The Short Course
To avoid wait: Weekend mornings can be busy; large groups.
can call ahead
Noise level: Moderate.
Bathroom amenities: Changing station.
High chairs? Yes.
Got milk? Yes, as well as a variety of juices.
Kids’ menu? Yes.
Allergies: Nuts are used on several entrees. Be sure to alert server at time of ordering so precautions can be taken in the kitchen to have your food prepared separately.
I’m a self-proclaimed “Foodie”, and in describing myself, I could go as far as to say “Food Snob.” Though national chain restaurants have their place, it baffles me that Toledoans would choose to have breakfast at one of them over a local breakfast spot. Star Diners are a wonderful, homegrown Toledo option for breakfast/lunch.
You’ll feel right at home
Star Diners had their beginning long ago on Navarre Ave. in Oregon, where, Joey Skaff owned the Navarre Diner. Fast forward several years and Mr. Skaff has taken the Navarre Diner concept, renamed it the Star Diner and duplicated it in four locations. Skaff, also the original owner of the Avenue Bistro which was located at Central and McCord, was looking to limit his hours in the time consuming restaurant business and decided to concentrate on breakfast and lunch.
According to Star Diner Dussel location manager Rose Carmona, ”Joey has his hands in every detail.” That just might explain why every time we’ve visited a Star Diner, the food quality has been consistent. Ms. Carmona was effusive, talking about her customers and the regulars, she described as a “pay it forward” kind of bunch. “Our customers are the best in town,” she said. “I’ve made so many friends and watched kids grow up,” she added, reflecting on her 14 years at the Dussel location.
Great Food. Large Portions. Small Prices.
That’s the mantra at Star Diner. My kids and I indulged on a Saturday morning for breakfast. You can have breakfast or lunch no matter what time you arrive at Star Diner. The breakfast selections include a variety of “Eggstraordinary Eggs”, skillets and omelets. And don’t forget the pancakes, waffles, crepes and French toast. The list of burgers, salads and sandwiches seems endless.
What might you expect to pay for the taste-bud-tempting California skillet that I had for breakfast? It came loaded with fresh spinach, artichokes, roasted red pepper, and portabella mushrooms sautéed and placed over a bed of home fries, topped with two eggs, cooked your way, and mozzarella. The answer: only $8.50. It was so delicious, filled me up for almost the entire day, and yes, comparable pricing to the “chains” that people think are a great deal.
Something else you’ll always find at Star Diner, all the food is made fresh and in house. “The majority of our food is made in house”, said Ms. Carmona. She said everything from their bread, to soups, dressings, yogurt, you name it . . . Is made in house. You can taste the difference.
Other incredible dishes we had that day included the Western omelet, a burger, an all meat omelet and French toast. Oh my kids were happy campers. For the younger set, 10 and under, they offer a kids menu priced to please families on a budget; Breakfast is $3.50 and lunch menu items don’t exceed $4.50.
The little black skirt
Let’s just talk about the little black skirts. Yes, I’m going to discuss the elephant in the room. By now someone may have mentioned to you that the Star Diner waitresses wear short skirts. Well yes, they do. They wear short black skirts that look like tennis skirts and red and black v-neck Star Diner t-shirts. And did my teenage boys take note? They’re teen boys. Of course they did. (chuckle) And then they moved on. However, all the girls I saw looked tasteful, were friendly, and treated everyone the same way — warm yet professional.
When I asked Ms. Carmona about the uniforms she said it’s what the staff has always worn. She went on to say that Diner customers number more females than males, along with a lot of families. So no, this isn’t a diner that a bunch of guys are patronizing because of the short skirts. The first time I stopped in I dismissed the myth. The staff are all friendly waitresses who made sure I had an enjoyable meal and experience, treating me with respect. I really wondered what the big deal was all about.
Bottom Line: Star Diners have a location near you and you’ll be pleased with the quality and amazing selection of breakfast and lunch entrees. Weekends can be busy and if you have a larger group you may want to call ahead. Much of their seating is for 2-4 people so large groups can be a challenge if they’re busy.
457 W. Dussel Maumee | 419-897-9353
2524 Navarre Ave, Oregon | 419-691-2280
3067 West Alexis, Toledo | 419-472-5103
6710 W Central Ave, Toledo | 419-841-0230