Small Place, Big TasteOct 01, 2016 ● By Karen Thomas
A favorite among myself and my foodie friends is breakfast. We gather often at each other’s homes for brunch, although we all think breakfast food is great any time of the day. When we heard about a new place in Frisco that is serving up American diner classics, we knew we had to try it. My favorite aunt even joined us for the meal while she was visiting Texas. As a world traveler, she is game to participate in any culinary adventure.
Diners have been an important part of American life for decades. Frisco Diner, located on Dallas Parkway, near Toyota Stadium, does not disappoint. This locally-owned and operated joint may have only been open for a few months, but it is already gathering a loyal clientele.
We arrived at what appeared to be peak time on a Saturday morning, between 9:30-10 a.m. There was about a 20-minute wait. Given the time of day and the size of our group, we did not think the wait time was that bad! We joined the small crowd outside (there is no inside waiting area in the diner) where there were plenty of outdoor benches for seating while waiting for a table. The hostess was courteous and kept us informed of the wait time. It was a pleasant morning weather-wise during our visit!
Tucked inside a strip mall, located on the west side of the stadium, Frisco Diner has an authentic diner atmosphere! It is a small space that is tastefully decorated. Blue-gray paint compliments corrugated tin wainscoting and framed photos of nostalgic diners across America adorn the walls. A smattering of tables with bright red chairs and comfy booths offer the main seating options, while there is a small “bar area” with about five stools overlooking the small but well-appointed kitchen where diners enjoy their meal while watching the chefs prepare their meals. With the décor having a lot of hard surfaces, the noise level was a bit high, but it also had a busy diner atmosphere with a high-energy vibe. People of all ages were enjoying their morning over coffee with friends.
We had been eyeing the perfect little window table during our wait, but the family occupying it was lingering over coffee (and rightfully so), so we accepted a booth that had opened up. Our hostess graciously accommodated our group by setting one of the red chairs at the end of the table to make seating more comfortable for my aunt. The service was excellent, especially for being very busy. The restaurant had an ample amount of people working to take care of the morning crowd, and our server was attentive without being pushy.
As their motto suggests, Frisco Diner is indeed a “small place with big taste.” While we contemplated the extensive menu, our server brought steaming hot coffee that was described by our group as “hot, fresh and robust.” The server explained that they serve both the breakfast and lunch menu all day. Talk about choices! He also informed us that if we selected one of their many panini options, it might take a bit longer for the order to come out, as it takes time for the press to heat up.
Egg dishes here are made with farm fresh AA eggs, and they are the star of many items on the breakfast menu. Meals come with a choice of sides that include hash browns, grits, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, toast, biscuits and English muffins. Other diner classics include a long list of buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles and French toast creations. For patrons who are looking to dine on the healthier side, Frisco Diner’s “Lighten It Up” choices include tempting oatmeal and parfait options. We eyed a server carrying a tray laden with dishes from the breakfast menu, including signature skillets, pancakes topped with chocolate chips, waffles covered in fresh berries and biscuits and gravy. Everything looked tasty, especially the plate with a burger and pile of fries. Cheese dripped over the sides of the double-patty burger and the fries looked golden and crispy.
While the lunch menu was tempting, with quintessential diner fare including hearty sandwiches, fresh ground burgers, the aforementioned paninis, comfort food, colossal salads and a lengthy list of extras, we were there for breakfast … at least for this meal. After much deliberation, decisions were made and our orders were finally placed. We all ordered something different so we could compare and share. Coffee and waters never ran low.
As busy as it was, the food came out quickly. Everything was cooked perfectly with fresh ingredients. Portions were very generous, without being obscene.
The Eggs Benedict plate was nicely presented. My dining companion who ordered this makes a mean Benedict himself, so I was anxious to hear his feedback on Frisco Diner’s version of the classic.“The poached eggs are perfectly done, and the hollandaise is spot on, rich and creamy. Instead of the usual paprika sprinkled on top of the eggs, this has scallions, which add a lovely fresh taste and color. The side of hash browns is adequate size and nicely done,” he shared with us.
My aunt ordered the grilled asparagus, which comes topped with hollandaise and is served with two eggs, any style. She said, “This is so good! I have never seen asparagus served on a breakfast menu this way before. The grilled asparagus is nicely cooked, just al dente, and the over-easy eggs were cooked exactly the way I like them. The side of hash browns is just the right amount, and the toasted rye bread is nice for sopping up the egg yolk.” We all quickly agreed that we were stealing the grilled asparagus idea for brunch at home!
The omelets are made with three grade AA eggs, and they come in yummy choices. The tiniest member of our group ordered the Rocky Mountain Omelet, a large omelet filled with diced ham, bell peppers, onion and American cheese. She declared, “Whoever is making omelets in the kitchen knows their stuff!” Omelets can be rubbery, but this version was not at all. The veggies were crisp and tender, and the ham had a very nice flavor. The pancakes on the side were fluffy and light with slightly crisp edges. The dusting of powdered sugar and the warm syrup served on the side was a unique touch.
My Garden Delight Omelet was also perfectly cooked, and the eggs were so fluffy and creamy. It was filled with fresh spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and provolone cheese (no red onion, as I had requested). The biscuits were light and flakey, and the butter and jam melted over the lovely layers. The side of fruit was fresh, with deliciously ripe chunks of pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes.
Our carnivore friend ordered the Chicken Fried Chicken. He shared, “The chicken is very tender, and the breading is crispy. The gravy is nice, with a good consistency. It is not watery or lumpy, although it could have used a bit more pepper. The hash browns are crispy on the outside, tender and buttery on the inside. The scrambled eggs are cooked just right, and the wheat toast tastes like good quality bread.”
Frisco Diner is bringing back the nostalgia of diners, with a southern touch. It is the complete destination with friendly service and delicious food, freshly prepared to order. I can speak for the whole group when I say we will definitely be back for another leisurely weekend meal. Frisco Diner’s hours are Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Get there early to grab a table, or call 214.618.0652 to place a to-go order.