Monroe Diner

Former Location
2833 Monroe Ave, Brighton NY, 14618
CLOSED (as of April 2012)

See Gone, But Not Forgotten

As of 4/25/2012, it has gone out of business.


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2010-03-04 13:45:48   Short version: Will try it for breakfast; will never go back for dinner. —URalum

2010-03-04 15:48:02   Went for lunch last week with a group of 5, after 50 minutes received my pastrami sandwich and home fries, sent it back and ended up not eating. The pastrami sandwich contained literately 50% fat to meat ratio, the meat itself was very tough to the point of unedible the home fries were cold. Others in our group didn't care for the food but they did eat it. They did do the right thing and took the meal off our bill.

We all agreed there are to many restaurants in Rochester to give it another chance... —TimHowes

2010-03-05 13:20:46   Stopped for lunch on a Saturday with my wife. Were seated promptly. After a 15 minute wait a server took our order. Ordered a Pastrami wrap with no mayo and it came with mustard. Sent it back and recieved a Pastrami sandwich and cold home fries when my food returned. Both of our Pastrami's were cut about 1/4 thick and had lots of fat. Our server was efficent and apologetic but based on our visit, I really see no reason to return. —almorinelli

2010-03-08 11:39:34   After reading the City Newspaper article about them, I expected a "different type" of diner. When I actually went there, the menu looked like every other diner's menu (except for maybe a few items). I was supposed to get chips with my meal, and what i got was a bag of Lays. Yeah. They did screw up one of our orders. Food was okay. Honestly, I don't know what to make of this place. Not sure I will return, except maybe for breakfast. —TippingPoint

2010-03-14 16:14:15   My wife and I tried it for brunch this morning. We went at 11:00 and had to wait about 20 minutes. Based on the city news article I expected more NYC Jewish style deli than what was offered. I did like the 1950's interior. I had the Brooklyn omelette (lox, red onion, and tomato) which was excellent. My wife had 2 eggs overeasy and a yogurt parfait. Although we enjoyed our meal the toast was cold and had too much butter on each slice. The service needs a lot of fine tuning. It took almost 30 minutes to clean off our table and get our check. From what I overheard from the tables around us, the service seemed to be a common discussion. I will wait awhile before I go back to see if they work out the kinks. —ScottHendler

2010-03-14 19:52:03   A friend of mine wanted to try out the new diner for breakfast this morning so we arrived there around 9:30am. We were seated promptly. The atmosphere was retro 50's style which was nice. The only complaint that we mentioned was the lighting was way to bright! They said that a dimmer switch was being worked on for that. The menu was your typcal diner style menu but had a nice variety of choices. I had the 3x3x3 breakfast. Blueberry pancakes were some of the best I have had, light and fluffy and full of fresh blueberries,scrambled eggs were cooked perfectly and the bacon was lean and tasty. My friend had scrambled eggs cooked perfect, homefries, which he said were ok, could be cooked a bit more and ham. Overall we were very satisfied with the whole experience. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive to any request we had. We will definetly be back again for another visit. —robjacobs

2010-03-14 22:24:11   Not cheap and not great. Just OK. —ThomasPawlik

2010-03-26 21:17:33   We recently had dinner at the Monroe Diner and really wished we'd gone somewhere else. I initially ordered the liver with bacon and onions and had to send it back. The liver was burnt on one side and the mashed potatoes, which were clearly made from a box, were cold. Instead, I ordered a fish fry which had to be the worst fish fry I've ever had. I didn't think fish fry could be screwed up but this wasn't very good. My friends that ordered the broiled versions were equally bad. Plus the vegetables that came with our meals were awful. Given that the service was very slow and the food incredibly mediocre, we won't ever be coming back. I wish we'd read the rocwiki reviews before coming here. The only positive aspect was that our waitress took off my meal that I had to send back —MikeWu

2010-03-27 09:33:13   Short version (redux): Why are people going here ... even for breakfast? Because they're staying at the Motel across the parking lot and don't know any better. What were we thinking subjecting ourselves to this place again? Service, food, you name it, it's bad—except the upholstery. (Yes, the only good thing in there.) If you're expecting CCFT like the pic in City, forget it. (And, yes, this is the short version.) —URalum

