Monday, August 26, 2013

J&M Diner (Framingham, MA)

I am always searching for good new breakfast joints, but they are unfortunately few and far between, and especially rare are good old fashioned diners.  J&M Diner fits both to a "T," providing very good, and incredibly generously portioned, food in a classic diner atmosphere.

I drove past the diner on my way to pick up my friend I was having breakfast with at about 10am, and there was an extensive line of people waiting outside; sadly, this line had not dissipated at all, and in fact probably had grown, by the time we arrived about an hour later.  Another hour of waiting passed, and I was glad for the mimosa I had had prior to heading to the diner; I was starving anyways, but at least there was something in my stomach.  The wait, however, was completely worth it.

Sadly, they were out of Sauce Hollandaise, which they make only on Saturdays and Sundays for Eggs Benedict, and when they run out, they're just out for the day.  Since my preferred breakfast was off the table, I went with the special, a "Jack Daniels Omelette," which consisted of a gigantic omelette stuffed with pulled pork and a maple syrup and Jack Daniels reduction, along with a large portion of home fries and four thick slices of toast.  The egg was good, though it was not as fluffy as some I have had, but it was the pulled pork that was clearly the focus of the dish.  I went away with mixed feelings about it, but they were mostly because of the maple syrup glaze, which was, in my opinion, far too sweet.  The pork itself was tender, fairly juicy, and had great flavor, and the glaze was tasty until the super sweetness hit me, at which point it became cloying.  The toast and home fries were perfect however, and while I left a significant amount of omelette on the plate when I left (not because it was unpleasant, but simply because I am not a sumo wrestler and cannot eat my body weight in a single sitting), I ate all of the toast and just about all of the home fries.  I cannot recall better home fries being served to me in all my life; in fact, I cannot recall better potatoes of any variety!  Crispy outsides, tender and fluffy insides, perfectly salted and seasoned, and really just perfect, I cannot imagine how home fries could be better.  The toast, which was cinnamon swirl, was either homemade or from a top of the line bakery.  The crumb was exactly what you expect the variety to have, with a crisp exterior and, like the home fries, a tender and fluffy interior, with gooey, drippy, sweet cinnamon filling pouring out of of the swirls.  This was tremendous, and as a self-confirmed connoisseur of cinnamon swirl bread, I can confidently say that this is as good as any you will ever have.  Along with my own meal, my companion for breakfast had a pancake with fresh strawberries, blueberries and banana, and whipped cream and powdered sugar (aka the "USA" toppings), and she said they lived up to their billing as some of the best pancakes ever.

There was one negative aspect, and that was somewhat unavoidable with a place this busy.  While very friendly, the waitresses were a bit scatterbrained.  While my coffee (which was...well, coffee...nothing special there) was brought quickly and refilled often, my breakfast companion was delivered a glass of orange juice she did not order and it took several more minutes until she got the water she had actually requested, and the hot sauce I asked for was never delivered at all.  Not the worst offenses ever, but if you are super concerned about the wait staff, you should prepare yourself for disappointment on that front.

This boils down to one simple thing for me; I will drive 90 minutes and wait another 60 in have home fries and toast.  I cannot recommend this diner enough.


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