The Good – Hannah Donahue:
My first taste of Far Out Diner was a late Saturday morning during my junior year of high school after the SATs. I was avoiding going to work by saying I needed to get something to eat after such a long, tiring exam. From the outside, the diner doesn’t look like much aside from its outer space themed mural painted on the brick side of the building.
I sat myself down at a booth that was littered with comic books and old sci-fi novels with a few friends and was greeted by a friendly waitress handing us a lime green paper menu, filled with uniquely named items—some were classics, and others, a twist on your typical breakfast food. Scattered on the walls were 50’s themed memorabilia to fit the sci-fi theme that you could feel in the atmosphere of the restaurant, as well as pictures of aliens that people drew on the back of their placemats with the coffee mug full of crayons that sat at every table. I ordered an orange juice and their eggs benedict—a delicious meal that has always been my go-to. It was one of the lowest priced eggs benedicts I had ever seen at just $9.99, while your typical eggs benedict might normally cost around $11 to $13. It took a while to come out, but it was worth it, and the whole experience was only up from there.
The hollandaise sauce of the eggs benedict tastes as though it is made fresh to order and the egg yolk runs with a single puncture. The English muffin was toasted to a crisp and saturated with hollandaise, and the ham was warm and complimented the egg and sauce nicely. The benedict was completed as a meal with a serving of home fries spiced and seasoned to perfection. The portion size of the meal was large, and I have never been able to finish an order there to this day. The only downside of almost always ordering eggs benedict is that it takes a little while to come out. This could be because of the popularity of the restaurant and the abundance of orders going into the kitchen during the rush of brunch, but I found even on the days when it was not nearly as busy that it took time to come to the table. I like to think it’s because of the carefulness of preparing a dish that can be difficult to master and wanting to make sure it’s just right every time.
While I may normally choose to order the eggs benedict, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to pick off the plates of people I go to the restaurant with. My second favorite is without a doubt their chocolate chip saucer cake. If I were to estimate it, the saucer cakes are probably at least eight inches in diameter—enough to fill you up with just one of them. The chocolate chips were an excellent, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth delicious addition to the already fluffy saucer cake. Dusted with powdered sugar and a pad of butter on the side, this was in no way your average saucer cake. Every morning Far Out Diner posts their specials on their Facebook page and there is almost always a version of their classic saucer cake on it, whether it be blueberries, peanut butter chips, caramel chips, you name it.
Since that first bite, Far Out Diner has been my go-to breakfast restaurant and nearly every time I order the eggs benedict. In all the times I have been there, I have had very few bad experiences – some long wait times or overcooked eggs – the usual when a restaurant is busy, or it is peak brunch time.
Far Out Diner is without a doubt a family-friendly restaurant that takes you back in a time machine with its 50’s flare and is sure to leave you wanting more.
The Bad – Christopher Edwards:
The Dover Ice Arena on Portland Avenue has many opportunities for all ages to have fun, both on and off the ice. When you’re done skating, you could go across the street and grab a hot chocolate at the local Dunkin’ if it suits your fancy. However, have you ever thought to venture past the Dunkin’ and take a trip off the beaten path to an even more beaten path? Have you ever wondered what’s down that side street that looks like just another entrance to the Dunkin’ parking lot? Is it a hidden waterfall? An antique shop with some of the coolest World War I memorabilia you’ve ever seen? Or maybe a UFO in a field of grass?
Just off Portland Avenue in Dover is a small side street called Oak Street that is almost completely hidden from sight by the Dunkin’. Don’t mistake it for just another excuse to get your coffee fix. If you can just fight the caffeine addiction for another few seconds, and drive down Oak Street only a few feet, you’ll stumble across Far Out Diner tucked within the side of a small strip mall of shops. The first thing you notice from outside of the diner is a violet painted wall against a system of stars, planets and a huge green alien hungrily reaching for a brown dog.
The inside of the diner is less spectacular. It’s got the feel of an 80’s diner with checkered floors and rock music playing on the overhead speakers. In the front of the diner is a long bar with red barstools. Behind the bar, two waitresses rush back and forth in front of a glassless window looking into the kitchen where the chef filled orders. On top of the bar are sporadically placed display cases full of baked goods. Inside the dining room, there are barley any references to outer space save for a few Funko Pop! figurines and a huge alien sculpture tucked in behind the main entrance.
After waiting to be seated, a waitress hands you a menu and asks if you’d like coffee. I should mention that this place is only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Monday, and only serves breakfast and lunch. I should also note that, aside from getting your coffee fix, and a bit of nostalgia, there’s nothing to write home about the menu or the food. I will admit that they had some interesting names for their dishes, and I could almost justify paying $8.49 for the “McFar Out Breakfast Sammy” just to tell my friends I ate a “McFar Out Breakfast Sammy.” But I decided that at those prices, I’d like something that I don’t have very often. For only a dollar more, I ordered a “Hash Plate,” which came with two rubbery poached eggs, burnt corned beef and a tough biscuit. Boy was I disappointed. In my experience, poached eggs are tender. The fork is able to slice through the egg white with no extra pressure, and the yolk spills out nicely over the plate. At Far Out Diner, I had to press down with my fork so hard that when the egg white broke, the yolk squirted all over me.
After wiping myself down, I tried the corned beef. The shredded pieces of meat were so burnt and dry that they scratched the back of my throat like potato chips. The biscuit was no better! Instead of flakey, the biscuit was tough, chewy and flavorless. I should’ve stopped eating, but I was paying for it, and I felt bad for the waitresses as they watched me with concerned expressions as I picked at my food.
Overall, if it’s food you’re looking for, go to Dunkin’. Don’t even consider driving down Oak Street. If you are, however, looking for something nostalgic while you get your caffeine fix, go into Far Out Diner and order a coffee. Take some pictures while you’re at it. Food wise, however, don’t expect much from Far Out Diner.