A Diner in Red Deer? How could you not go, if not for the novelty effect!
My wife and I decided to have lunch at Queen’s Diner on a weekday. It is only open for breakfast and lunch from Mondays to Saturdays so keep that in mind when you make the trip out.
Queen’s Diner is located in an industrial area on the western edge of Red Deer. When you travel west on 67 Street/David Thompson Highway, you take a right at the intersection immediately after the Highway 2 overpass (where Fas Gas Plus is located). You will have to travel a bit before you will find Queen’s Diner.
I actually drove to Queen’s Diner once before on a Sunday and discovered that they were closed.
Queen’s Diner fits right in with the surrounding – nothing like good, hearty meals for the tough, hard-working guys in the area. My only wish was that it was more visible from a main highway so that traffic could be driven in.
I love the phone booth out front. It completes the diner look and adds to the old school charm.
I found out from a co-worker that the owner of the gas station/antique car garage next door was the same owner. He also owns the Starlite Diner Car in Bowden.
Doing a little research, I found a youtube video with the owner Scott Shaw discussing his thoughts on the conceptualization of Queen’s Diner.
You can also see some photos of the diner car construction car at Prairie City Diners. It appears that the owner and a partnering company are trying to create a diner manufacturing company. Always good to have job opportunities for Canadians. Kudos to him.
For more information, Red Deer Advocate wrote an article back when Queen’s Diner was about to open.
The interior was exactly as you would imagine a diner to be, minus the dirtiness. In fact, Queen’s diner looked clean and tidy.
I especially appreciated the attention to detail from the wall decor to the rack of condiments on the side.
When we arrived, it was before 11 AM (Queen’s Diner serves breakfast daily till 11 AM) so my wife decided to have a breakfast dish. She ordered the 3 French Toast.
When the dish arrived, it was plated as nicely as one can do with 3 pieces of toast. The french toast was thinner than typical, appearing more like regular toast. Like toast, it was also on the drier side.
The batter was thin which contributed to the crispier texture, but reduced the savoriness.
Maple syrup and butter was served on the side which helped balance the drier texture.
As this is a diner, I simply had to try a burger. All the burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mayo, and mustard. You also get a choice of either soup, tossed/caesar salad, french fries or onion rings on the side.
After looking at all the options, I decided to order the Princess Burger which is basically the one-patty version of the Queen’s Special. The burger is piled with bacon, mushrooms, cheddar and swiss cheese. As for sides, I chose fries, of course.
It was a plateful of food and colorful too. It helped that the burger was served open-faced. I took a moment to take it all in as there was so much present.
The first thing that caught my eye was the bacon and the cheese. The bacon held its own structure which meant it was crispy and not limpy. I expect no less from a diner. No limpy, soggy bacons allowed. Indeed, it was crispy and contributed a nice salty blast to the burger. I only wished that they added more bacon.
The cheese was literally melted all over the burger. I forget how beautiful that looks. Again, high expectations for a diner and they scored. The combination of swiss and cheddar cheese nailed the savoriness and made the princess burger very filling and satisfying.
The beef patty did not have grill marks, but definitely had the diner burger taste as it was properly cooked on the flattop grill. It tasted beefy, yet with the greasy tone you only get from a experienced flattop grill.
The vegetables were fresh and vibrant which lightened the burger, but was outweigh by the sizeable amount of mayo. This was all balanced out by a drier, thicker bun which was also able to handle the wetter ingredients.
Queen’s Diner did the diner burger proud. It packed the punch and quenches your hunger for hours. I ended up doggy-bagging half the burger.
As for the generous helping of fries, they matched quantity with quality. They tasted like double-fried fries and completed the diner experience.
Don’t leave Queen’s Diner without trying the burger and fries!