2010-03-28 00:26:53   Pancakes and Eggs were tasty. We also enjoyed the fried Zuccini. I was not a fan of their Philly Sandwich (It could use some more flavor and felt that the meat should be chopped up), but did enjoy their Home Fries. I would definitely try them again! —jasperalmond

2010-04-01 12:45:25   I do not like giving such horrible reviews for restaurants because I don't want to unduly hurt their business. However, my recent experience at this place was terrible. Here's the story: we showed up on Friday evening at about 6:20 and were seated immediately. It was pretty full, but not packed. It took our waitress over 15 minutes to take our drink order. After that, it took another 10 minutes for her to return with them and to take our dinner order. We ordered the potato pancakes and corned beef sandwiches. We then proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, after nearly an hour (no joke), the waitress came over to apologize because the kitchen is backed up. She leaves once again. As I look around me, I notice that no one in the restaurant has any food. About 15 more minutes go by and the waitress returns to tell me that they have run out of the potato pancakes and that I should pick something else. Really? So, in the hour and 45 minutes I sat there, my food hadn't even started cooking. This is unacceptable. We just left and had dinner elsewhere. The food may have been great, but I'll never know because I am never going back. The service was awful. —KatyHanson

2010-04-24 22:45:15   My wife and I went here tonight after going cycling in Mendon Ponds. We were super hungry on the drive home, and craving burgers. The decor is 50's diner-style, a popular trend these days, apparently. We were seated quickly, the place was busy, but not full. I'm willing to bet that both the service and the food have improved since many of these reviews were posted. We saw some of the food come past us to other tables, both dinners and desserts, and everything looked great. We both ordered cheeseburgers, which were juicy, cooked approximately to order (rare and medium rare, which actually turned out to be medium rare and medium, like most restaurants), and were garnished with a generous sprig of green leaf lettuce and a slice of tomoto (and I got an extra pickle spear to my wife's chagrin). I also ordered a caesar salad that was quite good - it was made with homemade croutons (probably too many of them), and the dressing tasted homemade, as well (at the least it wasn't the creamy jarred dreck that drenches most "caesars"). We shared a chocolate milkshake, which was served diner-style in a tall glass with the mixing cup on the side. The service for dinner was a BIT slow, but not slow enough to be unreasonable.

My main complaints - they don't have a liquor license, so you can't get a beer with dinner, oh well. But more annoying was the fact that they use a jukebox for music, and it has some pretty inappropriate tunes for the venue. One of our neighbors decided to play two tracks off of "Appetite for Destruction" by GnR at dinner-time, and it was LOUD. Thankfully, after the second song started ("Sweet Child O' Mine" if you need to know), the staff turned down the volume. But come on, this isn't a pool hall, there's elderly women eating meatloaf, either stock the box with appropriate tunes, or get rid of it. The soundless TV's showing Nancy Grace and Cop Drama crap are kind of annoying too. I don't need to be overloaded with electronic stimuli while I eat my meal. —ErikReinert

2010-06-23 13:29:12   Very sad to see another failure at this location. I have never commented on a restaurant on a website. We went for dinner in April after hearing about the "Real Pastrami Sandwich on real Jewish Rye". After waiting 10 minutes for service, we ordered the pastrami and also one of my favorite diner meals- liver and onions plus beverages, including an iced tea and hot coffee. Waitress came back long after with coffee that was very, very burnt and diet soda(!?) When food came, we looked at the pastrami and it was funny shaped chunks of pastrami, cold, and it was on soft, "Beefsteak" soft rye that is like wonder bread with food coloring, completely soggy. I noticed that my plate for the liver and onions was cold-but still took a bite. The liver was literally brown on the outside and cold (not cool or lukewarm—COLD!" as if they had barely seared it that morning on outside and then put it in the fridge for later, but forgot to cook it before the waitress brought it out. I am sorry to say I immediately gagged, stood up and we left after telling them it was the worst restaurant we have ever visited. I give it until July 15th before closing. —dorothydrahzal

2010-08-23 15:54:09   My daughter hates food. She doesn’t eat meat. She avoids most veggies. If she could get away with eating a gummy vitamin in place of actual food, she would. When I try to imagine the mastermind behind the Monroe Diner, all I can think of is her. Seriously, if the owners had devoted even half as much interest into creating food that tasted good as it did in creating its kitschy 50s decor, this would be a very different review.

