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Feb 14, 2011 09:15 AM

Victoria Diner -- wow, just wow!

And not in a good way.

Tried the eggs benedict this weekend. I have never, ever had something quite like it. I wasn't expecting to be blown away, but they do have several different versions of Benny on the menu so I reckoned they probably knew their way around the dish. Boy was I wrong -- the hollandaise was basically a thin chicken gravy. I'm not kidding. My hunch is they have two big vats of Sysco sauce in the back -- one brown, one beige. They used the beige one for my benedict and it was beyond the nasty. Not only that but the muffin was soggy, the ham was basically luncheon meat, and the home fries were terrible. To their credit, the eggs were poached nicely. But I couldn't get over the gravydaise and had to leave 3/4 of the plate untouched.

Friend's corned beef hash was a very close cousin of Fancy Feast.

Yet, the place was packed. So I gotta axe: what's the deal with the Victoria Diner? Is it basically 3 a.m. or hang-over food? Or is there something I'm missing? I don't think I'll go back but am genuinely curious what fans see in this place. It can't be the food.

I've posted a picture of the travesty. I really wish you could taste it, but I like you too much to subject you to that.

Victoria Diner
1024 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02118

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    1. I think you might be spoiled by Somerville breakfasts.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        You may be right. My quest for eggs benedict knows no geographical boundaries. But I haven't found better than the Eggs Bene at Soundbites (so far!)

      2. I liked it a lot better when it was owned by Mike's City Diner, with essentially the same menu. I find it's okay for less ambitious dishes (eggs and bacon) when I'm out making a South Bay / Newmarket run, but I don't go nearly as often as I used to, especially with Speed's occasionally operating on weekends. It is a rare way-late-night option on Fri-Sat, but if I'm out that late, I'm not driving, so I don't get over there.

        Mike's City Diner
        1714 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I'm with Slim, I would never ever ever get anything more elaborate at Victoria's than over easy, sausage, hashbrowns, toast and coffee. I wouldn't even order scrambled there. But if you're looking for a cheap diner breakfast on your way south (if memory serves, we were gearing up for a Wrentham assault last time I ate there), you could do worse.

        2. I will note the $3 upcharge for a side of beef sausage salvaged the entire plate. Butterflied and slapped on the griddle for a good crispy char that, once pierced, sprays beef-fat around a 3-table radius like a sawed-off.

          I know not the history of the Victoria, but the whole thing felt like a sham. Requisite James Dean and Elvis pics on the wall, 50s music a-playin', booths for the sake of booths that were not even real diner booths nor booths that any person could fit into, a kitchen you can't see, all the classic plates done poorly and $5 too much ... at least they have the 40-yr old veteran waitress thing going. Kinda Disney-ish, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nab

            Many of those veteran waitresses have been there over several changes of ownership dating back to the Seventies. It has had four different owners just in the 10 years I have been going. Mike's was clearly the high-water mark for diner food there.


          2. Man, that is nasty. i went there once and found it overpriced, phony and blah but not quite so awful. I recall a small diner nearby (Liberty?) which was nothing special but OK breakfast, much cheaper and real.

            6 Replies
            1. re: gourmaniac

              I think I drove by the Liberty when burning rubber out of Victoria's lot. All boarded up now. Shame.

              1. re: yumyum

                You mean burning clutch? oh wait, that's me.

              2. re: gourmaniac

                I didn't notice that the Liberty had closed! I actually had breakfast there three or so years ago, thinking I might review it for the Phoenix. But it turned out to be the Diner of the Damned: it had windows, but seemed windowless, and was filthy and full of marginal characters with very busy pagers and mobile phones, drinking Bud longnecks with their breakfasts at 9am on a weekday. I thought, "If you were contemplating suicide, this place just might push you over the edge."


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Well put. Maybe it was that dark Elmore Leonard feel that i found appealing. I guess I was there a long time ago and recall mostly Newmarket Square truckers and such.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I was thinking more Jim Thompson. The food wasn't awful, just supermarket Pullman toast with oleo level cheapness. But the ambiance was profoundly grim: flourescent lights, worn formica, ruined linoleum, trampled dreams.


                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Y'know, next time you do a drive-by, please confirm that the place has actually closed down, as its hard to telll from the, ah, ... ambiance. Could very well be "thriving" for all I could tell !