - on day 4?) was really not good at all - totally overdone, and kind of a patty like you could have used it as a frisbee... I told the waitress, and she suggested that we ask for it to be "less done" next time... And for a 2-egg omlette, kind of pricey at $9. The other major problem was that the restaurant was SO COLD - as in, we ate in our coats, as did most people eating there. They said that they were working on the heat, but it was really freezing.

                All in all, I'd give it a B/B+ - we'll probably stick with the Rox Diner.

                What do Chowhounders love about the Deluxe? If we were to go again (when they have heat!), what would you order?

                -----
                Coffee Connection
                Boston MA, Boston, MA 02126

                18 Replies
                1. re: sallyt

                  First off, not the omelets: Deluxe Town Diner's omelets are terrible. Sorry you had to find that out the hard way, though!

                  That said, the pancakes and waffles are fantastic (this one does do waffles on weekends like the original does, I hope! The sweet potato waffle with pecans is one of my favorite breakfasts!), the home fries are great, and the toast is indeed excellent. I usually have good luck with over easy or scrambled eggs as well. Oh, and the fruit salad is good too, and for that matter, so is the corned beef hash.

                  So really, just stay away from the omelets. I usually go to Victor's in Watertown for my omelet fix, personally.

                  -----
                  Deluxe Town Diner
                  627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                    Agreed, the omelettes aren't their strength. I'm also not gung ho on their benedicts of any sort.

                    We LOVE their traditional pancakes, sweet potato pancakes (or are they pumpkin?), corned beef hash, english muffins, and bacon. There may be other good stuff on the menu, but between my wife, my daughter and I, we never get past some combo off of that short list.

                    1. re: BJK

                      A breakfast place that can't cook eggs well isn't much of a breakfast place IMO.

                      1. re: Gabatta

                        Their fried or scrambled eggs are fine; it's just the omelets that are bad.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          Last time I ordered poached eggs at the Watertown location they were all cooked through.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            But how were the fried or scrambled eggs the last time you ordered them?

                          2. re: Allstonian

                            A breakfast place that can't cook an omelet well (or put a crust on homefries) isn't much of a breakfast place IMO.

                          3. re: Gabatta

                            It's not that they can't cook eggs, it's that their omelettes and benedicts aren't nearly as special as the items I adore.

                      2. re: sallyt

                        That doesn't sound too bad for their second day in operation. I plan on going in a couple of months, once they get all the kinks worked out. Still, how hard is it to make an omelet (unless they are so backed up that the cook lost track of time.....)?

                        1. re: Science Chick

                          No, that's just what their omelets are like: dry, hard disks with stuff suspended in them. They're always like that, so clearly they mean for them to be like that.

                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                            is there any place that makes decent omelets? Spot in Watertown is as close as I've come, I think. Otherwise, they all overcook them and stuff them too full of things. I pretty much have given up on omelets as a breakfast option out. I do love Deluxe's sour cream flapjacks though. As for poached eggs, I've hardened my heart and I'll send them back if they come back either hard cooked or watery.

                            1. re: teezeetoo

                              The food at Laurel wasn't great, but they did a quality omelet at lunch. There's a reason some chefs use egg-cooking as a test of prospective cooks: they're deceptively difficult to prepare with finesse. Some of my hallmarks of a proper omelet: no browning, not cooked to dryness inside. Sadly, that's not something you see very often in our breakfast joints. Part of it may have to do with fears of food-borne illness from eggs that aren't cooked into submission.

                              Deluxe Town's various griddle cakes are so good that I have a hard time ordering other things at breakfast.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                I remember rooting for Laurel to survive, and hearing about their lunch being great but never made it over there for the midday meal, as I work far away.

                                I also think that some of the over-cooking with eggs has been authorized by salmonella-phobic managers who are afraid of someone getting sick. You know, kind of how it's hard to find a rare-cooked burger these days. Not that it's an excuse for poorly prepared omelets or anything.

                                Thoroughly agree on the pancakes, I have a hard enough time deciding between which of the variety of pancakes I want, much less even CONSIDERING anything else on the menu!

                        2. re: sallyt

                          Apparently some were displeased with the manner in which I cautioned against jumping to conclusions about a restaurant that has been open for four days. Some on this board were quick to write off other pedigreed spin-offs -- All Star Sandwich Bar and Friendly Toast come to mind -- when they didn't meet our over-the-top expectations from the moment they opened. Virtually every place needs time to mature and work out the kinks, even if opened by experienced operators.

                          NB: I'm not accusing the Hound to whom I'm responding of acting in this way, but the statement that "we'll probably stick to the Rox Diner" suggests perhaps an unwillingness to give a 4-day-old place a second chance.

                          And while I'm making friends, for those who argue a breakfast place can't be a breakfast place if it can't make a good omelet, what if one just wants pancakes? Also, if that's the standard, I would argue that we have virtually no breakfast spots, since it's all-too-difficult to get a decent omelet!

