Literally attached to the Newton Centre train stop on the green line, Deluxe Street Diner is a Boston-area gem that’s worth the trip. Decked out in elaborate steampunk fare and known for their sweet potato pancakes and quirky cocktails, the diner is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.
I don’t know about you, but when I go out to eat, I’m not just looking for a plus-size plate of yum (I can order in for that), I’m looking for an experience. No song and dance, just a restaurant with a personality, whether it’s gritty & greasy or suave and swanky or something else altogether. And Deluxe Street Diner delivers on this expectation before you even set foot through the doors.
The train tracks peak out from behind the diner, giving the impression of an old western, and a couple flourishes of exterior decoration complete the picture, with an old cart and wagon wheel off to the side and a western style placard above the door. Once inside, it’s a whole new steampunk world. The steampunk theme flows throughout the restaurant, but it’s not gawdy or gimmicky, it’s tastefully done and perfectly integrated into the setting.
The bar steals the show as the obvious centerpiece of the restaurant, with its steam-punk-inspired frame extending high up almost like an organ or an altar to the array of booze responsible for their quirky cocktail concoctions. The steampunk theme is all over the place, and gaping at all the cool stuff will keep you busy while you wait for your food, but you won’t be waiting long. Service here is fast and friendly, and if you’re lucky you’ll catch the young waiter with the bluesy voice singing a few lines of his favorite song as he sweeps past the kitchen (get it, kid! you can sing!).
I can attest to the hash, which is a much simpler take on the traditionally seasoned and onion-ed dish. Deluxe’s hash is straight up corned beef, more tender and fuller than most hashes I’ve had, mixed in with just the right amount of chopped carrots and potatoes. Simple. Tasty. But go easy on the salt on this one, a pinch more would probably be an instant heart attack. My brunch companions were impressed by their pastrami and eggs, and in love with the sweet potato pancakes, but the consensus all around was for the hash.
I’ll definitely be heading back to try their lunch and dinner menus (and then having my arteries cleaned), if only for its nerdy decor!
For the best experience, arrive by train and bring your brass steam-goggles that you might fully appreciate the detail of the decor.