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Nothin’ Finer Than Minella’s Diner!

November 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in food snob

Minella’s Diner


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This review was going to be a bit shorter than the others, mostly because I was quite drunk when I got the food, so I thought that every day that I waited to write this would make the memory fuzzier and foggier, but the food must have actually been good, and not a drunken munchies memory. Generally, my take on Minella’s is that this place is friggin’ amazing! Not especially for its food, but for their service, though the food is nothing to sneeze at. I have generally low expectations, so when a place gets my order 100% right (they forgot the coleslaw with the ‘deluxe’ burger, but they gave me sliced onion which is not included, so we can call it even) every time and always has it ready fast, I am impressed.

I was on my way home after a very chill evening with a bottle of Maker’s Mark and some friends. We had planned on getting some food when while we were hanging out but other things just seemed to get in the way, so by the time I was homeward bound I was starving. Luckily, I had the mental acumen to order my food before leaving, so I could just grab it and go. Normally, I wouldn’t do a review for take-out, but I’ve dined in there many times before, so I don’t feel bad doing the review under the circumstances. Besides, it’s a positive review, so just think how great the food would be while sitting there! If you do decide to eat there, you will note that this place has so much of a classic diner feel that I wish I had saved my Fonze reference for this review! I can’t be sure, but their might even be a jukebox in there…or I superimposed one on the image in my mind. It’s all good either way.

I didn’t really think about it at the time, but what makes this experience all the more amazing is that it occurred at 2:15 AM on a Saturday night, and it was packed in there. Every drunken college kid on the Mainline flocks to this joint to get something solid in their gut after abusing their stomach lining all night with alcohol, which when I think about it, is probably just as acidic as the bile I had coming up the morning after, though I don’t blame Minella’s on that one. With the combo of food and alcohol I had, I should have taken a proton pump inhibitor (instead of reducing acid, the medicine just stops it from being produced), though I should probably check on the side effects when combined with alcohol. Any doctors out there reading this before my fiancé does, let me know.

In any case, I forgot what I had ordered by the time I got home so that was a whole new adventure in itself. When I opened all the containers in my enormous brown paper bag, I found a hamburger and disco fries, a strawberry milkshake, and a Belgian waffle with ice cream. The Black Angus beef hamburger was cooked between medium and medium well, and was firm and juicy, on the classic sesame seeded bun. On the side were fresh portions of lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle to use at my discretion.

If you will permit me to go on a tangent for a moment, can anyone tell me why those damn seeds are even on the bun? What is their purpose? When I checked it out, it seemed like there were a few schools of thought, but being the paranoid conspiracy theorist I am, I decided that the explanation must be a plot by the ADA (American Dental Association) to bolster the profits of its members. Since millions of burgers are eaten each year, a small percentage must cause dental issues when the seeds become impacted in or between teeth. This could mean significant sustainable profits for dentists. Also notice how the buns in kid’s meals don’t have seeds? It could be that they don’t want to inflict unnecessary pain on kids. Or it could be that kids don’t have money, parents make them see dentists regularly anyway, and their teeth are still mostly replaceable. Who knows?

Now let’s talk disco fries. I have seen this one done a few different ways, but I gotta say that Minella’s does it the classic way as far as I’m concerned. Dark brown beef gravy and mixed white and yellow cheeses. Eat your heart out Canada! The fries themselves were thick, fair-cut style steak fries, which stayed surprisingly crispy in the Styrofoam container. I also liked how they put the gravy in a separate container so the fries wouldn’t get soggy. I’m angered by how many places that do take-out don’t understand what ingredients should be kept separate from each other until the eating is ready to commence.

The shake gets the lowest rating but it still wasn’t bad. I prefer my milkshake to be made with the ice cream that it is supposed to be flavored. This means that I would have liked my strawberry milkshake to be made with strawberry ice cream, not the fake malted flavor, or flavor syrup. I’m not sure which one it was in this case, but it was definitely not strawberry ice cream. That’s all I have to say about that.

Finally, we’ll have words about the waffle. This is my single most ordered item on the menu, so it’s no wonder I defaulted to it in my inebriated state. The cooked dough is light and fluffy and pretty sweet on its own. On top, I got a scoop of vanilla ice cream, generous dollops of whipped cream, and PA’s finest, Hershey’s chocolate syrup. On the side was one of those little paper containers you may have seen holding Jell-O shots, but this one had butter in it. There were also hermetically sealed plastic containers of Heinz breakfast syrup. The logo had a maple leaf on it, but the ingredients were devoid of any mapley goodness. Needless to say, they remained unopened.

Ending with such a short conclusion may seem a bit abrupt, but that’s how my meal ended. I was so hungry that I scarfed everything down and before I knew it, the food was all gone. I passed out shortly thereafter. Good eats and sweet dreams!

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