Friday, August 2, 2013

Mickey's Diner — St. Paul, MN — A Restaurant Recommendation

There has always been an allure for me when it comes to old-fashioned diners (real ones, not the fabricated types). I don't know what it is about them, especially since I've never eaten in one.  Well, we're up in St. Paul, my hubby and I, for a mini  "us" weekend and a Postal Service concert, and look what popped up on Google maps as I was lounging in bed this morning, looking for a breakfast joint? 

YAHOOO!! Mickey's Diner! I couldn't believe our luck. And only a few blocks away!  Even better. We headed out for our short walk, visions of crabby old waitresses and a row of hunched shoulders dancing in my head. 

As anticipated upon entering, I was faced with a line of hunched backs and customers lining up against the walls. Who could expect anything else? The place is tiny. There's a counter and four booths--that's it. Red laminates the walls, and the woodwork, mirrors, and tableside jukeboxes look all to be original. 

The food was a long time coming, but our coffee refills were not, thanks to Chris.  He took the barking orders from the head waitress with a smile and could not have been more pleasant to his guests. 

Presentation didn't seem to matter at the diner, but after taking those first bites of piping hot food, I suddenly realized that it didn't matter to me, either.  

How can I explain it? The food was exactly what I always wanted diner breakfast to taste like; it was like eating in a dream: This is the way I've always imagined pancakes should taste. How is it that I'm tasting them for real?!? Somebody, pinch me, please! No, wait! DON'T! Everything was fried in butter.  You could smell it in the pancakes, see its golden brown influence on the tender omelet crust-- the fluffiest omelet I had ever seen. The bacon was real bacon, with my favorite mix of crunch and chew. 

I've died and gone to diner heaven, I thought as I forked one last bite into my mouth. There was still a quarter stack of cakes left, but I couldn't do it. My virgin diner experience was going to have to come to a close. 

I sighed and exhaled a "Yum." Yes, a very, very happy close. 

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