On an unassuming corner in a conspicuous town is what can only be described as diner magic.
We’ve tried once before to get into the Triangle Diner, located at 400 Maple Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY, but it was a nightmare of a parking lot because it only fits about ten cars or so. This past weekend, though, we made it there between the waves of breakfast and lunch, and nabbed a spot right by the entrance. Little did we know what we were in for.
When we walked in, we had a look around and saw the “desserts in a display case,” a typical characteristic of every other diner we’ve been to. But this was the smallest display case we’ve seen so far. (See Fig. 2) There was ample counter seating, but we had to wait about five minutes for a booth, which wasn’t terrible, given how packed they were. Once we sat down at a green formica-covered table, we were handed menus, which had a lengthy but typical list of breakfast diner food. Real maple syrup was available for an extra charge, which is something we’ve seen at other diners. But what we’ve never seen at a diner before was the list of incredible specials at Triangle Diner.
Just look at it. I mean, really. Nearly everything says “homemade” and includes a smorgasbord of delicious wonder. It was essentially Sophie’s Choice trying to decide what to get, and we took about fifteen minutes to make our decisions.
Matt started with the homemade baked banana bread, and it came out with real butter on the side (!) and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. It had been warmed on the grill (read: made even better) and was absolutely delectable.
We had coffee and water, as required by our self-imposed rules, but Matt cheated and got a S’mores coffee, the special from the menu that day, and it was amazing–not overly sweet, and very flavorful. I got a regular coffee, and it was okay, I’d say a 3 out of 5. The water had an earthy aftertaste, like you had just eaten a beet against your will, so we’re rating the water a 3.
When we finally decided on our food, Matt ordered scrambled eggs with cheddar and swiss, sausage, bacon, French toast with real maple syrup and a side of homemade corned beef hash. I decided on the Smoked Salmon Benedict, which came with poached eggs, capers, home fried potatoes, asparagus, hollandaise sauce and a grilled blueberry muffin. The waitress, whose service was fabulous, brought our food out about 10-15 minutes after we ordered it.
Everything was awesome.
I’ve never felt so alive and so defeated at the same time, until this breakfast happened. The French toast was made with thick Texas toast (French Texan toast?) and every part of our meals was cooked perfectly. My asparagus had a slight crunch left to it, just how I like it, and the eggs were poached and scrambled exceptionally well, almost as if there were angels guiding the hands of whomever was working in the kitchen. The hollandaise sauce was some of the best I’ve had that wasn’t my mother’s recipe, and the home fries were big and well-seasoned. Matt’s corned beef hash, which usually comes out a greasy mess at other diners, could have been cooked by an Irish grandmother for all we know. It was legit corned beef instead of the mush I’d come to expect from diners, and had legit pieces of onion in it. I tried a forkful and it took all I had not to order a plate for myself. I couldn’t even finish what I had ordered.
Essentially, we’re rating the food a 6 out of 5. Triangle Diner’s food is off the charts amazing. Their prices are great for you get; we spent about $35 for the biggest, tastiest breakfast we’ve had since Chair 6 in Lake Placid (but that’s a post for another day).
For dinerness, we’re rating Triangle Diner a 4. There’s chrome, formica and mirrors throughout, and it’s small enough that you can see everyone else there just by turning your head. The waitstaff is friendly and helpful–service is a 4, almost a 5. Our waitress was super patient when we took forever to decide what to order, and was attentive with refilling our water and offering us more coffee. There are lots of stools to sit on at the extensive counter, and many of the people there seemed like regulars. There were families, young couples, elderly folks and singles sitting at the counter. The black and white tile floor was indicative of an old-timey
diner and the numerous humorous signs tacked to the walls were definitely something I’d expect from a local family-owned place.
Triangle Diner is the best place to be if you’re looking for incredible food at good prices. Taking a trip around the block while waiting for a parking spot to open is well worth it, and it’s a great spot for couples and families alike. I’m not sure what parties of more than four would do, since there are only booths or stool seating at the counter, but I’m sure they’d be accommodating, as the hostess and waitstaff are all friendly.