On the face of it The Warsaw Diner seems to be a strange name for a Diner that appears to principally serve American style breakfasts, then when you walk in to be greeted by a couple of Polish ladies on the griddle you get the Warsaw connection, you can also get a glass of vodka, if you so choose, with your meal. I could have sat up at the counter on one of the bar stools, from where I could have watched the chef cook my food on the flat top griddle, but the place was only about half full so I treated myself and slid my way into one of the vacant American Diner style booths. It was just like being back in the states.
There are plenty of options on the menu with names that have a leaning to America. My selection was for “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” This is a plate of two poached eggs on an English Muffin, topped with Ham and a Hollandaise Sauce. This was served with Hash Browns and griddled tomatoes, all for £4.95. I also added a Polish element to the meal which was the ‘Warsaw Diner Special griddled Polish style sausage’ for an extra £1.95. As breakfasts go this was as good as any I have had when I lived in the States and it is the closest thing to an American style breakfast than anything I have seen in the UK. The poached eggs were perfectly formed but the yolks could have been just a little bit more runny, there was a nice amount of Hollandaise sauce, rich, buttery with a light lemon tang, there was just enough to add flavour to, and not to much to drown the dish. The ham underneath was firm, a little bit salty and added a good bite. I liked the hash browns these were fried just perfectly on the flat top leaving a nice crisp crunchy bite and a thin light layer of potato. The grilled tomato was fresh and well seared but it could have been cooked just a little longer so that it was more juicy (but I really am clutching at tiny critical straws as I make that comment). The total star of the plate, the one item that I chose to add, was that griddled Polish style sausage. Scored on top with a crisscross pattern and split in half, it is then seared on the grill. It had a lovely texture and taste, smokey and salty, full of sweet garlic and some good charred tastes from the surface of that grill. Delicious.
If I came again then I might choose to ‘build my own breakfast or meal’ based around having one of those sausages (or two) as the star at its centre. If not then they are some other options such as “The Lone Star” which is a plate of Pancakes or Waffles, with syrup and fruit, or any one of the other well named breakfast platters “The South Fork”, “The Empire State Breakfast”, or “The ‘Bad Ass’ Breakfast” each composed of some sort of combination involving bacon, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, sausage, and of course like any decent 50’s style American Diner, a pot of bottomless coffee.
As I left I was tickled to see the neon Route A52 sign in the window, a nice homage to the Route 66 signs that I often saw as I drove through my former home state of Illinois. I thought that was a very clever bit of signage for a Nottingham based American Diner.
My one warning is that the Diner is not open on Mondays, and it is a long lonely and hungry walk up from the Market Square and back again if you make the same mistake that I did and pole up there on that day. It also is just open between 9.30am and 2.30pm on the other days. I had heard that at one time a Polish resturant was open in the evenings in the same space, but I could see nothing to confirm that, so if it is true and you have been please leave me a comment and I may pop up and try that out too.
The Warsaw Diner is at 93-95 Derby Road about 10-15 minutes walk up the hill from the Old Market Square. It is not really that close to a tram stop but if you want to use one to get into town to visit the Diner then your best options will be the stop in the Square, or the one at the Royal Centre.