Restaurant Review #77: Decatur Diner (Ocean City, MD)


They have something on the menu called the “Pipeline”. When I ordered it, I was asked if I was absolutely sure I wanted a full instead of a half. I asked the waitress to elaborate further. Her description ended up being spot on, but in my mind, I could not possibly conceive it to be true. I went with the full order. When it arrived, I exclaimed, “Holy shit” (out loud, I think). There was a table of eight seated close by. Several of them turned around (and not because I said “Holy Shit”). The looks on their faces were a mix of amusement, shock, and horror. In front of me was this five-pound behemoth (no joke—it was really five pounds) loaf of potatoes, eggs, onions, and sausage, covered in brown gravy and American cheese. The middle was burning hot as I broke through the side, figuring out how the hell I would attack it. Steam ensconced our table. The price was $10.50 and the picture doesn’t do it justice.

The only way I could describe it would be like a meatloaf, but not a single serving of meatloaf. More like the entire pan that would go on to feed a family of four. But how did it taste? It was actually really good. This was not a shock-value novelty item, but a quality dish that took a creative route to combining all your breakfast favorites. It was enough for two people. I finished about three-quarters of it.

My only critique would be the following: it needed more cheese and the gravy started to congeal towards the end. With a meal this massive and unhealthy, the two slices of cheese were not enough. The best fork-fulls of it were the ones with the gooey, melted cheese. And as for the gravy, it tasted fine, but started to turn slimy once it cooled off. I cannot imagine it being canned or instant gravy due to the lengths they went through for their other food, but something is off in the cooking process.

My friend had biscuits in gravy, which consisted of four large biscuits slathered in thick, rich white gravy. He also got the special soup, which was chicken gumbo. It seemed authentic enough in appearance (they used okra) but upon tasting, it was average. Almost like a tomato soup with the gumbo ingredients dropped in.

Still, I will give them a 4 out of 5 stars. The place is incredibly tiny. Like a box from the outside. In fact, on our way in, we both said at the same time, “This is a place where people will turn around and look at you”, since we were outsiders in an obvious locals joint. On the contrary, everyone was very friendly, including the table next to us eyeing up my Pipeline. Service was also excellent—I wish I heeded her advice for a half order. The Decatur Diner is very conveniently located on the way to Assateague if traveling from Ocean City. Somehow, Guy Fieri hasn’t found this place. I’m glad for that. He and his ego wouldn’t be able to fit inside.

The Decatur Diner is located at 9609 Stephan Decatur Highway in Berlin, Maryland.



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