We stopped by yesterday afternoon for some brunch. Contrary to the hours listed above, they are currently opened on Sundays until 3pm. This appears to be part of their “Summer Schedule." Since they don’t list their hours on their website, if you feel a strong need to go, you might want to call to confirm they’re open.

The service is less than stellar. We were greeted promptly and the hostess attempted to seat us at an unpleasant little table in the middle of the room. Seeing as there numerous booths available, I requested a booth instead. We were then seated at a booth with dirty seats and a sticky table. Having to brush off my seat doesn’t excite me much, but I quickly pushed this aside when I saw the menu.

Monroe Diner serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day and the menu had some tantalizing choices. Banana pancakes won me over, so I ordered the banana strawberry pancakes and scrambled eggs. My boyfriend got the western omelet with home fries, toast and a short stack of blueberry pancakes. When the food was delivered to our table, it was dropped off so quickly we couldn’t remind our server that we didn’t have silverware. I attempted to get her attention but it didn’t work, so I had to get some myself. We thought maybe she would stop by again as she also failed to drop off any syrup. However, when we finished the non-pancake portion of our meal and still were without syrup, we were once again forced to take matters into our own hands.

I have never seen eggs or an omelet look so flat and taste so meh. The home fries, perhaps, were the highlight of the meal as they had the same mediocre taste consistent with most other places. (Yep, I just gave them props for being on par with Denny’s. That’s the constructive part of this criticism.) The toast came out with a packet of orange marmalade. I have never seen toast served without some sort of selection of toast accoutrement.

The pancakes managed to win for worst food item ordered. I imagined the banana pancakes would be served James Brown style – with the bananas actually IN the pancakes. Similarly, my boyfriend expected actual blueberry pancakes. Alas, I got plain pancakes with brown banana slices and strawberries on top. His were topped with thawed blueberries. We were hoping for real maple syrup which is often offered for an additional charge. Since we never had a chance to discuss syrup with our server, we’ll never know if it is available. However, what they do provide could barely be called syrup. It tasted like it was diluted with massive amounts of water. The “syrup” was so watery it actually poured from the squeeze bottle without even the slightest squeeze.

After getting our meal, the only interaction we had from our server was when she gave us the bill. This sat, with the credit card, on the table for at least 15 minutes until we realized that the same degree of service went into accepting our payment as it did for the rest of the meal. Oh well, at least they are consistent. Thus, we were forced to find enough cash to pay the bill and finally walk away from a very unfortunate foodie adventure. —ChristineH

2010-09-29 13:35:39   First time visit; had lunch there today, and had a totally average experience. Our waitress was new, but she was being helped by a more experience staffer. Entrees were fine (their version of the garbage plate, and a stuffed french toast sandwich) and we were in and out in 45 minutes. Likely to return again if the lunch work bunch wants diner fare. —JBeez

2010-10-13 14:18:11   Stopped by there last night around 8 - it was empty, but as I found out when I was leaving, they have odd hours for a diner and close very early at 8 PM. I really wanted to like this place. The decor is great, but the corned beef sandwich I had was small, of middling quality, and not inexpensive. The fries were Ore-Idas. Too bad... —SargtGrumbles

2010-12-13 15:13:27   We ate here a few weeks ago on Thursday the 18th of November, and I was so unimpressed. My Reuben was totally missing its Thousand Island dressing (but I didn't complain, figuring that the fewer calories were healthier), and what was left of the sandwich was blah. The meat was dry, and the sauerkraut was nothing to write home about. My partner's Philly cheesesteak was similarly incomplete and blah, missing the onions. Weird! I doubt seriously we will be back with so many other great places to eat in Rochester. —KatieSchmitz

