The Chronicle’s new food critic Jessi Cape visited Phoebe’s Diner, and per usual her visits (and her review) had ups and downs. Though noting the restaurant is pleasant, thanks to friendly service and cozy decor, her first main complaint is that the online menu differed from the actual offerings at the restaurant, leading to a few disappointments.
Cape notes that chef Camden Stuerzenberger tends to stick to “hearty, carnivorous dishes;” for the most part, those were home runs. She enjoyed the thick-cut, pan-seared ham on the Phoebe's Benedict, and bacon in the eggs plate, as well as the mimosas with fresh fruit add-ins like strawberry and lemon.
The deep-fried egg was a favorite, but gave glimpses of quibbles to come:
Another home run is the Cheeky Monkey ($8). Described as a six-minute egg wrapped in sausage, potatoes, and smoked cheddar, battered and deep-fried to a golden brown, and placed atop a pool of zesty sage sausage gravy, it turned out to be more of a seven-minute egg (with less yolky ooze than anticipated), though still devourable.
On the negative side, Cape thought the chorizo sope “needs to be put down,” as “none of [the ingredients] talked to each other.” She also detested the smoked beets (“Why?”) that snuck their way into two dishes.
Despite these initial falters, Cape seems confident that Phoebe’s Diner will eventually come into its own.
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