We all get that craving for some simple, great-tasting soul touching food served with a genuine smile.
Here’s our vote for the best diner experience in Long Beach: The Potholder Cafe.
Best Diner in Long Beach
Forget froufrou. Forget white glove service. This is a diner experience. Casual, no-stress environment simply meant to provide you with a quality meal with a friendly smile.
By the way
This review speaks only to the Potholder Cafe’s breakfast which I’ve eaten often.
While taking in the sights that are Machu Picchu, pull out a sign that reads “Eat at the Potholder” and smile for the camera. Or while cruising the back streets of Istanbul, you stop and pull out your “Eat at the Potholder” sign and pose for a picture. Photos like this, from the far corners of the world, adorn the walls.
Fans (or fanatics) take their commitment to the best diner in Long Beach very seriously.
A diner is a diner. There are only so many ways to make french toast, breakfast burritos or fried eggs.
It boils down to the quality of the ingredients. Every dish I tried, over several years of patronage, all taste fresh. More importantly, the food tastes like it is cooked. Ever have an omelette where the interior was cold? How about an undercooked pancake? When slammed, the kitchen panics and produces food at a break neck pace. Thorough cooking becomes optional.
Not at the Potholder.
The food tastes just as great with a packed restaurant versus an almost empty joint.
As it turns out, the Frankie Special is my breakfast of choice. My options: two pieces of french toast, two eggs, two sausage links. The Potholder serves real sausage links. Not the pencil size sausages other breakfast joints serve.
Forget your standard coffee and leave Starbucks behind. Diners are about simplicity blended with quality and this shows in their coffee.
For me, their coffee is smooth with low-acidity. Hallmarks of a better quality coffee. However I believe it is a darker roast, either French or Italian which does not appeal to me. With just a dab of sugar, I always slurp down at least 3 mugs while scarfing down my food.
Speaking of black coffee: the coffee is strong. Some diners attempt to serve me coffee which was nothing more than brown water. Not here.
From the moment I walk in until the door closes behind me, it’s nothing but smiles. Smiles are a requirement to be considered for the best diner in Long Beach.
In the restaurant business, the importance lies in doing something and doing it well. The kiss of death occurs when a restaurant tries to be all things to all people. The Potholder Cafe’s focus is breakfast, brunch, lunch and very late lunch (if you require a booze mop from the night before). Most days, their hours start at 7AM with closing time at 3 PM, except Saturday and Sunday which is 4 PM.
No dinner here.
Even better is the attitude that follows the smile. An air of authenticity permeates the servers attitude here. When asked how your morning is going, they really want to know.
What You Need to Know
Want a solid breakfast? Your best bet is the Potholder Cafe. While this place does get busy, with a line out the door, never fear. You have your choice of Potholder Cafe’s. There’s The Potholder Cafe, The Potholder Cafe Too, and The Potholder Cafe P3.
Oh yes. The Potholder team takes care of their customers and their customers take care of them. Having one restaurant is easy but to have three? All three have hundreds of 4+ star reviews? Somebody is doing something right.
The Potholder Cafe earns the right to be the best diner in Long Beach.