Home Fries

Whenever I drive through Adams, NY, a tiny village about 10 miles south of Watertown, I always appreciate what a neat and clean little town it is. The people, at least along the main streets, seem to really take pride in their homes and businesses. While not remarkable, it’s a pleasant little drive. If you decide to breeze through, fill your belly at the locally popular but regionally undiscovered Gram’s Diner.

It sits across the streets from other BHS faves Café Mira and Pearl’s Pastry Shop, but Gram’s has its own game going, and I had heard that its brunch was something special. This seems to be the winter for me to discuss brunch with you, and so, once more into the breach…

It’s an older building, and vestiges of its past were evident in the worn, industrial carpeting and wood paneling. But the current owners have freshened things up with paint and cute, food-themed tchotchkes, plus a much-needed gas fireplace near the door that offers something of a buffer when a newly-arrived patron opens the door and lets the polar vortex gust inside.

Every Sunday, Gram’s offers a special brunch menu in addition to its regular breakfast offerings. Last weekend, the supplementary menu was so appetizing, I struggled to choose my breakfast. The pizza omelet and eggs benedict with black forest ham tempted, but how could I resist something touted as a New York bagel bake? You’re right, I couldn’t. This strata of torn up sesame bagels, eggs, cream cheese, grape tomatoes, and red onions was creamy and dense. It was a bit bland on its own, but the hollandaise sauce I asked for on the side (they offered it on top) provided need richness, while the side of bacon brought on the salt you know I love. The complete plate was really well balanced, with the sesame seeds, cream cheese, and bacon stealing the show, the veggies lending brightness and moisture, and the hollandaise presiding over the works with eggs, luscious authority. Loved it!

Dad went simple, with ham and eggs with home fries, but I was thrilled, because I did NOT want to count the points for a whole order of potatoes on the side of my already shameful meal. It’s hard out here for a Weight Watchers pimp, yo. His poached eggs were done perfectly – whites set and yolks runny, and he really liked the ham, which was of good quality and had great flavor, not just salt. Those home fries echoed really good French fries for me – hand cut and double fried. No seasoned salt, abundance of grease, or onions to get in the way of the pure fried tater goodness. I think you can tell a lot about a breakfast place by their home fries, and while the Koffee Kove still takes the NNY prize, for me, these were aces. 

Mom likes her food tame, and her French toast fit the bill. I would have been a little bored with this very home-style rendition, regular bread dredged in an egg batter and fried, but she loved it. The real maple syrup gave it a little street cred, and this was on par with what I make at home. 

The service at Gram’s was a bit slow, mainly due to lots of hungry customers and just one waitress, but dang, she was a good one. We chatted with her a bit, and enjoyed her immensely. Dad mentioned that they probably keep the wait staff at a minimum in order to keep overhead, and therefore the prices, low. Smart move.

This isn’t a chi-chi, mimosa-soaked brunch joint, but on the flip side, you could probably show up in yoga pants and get a pretty fine breakfast for less than $10. I appreciate the creativity the owners are applying each week, not only to the brunch menu, but also to their desserts – s’mores crème brulee was up on the chalkoboard during our visit. YUM! Gram's just felt like home to me, though I'd never been there before. Right away, we get welcome and cared for. We gave Gram’s Diner a seven on the BHS scale, because of the simple, yet high quality food, comfortable atmosphere, and friendly service. Brava, grandma! My personality is big; my hunger is bigger!

Gram's Diner on Urbanspoon

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