Just a little ways down the road from us at the Port Inn Portsmouth you'll find a lot of brand new businesses that have recently opened in the Southgate Plaza Shopping Center in Portsmouth, NH. So you can imagine our excitement when we found out that we were going to visit a new spin on a classic. And you can't get more classic than Roger's Redliner Diner. We were fortunate enough to try some menu items, take some photos, and learn more about this great restaurant. To help us achieve all of this was General Manager, Daryl McGann and Roger Elkus, owner of the Redliner Diner and the award winning Me & Ollies Bakery Cafes.
We're happy to be here! Please tell us a bit about this fine establishment.
Diners are their own class of restaurant… at their best they are the place that feeds you, body and soul. When you have an appetite for a big plate of flavorful home-style food and a hunger for something that just feels familiar, a Diner is the place to go. In that, and so many other ways, Diners are timeless. The Redliner is family friendly and anyone who comes in should be able to find the right meal at the right price – for those wanting a lighter and less expensive meal, we have daily soups and clam chowder and salads; our burgers are in the $8 to $10 range, served complete with your choice of sides they’re a great value; we also have full dinner entrees for those wanting something more substantial.
Let's discuss the dishes that you serve.
It starts with our Bakery – it’s the foundation of ME & Ollie’s that’s brought the Seacoast traditional, American-style breads for over 16 years. I brought the same values of Honest Food into the Diner – I scratch-cook virtually everything using top-grade meats and whole, raw food that are in their most natural state. I serve food that I am proud of – I buy my ingredients from other independent businesses and cook them in pure and simple ways. Knowing the origins of my ingredients and who my trading partners are, sourcing quality milk and produce and working with them in a kitchen that truly understand good cookery and cares about quality… that’s the most Honest Food I know.
We started off with a dish that every great breakfast menu should have: French Toast.
We make our French Toast with our ME & Ollie’s Cinnamon Swirl bread. We hand-cut two super-thick slices from the loaf and soak it in an egg batter of cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and griddle it until it’s slightly toasty-crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. You can have your choice of bacon, or, sausage and homefries and top it off with real NH Maple Syrup, too.
No breakfast is complete without eggs and home fries. Next up is Eggs Your Way.
How’d you like them?... sunny side up, over-easy, poached, scrambled or an omelet, your eggs are cooked your way. All our eggs come with your favorite Me & Ollie’s bread, toasted and buttered – or, dry - to accompany your homefries and bacon (or, sausage – or, hash… yup, hash!) breakfast meat of your choosing.
Moving on to a lunch dish, is the Posh Josh Burger.
Thanks to our stylish friend Josh for being the inspiration for the Posh! Like all our burgers, it starts with 6 ounces of in-house ground USDA-Choice Chuck – then we top it with portabello mushrooms, bacon, and roasted red peppers and Swiss cheese. Each burger is hand shaped and served on a buttered and griddled golden brown Bodacious Bun.
Please tell us more about the delicious Turkey Dinner Plate.
Thanksgiving Day is a National Holiday – Turkey Dinner is a National Treasure! This turkey dinner isn't just comfort food it's love on a plate, it’s our American Pride!! House roasted turkey, baked stuffing, topped with hot turkey gravy and cranberry sauce, too. Choose the sides that make you smile, potato, rice pilaf, veggies or slaw.
Please talk about what it means to you to be an independent locally owned business.
I live here. There you have it – that’s the whole secret to being Locally Owned… this is my hometown. People that come into the Diner are more than customers - they're my neighbors. We see each other at the grocery store and at events at the high school - we're all supporting our community and that holds me, as a local business owner, to a higher standard than a corporate-owned business. Being an independent business is to be driven by vision and getting my employee behind that vision, then, watching as they push forward with their own drive. I’m blessed to have a team of highly creative, remarkably strong managers in ME & Ollie’s and the Redliner Diner. Without them I’d just by a guy with a really cool idea. My business gives jobs to around 100 people in the area and it’s very gratifying to be to be able to do that.
I’ve owned ME & Ollie’s Bakery in Portsmouth, NH since I opened it in 1998 and The Redliner Diner is a marriage of my interest in vintage Americana and my life’s work as a baker and operator of restaurants. It returns a meaningful piece of the Seacoast’s history to my hometown. I’m watching the Diner become part of the daily life of this community – and that was my greatest hope… that the Diner would be a regular place, every day place for regular people, every day people, that it would be the town’s kitchen table.
We had a fantastic time at Roger's Redliner Diner and we highly recommend that you pay them a visit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Their food is fantastic, they do a marvelous job at making you feel like you're in a diner from the 1950's, and they still find a way to add their own modern twist to the concept. Check out the slideshow below for a lot more bonus photos, including the perfect ending to any diner experience: a hunk of cake or a slice of pie! They scratch bake all of their own cakes and pies right in the diner. The daily selection is at the mercy of the bakers cravings, so stop by to see what is in the dessert case today. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next blog post!