2011-01-13 22:03:36   My (two) experiences have been similar to many of the other comments here. Blah. Blah service, blah food, blah menu offerings. Not worth the trouble. —RachaelT

2011-02-17 13:34:49   HORRIBLE SERVICE! I went in for lunch at 11:55am. Food was delivered to my table at about 12:22pm. The CHECK finally arrived at 1:08pm. I waited longer for the check than the food which is a prime example of the BAD service. AVOID THIS PLACE! —BrianMural

2011-06-26 13:04:44   Why didn't I read these reviews?? On our way to charbroil decided to give this place a try. To keep it short, bad attitude from staff, bad coffee, messed up order, worst tasting food ever, nobody checked back with us. Threw 15 bucks on the table (which we should not have done since the food was inedible) and left. First time I have ever left a restaurant. This place deserves to go out of business, or at least have some type of inspection done. Feel sick just thinking about it. —sieats

2011-07-06 10:32:38   very disappointing experience....great look to the place....but after we were seated, the waiter brought waters and said he would be back to take our order...after almost 10 minutes, i wandered back and noticed him on his cell was unbelievable...i spoke to another waitress and she said she would speak to him when he finished his call ( he related to the owner?? you can't take our order instead???) my wife and i were with our young children and the "atmosphere" wasnt making them forget they were hungry! and then, when we asked if the old fashioned jukebox was working, we were met with giggles and "nope!" ....finally, the waiter came back to take our order with no apologies (just a scream back to the other waitress something like "i've been trying for weeks to get in touch with him!!")

2011-07-15 21:03:27 If you go here after reading these reviews, you need your head examined. We went tonight and had one of the very worst meals. My son ordered mozzarella sticks to start and my husband the clam chowder. Both were salty beyond belief. The mozz sticks came with a marinara sauce that looked and tasted terrrible. For our main dish, Hubby and I both had OK versions of chicken salad. My son ordered chicken fingers. When they came, they were dripping with oil and were not even crispy. He attempted to douse them with ketchup which was a miserable failure because the ketchup itself was inedible! I asked the server what it was and he said he didn't know, something from JMS Foods or J & S Foods? Folks, pay for Heinz, it's not that much more expensive! We sent the chicken fingers back and bolted. Total bill was close to $40 with tip. Speaking of tip, why we left one, I don't know. I mentioned to the waitress that I dropped my napkin. She said she'd be back with another but never came back. Never asked us if we wanted soda refills or how we were doing. Completely forgot to put in our "to-go" order for the child at home. Left the bill sitting on the table with our credit card for over 10 minutes. Like others said, I have never left a bad review, but if this is the best these people can do, they should close down.....soon....and let someone come in who thinks a restaurant should serve food that doesn't ALL come from Sysco. —BrightonResident

2011-07-21 20:08:15   Truly disappointing... I really, REALLY wanted to like this place...

Unfortunately, my girlfriends burger was clearly frozen, then cooked and left to sit with her fries (which, sadly, were also obviously from a bag). As some below have described, my corned beef sandwich had TONS of fat on it, yet it was the toughest corned beef I've ever had in my life. The store-bought rye bread only compounded the issue, turning into a soaking mess of fat and tough meat. How could a sandwich with 3/4 of a pound of low-grade beef possibly cost $11.99???

This place had all the potential to be a Rochester land, but tragically it falls short... $5,000 in renovations for some neon and new lighting, a new menu with appropriately priced cuisine, and more hours of operation (seriously, a diner that closes at 8 pm?) would make a world of difference.

At the end of the meal, I couldn't help but agree with the waitress when she said, "You didn't eat the best part... the pickle." —RyanFromTheRoc

2011-10-21 09:52:45   had breakfast there just onetime. Will not return. Eggs not cooked right and food was cold at 6am. Service was bad and server not friendly. Steer clear of this place!!!!!!!! —margaretjackson

2012-11-19 19:33:15   Neon sign outside says "Wood Fired Pizza" —thomaspawlik