Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Union Diner in Laconia

What could be more New England than a diner? You may have your own definition but for me these historic treasures are in an old railroad car where breakfast and homemade dinners are the focus. You are a regular, known by name and when they see your car arrive in the parking lot, the eggs are already on the grill and by the time you sit at the counter, the coffee is poured and your breakfast is ready. Sadly there are no diners in Concord so we decided to find one nearby and headed north to the City of Laconia and the Union Diner.

Housed in an old Worcester Dining Car, they remained true to their roots after some renovations and kept what they could of the original. Upon entry there is a nostalgic feel to the place, you will see a long line of seats at the counter with hanging metal domed lights above, booths along the side and to the right a larger room with additional booths and tables. They were busy and after taking it all in and waiting for about 10 minutes we were seated in the back.
Although they do have lunch and dinner items this review was for breakfast. Options include omelets, Benedict's, pancakes, French toast and sandwiches.
My choice was one of their specials, a maple sausage omelet melt on grilled walnut bread with cheddar cheese. I had my doubts about this one but my wife encouraged me to try it. As a last check I asked our waitress and she said it was very good so I took my chances.

Surprisingly, I tasted not a hint of maple in the sausage and there was little flavor throughout. The sandwich fell flat for me because it was dry and the ingredients didn't complement each other. They should consider adding a sauce or spread to bring everything together and my opinion might change but for now this is not recommended.

As is probably the case with most people, my wife tends to order the same few items for breakfast. Since I was branching out of my comfort zone she decided to as well. One of the morning’s specials was the hamburger, spinach, cheese and bacon jam omelet.

Having never heard of bacon jam (it’s more like a spread than a thick jam), she was glad she tried it but that was the only part of her breakfast that had any flavor. She commented that she should have stayed (happily) within her comfort zone!

The service was poor and unorganized. We weren’t greeted warmly and although our server was nice she disappeared for long periods of time and we wanted refills on our beverages.
Unfortunately our experience at the Union Diner did not go as well as we had hoped. This visit is probably our last unless both the service and food quality improve.