First Impressions: Allston Diner
So as I was walking home from a light lunch at Lone Star Taco Bar, I discovered as I was walking down Cambridge Street that Allston Diner -- a project I'd assumed was completely abandoned -- was finally open. So I took one for the team and promptly walked in and had a second light lunch.
Or, more precisely, breakfast. I figure a place calling itself a diner needed a baseline reading, so I went with my traditional diner breakfast: two eggs over easy, home fries, sausage, toast.
The eggs were perfect: fully cooked whites, completely runny yolks. Absolutely dead-nuts on, as good as the ones I make myself, and I make damn good over easy eggs.
Sausage: links, fairly plump, decently browned, not dry, good flavor. I'm more of a patty man myself, but no complaints.
Toast: the menu claimed Texas toast as one of the options, and that's what I ordered, but unfortunately, this was just standard white bread toasted and buttered. For the record, what I want to see on my plate when I order Texas toast is a piece of white bread from a pullman loaf, cut about 1.5 inches thick, brushed with butter on both sides and then grilled. If that's not what you're serving, don't call it Texas toast.
Home fries: they're a good part of the way there, but they need to take it further. Thin slices of a waxy red potato -- they looked mandolined, not pre-processed -- and some shreds of onion, both of which are ideal. But they needed a ton more browning, a fact that I asked the waitress to pass on to the chef. If enough of us tell this place early on that we want good crispy griddled home fries, they'll have to start making them. OCCUPY HOME FRIES!
The room's got a great color scheme, and is maybe a little overdecorated and hipsterish, but...c'mon, it's Allston, you're gonna get overdecorated and hipsterish.
The breakfast options in the neighborhood both suck and blow, so I want desperately for this place to succeed.
Once again, thank you for providing exactly what I look for on Chowhound: a view of someplace local, not covered in every paper, and really useful to a local hound. I'm always searching for breakfast, This is the best in the area, so far (my general stomping ground is Brookline/Allston/Brighton). We had very good eggs, including an acceptable (no, not perfect) omelet that hadn't been overstuffed and overcooked. The corned beef hash was homemade, if a bit eccentric (had grated carrots in it) and they seem to have taken your suggestion on the hash browns to heart (nicely browned bits and clearly homemade). The coffee was also better than diner regular joe usually is, and the homemade biscuit, while it won't challenge ICOB, was a nice plus on the bread choices. I like the bright funky room (sit in the back room away from the door if you can) and even didn't mind the music (mostly sixties and seventies rock, soul and pop and not blasting). Very sweet service too. Thanks so much for the tip. All you breakfast lovers, go welcome this place to the neighborhood. They serve breakfast all day.
Oh, good! I've been so busy the last couple weeks that I haven't been able to get back over and scope the place out more fully.
However, Allstonian and I were walking past after they closed one night last week and they had the next day's bread delivery just inside the door. They do in fact have Texas toast. so apparently I was just served the wrong thing.
I made it to Allston Diner this week, and thought it was pretty good overall. I had the Breakfast Montecristo - scrambled egg, bacon, ham and cheese between two pieces of french toast. It was pretty good, although I felt the sandwich components didn't meld together as much as I would have liked, and the cheese wasn't quite melted. But the French toast was pretty good, and the homefries were very good - not quite as brown as I would have liked them, but it sounds like more brown than Jenny Ondioline described.
Dining companion had eggs over easy (cooked perfectly), with rye toast, homefries and bbq seitan. The bbq seitan was very much bbqd, with a somewhat strong/spicy bbq sauce. Probably wouldn't be my first choice for a breakfast side, but this was the only veggie-meat option they had at the time.
Nice service, my English breakfast tea was good (a fancier brand - organic, cloth teabag, etc.), and the place was very quiet on a weekday around 8:30 AM.
Some other menu items look interesting too! (chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, grits)