O’Rourke’s Diner, Middletown


When we first arrived in Connecticut and our daughter was a little girl, breakfast was an easy meal to eat out. Occasionally we’d head up to Middletown and brave the line at O’Rourke’s diner. It had been a long time since I’d been, and with my food blogger hat on (Chief Chowzter for Connecticut), I thought this classic Connecticut spot should be included on their site. My husband is getting a bit tired of being my auxiliary stomach, so this time I brought along my good friend and enthusiastic eater, Chris Steiner. If you’ve never been, O’Rourke’s is a classic 30‘s style diner, but that’s where old-fashioned ends. Owner Brian O’Rourke has a creative, Irish-accented way with breakfast. Most breads are baked in house, the juices are fresh and on our visit, a mug of spiced hot cider had a whole apple submerged. Don’t resist the home-made banana bread French toast topped with Irish Whiskey infused bananas Foster and clotted cream (no whimpy whipped stuff here). We wondered why we had never seen an omelette stuffed with corned beef hash before (so smart and yummy!). On the side? Fingerling home fries and toasted Irish soda bread smeared with raspberry jam. Perfect. Those are both safe and delicious bets, but the adventurous must go all out with Brian’s Breakfast. This is a morning feast of whatever catches Brian’s fancy and no two are ever the same. No matter how much you press your server, she will not divulge what’s coming at you, because she doesn’t know either. An hors d’oeuvres of a scone with lemon curd cream and asian pear/apple compote arrived. Then quickly after, a laughably enormous plate: a fluffy potato waffle topped with corned beef and cheddar, poached egg on an oat cake, a baked potato stuffed with pulled pork, and the crispiest potato skins ever. Nothing better than letting an adventurous cook go crazy, and why not? It’s just breakfast. We couldn’t come close to finishing the lot of it, and our server was justifiably confused that we didn’t want to take all this glorious food home. But we had more places to go and more to eat, so we sadly left the morsels on our plates. If breakfast is your favorite meal and you’ve never been to O’Rourke’s, go.  www.orourkesmiddletown.com





tags: O’Rourke’s Diner, Middletown, irish, breakfast, food blogger