Renee’s Diner offers homey ambiance

Renee’s Diner in North Adams may be small in size, but it offers hearty portions of favorite comfort foods. Photo courtesy of Renee’s Diner

If you are looking for no-frill, hunger-satiating breakfast on a budget, Renee’s is what comes to mind. This roadside breakfast diner is definitely what you would call a mom-and-pop sort of place. A cash only establishment that fits only about 12 tables, Renee’s knows that people come for the food and homey experience; however, I had mixed feelings about my brunch at Renee’s. I have fully prepared myself for becoming the brunch social pariah after this food review and here is why: Renee’s execution of breakfast food was inconsistent. Some foods were prepared really well and definitely hit the sweet spot; others were lacking. I would definitely still give Renee’s a try because minor execution details do not detract from the fact that the meal is still an ultimate feel-good, eat-well, get-stuffed great deal.

Ambience is key to any dining experience. Walking into Renee’s, I could not help but relax, even though it was the morning before the 100 Days dance for seniors. I have always thought 100 days was the College’s way of reminding us, seniors, that we have 100 days to get our lives together and start donating to the Alumni Fund. Needless to say, I, an unemployed senior, woke up feeling very grouchy. Renee’s people, decor and mood made everything better. The portions were huge -perfect for Saturday morning brunch. The service was lightning quick and spot on. The staff was patient, even though my table took several tries to order because we were indecisive. Renee’s omelet was delicious, in fact one of the best omelets I’ve had in Berkshire county: fluffy eggs stuffed to the brim with cheese and veggies. The homemade salsa that came with the omelet was tangy and zesty as well as full of tomato-goodness, giving the omelet a fresh kick. The nicely buttered toast served alongside the omelet made me pretty stuffed. 10 out of 10 on that one.

The less desireable dishes were riddled with minor flaws that indicated spotty execution, but the quality of the food was still right-on. For example: were the home fries supposed to be fried potatoes or dense, hard-to-chew, starch-laden potato nuggets? Their skins were tough to chew on the outside and made it a small jaw exercise to eat the home fries. The french toast from the “Super Hungry Man” (which is a value deal because you get three eggs, bacon, french toast, regular toast and home fries) was slightly salty because of the coating. I felt like it needed some sugar or a heavier egg coating. And finally, the hollandaise sauce on the eggs benedict was curdled and not smooth. This sauce also happened to drench the poached eggs of the eggs benedicts, which were supposed to be the star of the show. Because of these flaws, the dishes were less enjoyable but still satisfied a Saturday morning craving. I wish I had room in my stomach to try their patty melt, but I was stuffed by the time I finished eating all those eggs and home fries. Will definitely try this next time.

Happy eating!