I’ve been to the Harbour Diner a few times before for breakfast (amazing) and dinner (amazing). On this occasion I went for my grandmas 87th birthday! I’ve never left this place unhappy or dissatisfied. If you’re craving a serious meal, you won’t be let down. The Harbour Diner serves up the ultimate comfort food. The serving sizes are huge so you’re guaranteed to leave full. Leave some room for desert though, as they always have fresh baked pies on the menu, and you don’t want to miss that (seriously, get a slice of pie).
There were eight of us for dinner so I took pictures a quickly as I could and noted their thoughts about the meal. I won’t be able to offer a personal review of each dish but I can guarantee you, we all left rubbing our bellies.
The birthday girl had the seafood soup to start her meal, which could be considered a meal in itself. My grandma could eat us all under the table so this didn’t phase her at all. I didn’t manage to get a picture of her soup but it’s full of delicious, fresh seafood in a light creamy broth.
Turkey Dinner: For her main meal she ordered the turkey dinner (obviously) which comes with roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas and mushrooms, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. She loves this dish, this is her second time ordering it. She said the turkey was moist, tasty and that the gravy was as good as she remembered. She particularly loved the stuffing and mashed potatoes. Again, this is a big meal – be ready for leftovers!
The Manhattan: After long debating what to order I settled on the “Manhattan” sandwich. I’m really, really, really glad I did. Even though I wasn’t too hungry, I managed to finish the whole thing. It comes with corned beef, fried onions, hard boiled egg, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and black pepper-chive mayo on marble rye bread. Let me tell you though, this sandwich is a handful but totally worth the mess. The marble rye bread was buttered which made the bread soft and even more delicious. Of course the best part was the corned beef. It was so juicy and tender and I love how there was so much of it rolled up in the sandwich. Each bite was full of meat. I also really enjoyed the hard boiled egg on the sandwich. It added a really nice texture that played well with the corned beef. The Manhattan comes with a side of Harbour Diner Slaw and a kosher dill pickle.
Other items that were ordered included the Cobb Salad and two of the specials for the night, the Focaccia Melt, and the Asian Sesame Seed Chicken Salad, as well as the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and the Lobster & Crab Macaroni.
Cobb Salad: I was considering the Cobb Salad against the Manhattan as it looked so satisfying. I will definitely try it next time I’m there. It comes with lettuce, turkey, bacon, tomato, avocado, hard boiled egg, crumbled blue cheese and spring onions tossed in their original “Brown Derby” dressing, which is a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs. This is definitely an entrée salad and large enough to fill anyone with a big appetite who may be looking for a healthier option.
Special – Harbour Focaccia Melt: This was another messy, handful of a sandwich, but the woman tackling it had no problem showing it who was boss. It came with corned beef, cheese, onion and a tequila lime barbecue sauce that was to die for. On the side was Harbour Diner Slaw, a kosher dill pickle and a fresh bed of lettuce with large slices of veggies. Just like the Manhattan, the main attraction in this sandwich was the healthy helping of tender corned beef. I hope to see something similar to this on the menu again as the sauce was delicious paired with the corned beef.
Special – Sesame Chicken Salad: This salad looked delicious. I didn’t get to try it but I was told it was very good. It came with carrot, tomato and peppers on a bed of California greens. The salads here are always fresh and come in large entrée portions so there’s no worry about going home hungry. There was a fair amount of tender chicken on the salad which was tossed in a sesame dressing.
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich: This sandwich comes with breaded chicken breast dipped in hot sauce, lettuce, tomato and blue cheese mayo on a kaiser bun. The young lady who ordered this said it was good but could have used a little more blue cheese, or at least a bit more blue cheese chunks in the mayo. The chicken breast itself was fairly large, lightly breaded and didn’t get lost in a pool of sauce which I thought was good.
Crab & Lobster Macaroni: I’ve been lucky enough to have tried this fun twist on home made mac n’ cheese before. No lie, my mouth is watering right now looking at the picture of it. The cheese sauce is undeniably rich and creamy. Add in the lobster and crab and you’ve got yourself a dream in a bowl, baby. I remember when I first tried this, I couldn’t even bring myself to put ketchup on it. Don’t do it! It’s not needed, I promise.
The Harbour Diner is a wonderful little place to enjoy creative, flavourful, home cooked meals. The staff is very friendly and a pleasure to spend an evening with. Our server Rose was especially patient with our (sometimes crazy) party and was knowledgeable and attentive. Even the people enjoying their dinner in the diner are friendly. When we brought out my grandmas birthday cake and sang her happy birthday, everyone in the diner sang along. What a fun experience! Thanks for a wonderful evening and making my grandmas 87th one to remember.
The Harbour Diner is located at 486 James Street North in Hamilton.
Happy Birthday Grams!