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Just Like Clockwork: Starliner Diner


The Bay Area has its share of diner-style places fitting many vibes, from the classic 50s (Lori's in San Francisco and Bette's Oceanview in Berkeley) to 80s new wave/rock (Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville), to country homestyle rustic (the Fremont Diner in Sonoma) to city historic (Grubstake Diner in San Francisco is fashioned out of an old streetcar.) However, nothing I've encountered yet in my old home area quite matches the combo of unique kitsch and brunch deliciousness that Starliner Diner in Hilliard brings to its diners.

Visual kitsch abounds at Starliner Diner, giving the diner a lot to see
Open for roughly 20 years, Starliner Diner gives the visitor a lot of kitsch to look at, from the colorful murals to sports-related memorabilia (some of the waiting area chairs appear to be old stadium seats) to the numerous retro clocks that dominate the one wall and randomly appear at various other places in the interior. While no one decor or era totally dominates, the cumulative effect lends an overall cool and kitschy feel that is welcoming and seemingly familiar.

The dishes come flying out at a fast rate during the busy weekends
During the busy weekends, the waiting diner (even at its busiest, Starliner seems to get people seated in relatively quick fashion) can add the numerous delicious dishes awaiting pickup to their visual distractions. One of my fun tasks on my first visits was trying to figure out what dishes were what, and trying to figure out what I was truly hungry for on that particular visit.

On our last visit, my spouse went with an favorite for both us, their Chilaquiles, a hearty combo of scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, black beans, and cheese with tortilla chips; meanwhile I went with the Mexican Chorizo Omelette with chorizo, peppers, onion, garlic, cheese & cilantro with a side of Cuban Toast.


These dishes, along with most of the other Starliner's breakfast items, have rarely disappointed. From the Cuban French Toast (their Cuban Bread cubed up and prepared) and Cuban Breakfast, Huevos Rancheros, and various usual specials (Blueberry Pancakes and Azteca Breakfast Enchiladas, to name a couple) provide hearty and delicious early morning fare at reasonable prices (basically less than $10 per dish) with leftovers to spare on most days.

Oh, did I mention they serve lunch and dinner as well? Frankly we're still having too much fun with breakfast at Starliner, but one of these days, I swear we will sample those wares as well.

Starliner Diner
5240 Cemetery Road
Hilliard, OH 43026
(614)529-1198
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Starliner Diner on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I love the Starliner Diner! Definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus. You have to try the fried plantains the next time you're there!

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