                          1. re: Blumie

                            I admittedly haven't been to the new Deluxe location. My experiences with their uneven food and service comes from the Watertown location. FWIW, I definitely do agree that the pancakes are good there. Hopefully the new location will improve on the foundation from the Watertown location, as we definitely have a shortage of good breakfast places around here.

                            In my experiences, the Cambridge Friendly Toast location hasn't improved since they opened, so the first impressions were actually accurate on that one. I agree with your point in principle, however that is probably a poor supporting example.

                            1. re: Gabatta

                              My experience at Friendly Toast is that the service has greatly improved. I don't get the big fuss over their food, but it's ok enough that I do go on occasion.

                              My go-to place for breakfast is Joseph's Two, in Waltham, which I would describe as great bad breakfast. Sure would be nice to have a place for great good breakfasts! I was (and am) hoping that this would be it!

                              -----
                              The Friendly Toast
                              1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

                            2. re: Blumie

                              Blumie - totally agree that places need to mature and work out the kinks - I wasn't jumping to conclusions at all, but thought that people should know some of the early kinks (e.g., no heat). We'll stick to our local place *for now,* and I will certainly give the Deluxe a second shot, but honestly, I do think that a good breakfast place should be able to make a good omelette. I'm gluten-free, so I stick to the savory side of the menu, and it's disappointing to eat out when only half of us can really enjoy our meals.

                              Blumie, try the Rox Diner - they make a great breakfast.

                              1. re: sallyt

                                Since I was a trouble maker in this thread yesterday, I figured I'd actually give the place a try and post my review. My conclusion is that, as expected, the place has some kinks to work out, but there's definitely potential for this to be a solid addition to the neighborhood. I don't see it ever achieving stellar status, but certainly an improvement over Johnny's Luncheonette.

                                Three of us arrived today at 12:30. The windows are fairly dark, and one easily could mistake it as being closed, but we walked into an about 2/3 full dining room. Our waitress offered us drinks fairly quickly, and took our order promptly, but service suffered a little after that. It took about 20 minutes for our food to arrive -- not terrible, but longer than it should have been, and the type of thing that likely will get ironed out with time. We also had to flag down our waitress anytime we needed anything, such as coffee refills. The waitstaff appeared young; again, I would expect these things to be worked out over time.

                                I ordered blueberry pancakes, my daughter scrambled eggs, and her grandmother a veggie egg white omelette. The pancakes were good, although not in the OMG Clinton Street Baking Company class. I thought the blueberries were fairly tasteless, but perhaps that's the risk of blueberries ordered mid-winter. My ex-mother-in-law indicated that her omelette was ok, but not great. "I wish they'd put more interesting things in it" was her comment, so I don't know if her complaint was in the preparation or just in the fact that it was your standard veggie omelette. My daughter seemed to enjoy her eggs, and particularly liked the home fries (which I think are prepared in the fryolator, not on the griddle). Oh, and the waitress forgot to sub a salad for the potatoes with the omelette. Again, an amateur mistake that hopefully will get corrected.

                                After one week of operation, I'd say they're doing ok and likely will get better. I'll give them another try in several weeks. Also, the heat seemed to be working fine, and the sign that illuminates when a Boston-bound train is approaching still is in operation!

                          2. I will give them a try in a few weeks. I like the deluxe. Great pancakes. Don't like the omlets, homefries or coffee. For a good omlet i hit either spot cafe in watertown on main street or in a pickle on main street in waltham. At the spot i always say i will order something new but i can't stay away from there tomato and feta. In a pickle is a good pick for breakfast. They have a huge breakfast menu. Good homefries and coffee

                            1. So, my go-to items at Watertown are the sweet potato pancakes or the johnny cakes, PLUS a side of some of their cod cakes.

                              Wooo-wee! Never had such delicious cod cakes. Does Deluxe Station have those delightful golden-brown-delicious orbs of codd-y goodness? This ain't your Stop & Shop's fish cake.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Prav

                                I ordered the regular pancakes when I went today, but was tempted to get the cornmeal pancakes. Can anyone vouch for them?

                                I have the menu in my hands and am not seeing the cod cakes. Where should I be looking?

                                1. re: Blumie

                                  They're tough to find - I b'lieve they're tucked in with the sides somewhere.

                                  Is Deluxe Station's menu online yet/at all?

                                  1. re: Prav

                                    www.deluxestationdiner.com

                                    But I can't open it on the iPad. Fwiw, I can find the cod cakes on the Watertown menu either, just crab cakes.

                                    1. re: Blumie

                                      Damn, not seeing it either. I hope they brought 'em over - I love 'em. Would someone mind asking, pretty please? :)

                                      Edit: Can't find it on Watertown's either. I know I always have trouble finding them on their eye-numbingly busy menu in person, I hope they didn't get rid o' them!

                                  2. re: Blumie

                                    the blue cornmeal cakes? They're good, but when I want Corny Cakes I go for the rhode island jonnys. But now that you mention it, I have to try them again, it's been a while.