Posts Tagged ‘rochester’

Highland Park Diner

Highland Park Diner
Highland Park Diner

My sweet baboo and I went on a little road trip to visit a friend who recently relocated to Rochester, NY.  He lives in a cottagy clapboard home in the community of Swillburg, a cozy neighbourhood of charming, narrow streets and a committed business association.  At one end is the adorable 1940’s Highland Park Diner.  Pre-built off-site and then moved to the site via rail and truck, this has been the original location of the diner for more than sixty years.

Diner counter taking a rare pause between breakfast and lunch

Diner counter taking a rare pause between breakfast and lunch

   After serving tasty fare under the name Dauphin’s Superior Diner, it operated as an off-track betting parlour in the 70’s, but was restored to its former glory in 1986 and has operated as a restaurant ever since.  Crowds have flocked to this spot for its authentic diner fare and quality breakfasts.  The hearty fare has garnered a solid reputation and secured the title Best Diner for three years running in Rochester’s City Newspaper.

Before we hit the road back to Hogtown (from Swillburg…I’m not making this up), we decided to enjoy our favourite meal of the day steeped in Americana.  Greeting us as if we were long-time customers, the waitress directed us to a booth and presented us with their extensive breakfast menu. 

so many choices

so many choices

Flapjacks!  Grits!  Hash!  It was all too much.  Eyes, once again, were larger than the stomach (although it’s doing an excellent job keeping up).  Always a sucker for a good Bennie, I was tempted by the daily special of Eggs Nantucket whereupon the english muffin is replaced by crab cakes.  As delicious as that promised to be, I stuck with the classics and settled for the traditional Eggs Benedict.  The Sweet Baboo dug into an order of corned beef hash and we shared a short stack of blueberry almond pancakes, another daily special.  All this was washed down with swigs of drip coffee from a thick Luby’s coffee mug.

diner_benedict

Now I’ve had a few Bennies in my time, with more than my share of hollandaise.  The Highland Park version really left all others in the henhouse.  Hollandaise is never easy at the best of times.   An emulsion of butter, lemon and yolks, it requires some skill and knowledge to prepare.  The sauce should be smooth and creamy with a rich and buttery flavour and a mild tang of lemon.  I prefer mine a little more lemony than is typical of the sauce and the one prepared at the diner appeared made to order.  Yum-O!

It also never fails to impress me how certain short-order cooks have mastered the art of the firm whites and runny yolks.  It was perfection.  And instead of the traditional english muffin, underneath it all was a slightly denser biscuit, flaky and tender.  It was all so good that I hardly had room for the home-fried potatoes.  Take  note, however, that I was also stuffing my face with forkfuls of  pancake, big as a dinner plate, blue from the berries and filled with crunchy shards of almonds.

Heaven on a plate.  Yes, it was.

Highland Park Diner
960 Clinton Avenue South
Rochester, NY  14620
585-461-5040

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08 2009