Alice Eats: The Guilty Plate Diner | Bite Club

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Alice Eats: The Guilty Plate Diner

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

164 Porters Point Road, Colchester, 343-6789

When is a diner not really a diner? If you ask purists, an eatery doesn't truly qualify unless it's in a classic diner car. Strike one for Colchester's new Guilty Plate Diner, then. Rather than a vintage dining car, this restaurant is situated in the former quarters of a vintage, er, video store.

But a look of the photo at right shows that the Alvanos family, who currently own Burlington's Pine Street Deli and once also ran the Parkway Diner in South Burlington, know a thing or two about the great American diner. The checkered floors, counter and ’57 Chevy booths capture the classic feel, while photos of farm animals give it a more modern Vermont edge.

The food is a similar mix of old and new. I started the meal with a $3.99 garden salad with a pleasantly puckery, clearly homemade balsamic vinaigrette. But the update on diner fare reared its head in the form of the gyros and tzatziki omelette.

A Greek diner classic in breakfast form? Let me at it! The thick, fluffy omelette was well executed, with chunks of tomato and onion dotting it. But I was disappointed in the texture of the gyro meat. It was similar to meatloaf — so soft that it practically disappeared into the egg mixture.

But this wasn't as much of an issue as the tzatziki filling. On the plus side, there was no missing it. That's because there was so much of it that even after we'd finished the omelette, it coated the plate like thick, leftover bisque. That was better than too little of the tangy sauce, I suppose, but I think I would have preferred a few drizzles on top, rather than an eclair-like burst.

At least the home fries kept things crisp on the plate. I was also a fan of the lightly buttered and toasted English muffins.

When I wrote about the diner's opening, co-owner Michael Alvanos talked up the burger, so trying that was a given. He didn't steer me wrong. The never-frozen patty was thin but flavorful and reminded me  of a homestyle take on a Wendy's burger, sans the weird square shape at the fast-food giant. The bacon on top was crisped perfectly, so that it melted in my mouth with a salty, fatty crunch.

But I don't know why Alvanos didn't make more of the handcut fries. Fans of Al's French Frys, get thee to Colchester. The potatoes, handcut and dark but suitably crisp, are the closest I've tasted to the Burlington-area favorite. And you get them with a pile of dill-soaked pickle chips.

Though I'm more of a frites girl than a Frys gal, I was impressed. I was less enchanted with the baklava.

It may boast an attractive sheen in the photo at right, but in reality, the dessert was surprisingly dry. The layers of phyllo didn't sing with butter as they should, nor was there much of a honey or syrup glaze. Worst of all, the pastry wasn't even crisp. There was a pleasant overall cinnamon-and-nut taste, but it wasn't enough to overcome the dessert's flaws.

But sweet stuff doesn't seem to be a major focus at the diner. If I want to start my day with sugar, next time, I'll order the chocolate-chip pancakes.

Alice Eats is a weekly blog feature devoted to reviewing restaurants where diners can get a meal for two for less than $35. Got a restaurant you'd love to see featured? Send it to alice@sevendaysvt.com.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact web@sevendaysvt.com.

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

Bio:
AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.

More By This Author

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Bite Club

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation