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The Melrose Diner – Philadelphia, PA

November 1st, 2009 · No Comments

Melrose Diner - Philadelphia, PA Melrose Diner - Philadelphia, PA Melrose Diner - Philadelphia, PA
Landed in Philly and hungry after a milk run from Vancouver. First things first: get good food. The Crown Plaza on Market Street had free wi-fi in the lobby, so I checked out ‘best breakfasts philadelphia’ online – there were no shortage of opinions and places, but none came up that were either close to where I was, or close to a subway line. This place came up, and I was kind of in the mood for a greasy spoon breakfast, so I hopped on the Broad Street subway line to the Snyder station – the Melrose was only a few blocks walk from the station.

This is one of those classic old greasy spoon diners – it looks like it’s made out of an old subway or train car that has been enlarged over the years to turn it into this diner.

And yes, here was America, as pictured in postcards and Hollywood, and movies. While the setting was different, Edward Hopper could have painted ‘Nighthawks at the Diner’ here at the Melrose. It’s seat-yourself, so I just went up to the counter, and my very nice server came over – obviously a bit of a tough cookie from South Philly herself, she just wanted to take my order – I could tell that while talk of soft-boiled quails eggs on a bed of arugula with a glass of tigers’ milk might go over well in many restaurants in Philadelphia, this was neither the time nor the place for that kind of talk.

There was an item on the menu – ‘the Philadelphia Scrapple’ as an accompaniment for any of the entrees, so Janice explained this to me “Oh, honey…it’s…uh…an acquired taste”.

“Oh, that’s okay – what is it?”

“Well…they take all the parts of the pig, grind it up, add in some spices, and we fry it”

“Done. Eggs, sunny side up, white toast, hash browns, and the scrapple. And a coffee.”

Breakfast arrived almost instantaneously, and was exactly as I ordered. The eggs – well, they were fried eggs. The toast was white bread. The hash browns were little shredded fried potatoes. The scrapple….the scrapple was a meatloaf-like substance that was soft and tasted faintly of liver. After dousing my breakfast in enough Tabasco to start a forest fire, I went at it and a few minutes later the plate was empty.

Breakfast cost me a grand total of $7.45, and was worth every penny. There is nothing fancy about the food at the Melrose – it’s just good, regular North American cuisine, served fast, served friendly, and served hot. The restaurant itself has parking, is near a subway stop, and has both booths and counter seats – room for dining with friends and singletons always welcome. What more to say? Good. Fast. Cheap. Go. (but skip the scrapple)

The Melrose Diner
1501 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145-3092
Tel: (215) 467-6644


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Melrose Diner on Urbanspoon

Tags: Brunch · Cheap Eats · Inexpensive · Kid-friendly · Philadelphia · Western Food

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