Restaurant Review #74: Smyrna Diner (Smyrna, DE)


Delaware gets a bad wrap for being a very average and unassuming state. If this first dining experience I have had here is any indication, then the people who think this way are correct. We stopped at the halfway point in our trip to Maryland. The Smyrna Diner was a nice stop because of the sheer convenience of it. However, after this breakfast I wish we kept on driving (or just drove a few extra feet to the sinister Waffle House). No, this meal was not exactly terrible. It was passable. It served its purpose. But as for any inspiration in the cooking, it was sorely lacking.

My blueberry pancakes were fine. A little on the rubbery side, but good flavor and along the lines of what you would find at most diners. My problem was with the hash browns—cold, soggy, greasy. They were limp in the plate with no seasoning whatsoever. How about maple syrup for my pancakes? None. Just packets of cold Smuckers “pancake syrup”, some chemically, high fructose-laden maple substitute (I laughed). The diner even went so  far as to not give real butter for the pancakes either, but rather tiny packets of Smart Balance (I laughed again). I mean, if you can’t even provide something as simple as butter and syrup, you shouldn’t be in business. My friend’s egg sandwich was also alright, but his $2.89 side order of grits was minuscule, and you guessed it, instant (and so terrible it conjured up quotations from My Cousin Vinny). I laughed for the third time. Like the rooster crowing on the eve of the crucifixion, if I laugh at something terrible three times during the course of a meal, you’re most likely screwed.

“It got the job done”, he said, and I agree. For that reason, I’ll dare go higher than I wanted to and award a 2.5 out of 5 stars. I want to note that the service was exceptionally friendly and expedient. My coffee cup was never more than half empty. But the food was worse than something I might be able to whip up in my hotel microwave. This strikes me as a place for the locals. They can have it. If you see it, just keep driving.

The Smyrna Diner is located at 99 Cory Lane in Smyrna, Delaware.


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