This is my third trip to the Roundabout Diner at the traffic circle in Portsmouth. I was not impressed either of the other times and was reluctant to try the diner again. However, my wife wanted to give them another chance and so reluctantly, I agreed and we headed over for breakfast.
The Roundabout Diner does have a great location at the traffic circle in Portsmouth. I'm not sure how many cars drive around this circle every day but I'm sure there are many. Additionally, they have plenty of parking for their patrons.
As you walk in you will notice all of their awards on the windows and doors. For example, in 2011 they were voted the best diner in New Hampshire by the editors of New Hampshire Magazine and were also selected as a Phantom Gourmet hidden jewel.
After you get past all the awards and into the diner you see what I think is their most positive aspect, the atmosphere. It is like going back in time to the 1950's and that you might expect to see the ghost of Buddy Holly at any moment. They have plenty of booths and two large dining rooms so there is no shortage of seating.
The hostess escorted us to one of the booths in the back and I immediately noticed how chilly it was there. Granted this was a hot day but it was so cold inside that I wanted to run out to the car and grab a fleece. I am sure it's difficult to make everyone happy including wait staff and the cooks but they need to monitor the temperature for the comfort of their guests.
We looked over the menu and I did not see anything that made me think, wow! this is going to be the best breakfast ever. The have omelets, pancakes and French toast along with some specials including Huevos Roundabout, steak and eggs and the breakfast stop wrap. Since I enjoy breakfast wraps I decided to go with the latter item. My wife, on the other hand, loves a good benedict so she went with the hash house benedict. Sadly, we were both disappointed with our meals. It seems like the wrap was thrown together without any thought as to how it would taste. It was incredibly bland. And my wife said that her benedict was not that great and kept pushing her food around her plate!
The service was good, no complaints. Sadly, it was one of the few things we were happy about.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the Roundabout Diner. Their food is not good. With all due respect to New Hampshire Magazine and the Phantom, they are not deserving of these high accolades.