I was thinking that Junior’s Diner, a breakfast and lunch place in Audubon Park, had been there forever. But I was reminded that it has only been Junior’s since late 2006. Before that it was Roger’s Diner. Roger who, I couldn’t say, but then I never knew who Junior was, either.
Now there’s been another change at the small storefront space on Corrine Drive at Winter Park Avenue. It’s still called Junior’s Diner but “& Mexican Grill” has been added to the sign out front. And it’s not just a breakfast and lunch spot anymore, it serves dinner as well. And, as you can probably guess, Mexican dishes have been added to the menu.
Oddly, though, the Mexican menu doesn’t kick in until lunchtime. Breakfast is still classic diner fare, including pancakes, waffles and biscuits with sausage gravy. However, huevos rancheros, the Mexican dish of eggs and refried beans on tortillas, isn’t served until after 11 a.m.
I found this out the first time I set out to try Junior’s Diner & Mexican Grill for breakfast and prechecked the menus on the restaurant’s website (where, I should mention, it says, “A good breakfast is the best way to end the day.” It also says that lunch and dinner are the best ways to end a day.) I had my heart set on some of those huevos, but when I found they weren’t available until later, I decided not to dine there that day.
When I finally returned, recently, I looked over all the enticing Mexican options and settled on chilaquiles & huevos, one of my gloppy favorites. Here, the base of the dish is fried corn chips doused in a salsa that turns them a deliciously soggy state. In theory, you may have either salsa verde or salsa roja, but I wasn’t asked – I was served the salsa verde. The chips were topped by two -over-easy eggs, shredded chicken meat, a dollop of sour cream and half a Haas avocado. Just mix it all together and life doesn’t get much better.
I even added some of the red salsa that came with a basket of chips, which was a much better use for the pulpy dip.
The only changes to the interior that I could discern are the inevitable plexiglass dividers between boothbacks. They are also on the breakfast bar (which at different points in the day could also be a lunch bar or dinner bar). If you sit there you might feel as if you’re dining at a bank teller’s window.