Review: Roundabout Diner & Lounge, Portsmouth, NH

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | June 21st, 2010 | Restaurant Reviews

My husband and I traveled to Portsmouth this past weekend for a Saturday meeting.  While we could have driven there that morning, we made a last minute decision to head out the night before.  What better way to spend a hot summer night, then walk the downtown of a coastal city and enjoy some good food and music?  Unfortunately, the food was lackluster, but the music was great.

The next morning we didn’t have time for a slow, decadent breakfast, or so we thought.  Our hotel offerings were less than desirable, so we opted to find something on the way to our destination.  As we drove through the traffic circle, my husband spotted a sign for the Roundabout Diner & Lounge.  It seemed like the perfect place for us to stop, as diners tend to offer quickly prepared and decent meals.  This diner far exceeded decent in its food preparation and service, it might even be considered decadent.

Seated at a table with no wait, we were greeted warmly by our waitress, Brenda.  She delivered coffees to both of us and gave us a moment to peruse our menus.  Although we were expecting standard diner fare of pancakes and eggs, this menu was anything but standard, unless you consider shiitake mushrooms and tenderloin tips to be a typical part of a diner menu.

With so many tempting options, I chose a meal that I wouldn’t take the time to make at home, Grand Marnier French Toast.  This French toast was absolutely amazing.  Made with thick sliced When Pigs Fly Bakery Challah Bread, it was perfect in taste and texture.  The bread was well coated with batter without being wet, and the hint of orange was prominent enough to detect but  not enough to overpower the egg or syrup.  Served with a fresh fruit medley of grapes, watermelon, and honeydew melon (all fresh), I couldn’t have chosen a better breakfast.

My husband opted for the Phantom’s Best BBQ Omelette, which was filled with house-smoked pulled pork and cheddar cheese.  Served with homefries that obviously were made from scratch and toast, it was a hearty meal.  The omelette was overflowing with tender shredded pork that was surrounded by fluffy eggs.  The homefries were made of a tasty combination of potatoes, peppers, and onions.  For his toast my husband chose marble rye, which came as thick slices lightly buttered.  With a solid appetite, he managed to enjoy every bite of his meal.

In addition to having such fabulous menu options, this restaurant delivered excellent service.  Not only was our waitress attentive and friendly, but so was the rest of the staff.  This restaurant has mastered customer service.  All members of the waitstaff were personable and offered coffee refills, regardless to whether the patron was his or her patron or not.

Heading to Portsmouth on Friday, we had thought that our evening dining would have been the highlight of our trip.  As fate would have it, breakfast was the food highlight of this trip.  With the creative menu that this restaurant has, we will be returning to try a dinner or lunch and one of their dessert martinis!

  1. Matrixx says:

    This place is certainly not a diner. The menu has diner food entrees on it, but that’s as far as it goes. At $12 plus for stuff like meatloaf or liver and onions, the prices are far from diner prices. Had a Reuben sandwich. It didn’t taste right. The corned beef was sliced way too thick and was gristly; if it had any Russian or Thousand Island dressing on it, I didn’t find or taste it.
    It’s an old Howard Johnson’s done over somewhat to resemble a diner in a few respects and that’s about it. Food is mediocre at best; prices are high. There are much better options for getting a basic meal in the Portsmouth area at prices that are a lot lower.

  2. […] our last stay in Portsmouth, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Roundabout Diner before heading home.  This time we decided to try something new to us and chose The Friendly […]

  3. Dave Morrill says:

    My wife and I spent two days at the best western and ate at the roundabout 5 times .some of the best food ever. We also spent some time in your lounge Your employees are the greatest!!! We came up from Florida and are looking forward to coming back.Ps. your clam chowder is the best we would love to have the recipe

  4. Dave Morrill says:

    see above

  5. Cracker says:

    I went to the round about. Bought a tasty hamburger. Later that night I got really sick. And it Did not tast so good coming up

  6. Maggie A. says:

    I stopped in for some pie with friends over the weekend and ordered the banana cream pie ( a phantom gourmet favorite, apparently). I was very dissappointed! Banana cream pie without a graham cracker crust?! Blaspheme! Nutmeg on top?! Tasted odd with bananas. I’m a pie lover, but this was not a favorite.

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