If you are a serious fan of Diner experience or comfort food, then you must head to where it all began: Worcester, MA. The history has it that the first diner was in a form of horse-pulled wagon from 1872 in Rhode Island, but the actual commercial production of lunch wagons began in Worcester, MA in 1887. This explains the old-fashion diner shape, which has a round ceiling, just like a wagon. We are one of those diner & comfort food fans, so of course, we love to visit a good old diner once in a while. We do like the old-fashion style diner, and we found a pretty popular one called Lou Roc’s Diner.
It is family owned, which we always adore, and small, cozy, and at almost in the middle of nowhere. When you walk in, it is the part that is more like an addition of the basic structure, with nice brick wall design. I am sure they get completely packed when it gets busy, as I heard they have a long line most of the time. As we arrived shortly after they opened, it was still quite empty, thank goodness!
The main dining area has the traditional round ceiling, long counter seats, and a few booth seating. The customers were more on the older, retiree type, seemed like all locals, who knew the waitress well. Very warm atmosphere, and we were welcomed with a big smile.
As we sat at one of the booth, I noticed cute little touch this place has, such as the creamer container, and all the classic movie star photos in Sepia, like Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball from “I Love Lucy” and so on. Keeping the old-fashion feel alive. The interior might looked rather simple, but when you have a waitress with big personality and friendly smile, you really don’t need much more than that. She was very sweet, and took a good care of us.
We started off with their bottomless coffee ($2). It came in their own mug, with advertisement from local businesses, just as their paper place mats. The coffee itself was not anything spectacular, but when you get unlimited refills during breakfast, at $2, you don’t really expect a fancy cup of coffee.
So, we were super excited about the food here, I mean, REALLY excited. Why else would someone (me) who is totally NOT the morning person gets up before dawn in order to get there around 6am??? First item we ordered was one of their French Toast, made especially for those who are indecisive. Curious? You should be. It was French Toast stuffed with choice of bacon, sausage, or ham with cheese ($7.75). We chose bacon and American Cheese. It was smaller than expected, but still looked good. The bread was rolled with bacon and cheese into kind of Spring Roll shape, creating layers of sweet French Toast, bacon, and cheese when you cut into them. It was very yummy, the flavors of sweet and salty came together in a nice way. It was both sweet and savory, fluffy and dense. Truly the perfect item for those who can’t decide which kind of breakfast they want, they can simply have it all in one plate! And even though it seemed small, it was actually pretty filling.
We also ordered a side of Hashbrowns to go with the French Toast, and the waitress told us that is a large portion. With everything we were ordering, she said that it might be too much. She recommended us to get half order of Hashbrowns ($2.75), and we took her advice, and we were so glad we did that! The half portion was very large, indeed. It was super tasty and light, not greasy. It was soooo good and addictive, I could have had a huge plateful everyday… if I no longer cared about my health, that is. It had some crunchy spots on the edges, mixed with soft, potato-y hash, it was delightful.
Another main dish we ordered was Homemade Hash Omelet ($9). I’ve heard about their famous Homemade Hash, and on their menu, they had “Corned Beef Hash” and “Homemade Hash.” When I asked what the different was between the two, the waitress told us “one is home made corn beef hash, and the other one is from the can.” She also told us that some people grew up with the can, so, for as long as there is a steady loyal customers who loves the ones out of the can, they can’t take that off the menu. Kind of funny, but very thoughtful.
Let’s get back the omelet. It comes with home fries and choice of bread. I chose Italian bread since I heard really great thing about their Italian bread. When it arrived, I could understand the reason why the waitress recommended us to order half portion of the hashbrowns. This omelet dish was HUGE! I mean, enormous! It had a gigantic omelet filled with their homemade corn beef hash on one side, and crazy amount of home fries on the other, topped with huge sliced of Italian bread.
I moved the bread a little to the side so you can see the monster of an omelet in the photo below. It would have been enoght for 2-3 peple to share… Everything on this plate was amazing. The homemade corn beef hash truly lived up to the (high) expectations, it was packed with flavor, perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of seasoning. The home fries were tasty, soft, potato-y. And the Italian bread was soft, buttery, very yummy! It seems like the Italian bread cost extra $0.50, which I didn’t know until the bill came, but it was totally worth the extra $0.50. We took about a half of this dish home with us, and had an excellent breakfast again the next morning.
I tried to show the size of the dish in the photo below, but I feel like the actual dish was bigger than it appears in the photo. It was bigger than my face, packed with all the morning goodness, so the plate was heavy. It was a serious breakfast for serious foodie.
Their reputation has been proven over and over again, they have several awards from multiple places, all shown on the wall by the entrance door. I am sure they will continue to receive more each year. Another thing I spot by the door was this cute, old-fashioned bubble gum machine. How cute is this?
As any “old-fashion” diner would be, they are cash only. So don’t forget to bring some cash! But, in case you forgot, not to worry, they have an ATM machine there as well. Overall, we had a wonderful experience there. Very friendly service, generous portion at low price, and super delicious food. What more can I ask for? I would love to go back there again, and I will get up before dawn to avoid a long wait time any day. I already know what I want to order the next time I visit… I can’t wait! Unfortunately, it won’t be anytime soon, but I know I will be going back one day, sooner or later!!!
Lou Roc’s Diner – 1074 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606