The Short Course
To Avoid a Wait: Visit during an off-peak time or call ahead.
Noise Level: Slightly loud.
Bathroom Amenities: Clean (no changing table in women’s restroom).
High Chairs: Yes.
Kids Menu: Yes!
Anything Healthy for Kids: Several healthy sides are available including applesauce, fruit cup and a daily vegetable.
Food Allergy Concerns: Speak with your server about specific allergy concerns.
There’s something endlessly heartwarming about walking into a local restaurant and seeing it buzzing with familiar faces chatting, utensils clattering and servers winding their way around tables with plates piled with food. Walking into the Pilgrim Restaurant presented that experience when we visited early one Saturday morning.
The Pilgrim is instantly recognizable by its bright yellow A-frame building with “FOOD” clearly written across its tall roof. On the day we visited, cars and trucks filled the wraparound parking lot (always a good sign!) when the kids and I hopped out to grab a table. Inside the classic diner, a long counter dotted with stools lined one side of the dining area, with servers racing behind it to grab plates of food or a fresh pot of coffee. Vintage chandeliers lit the room below the huge A-frame ceiling. Clever diner or coffee-themed signs dot the walls. A second room holds additional tables and booths (nearly all of which were full). We searched for a table large enough for the five of us and spotted an empty one.
Cozy atmosphere, classic diner meals
After finding a fifth chair and cozying up to each other, we were promptly greeted by a server who took our drink orders and returned moments later with sturdy plastic cups (with lids!) for the kids’ water and two mugs of coffee for the parents. Simple paper placemats on the table doubled as the menu, where a huge array of options lay before us. Biscuits and gravy. French toast, pancakes and waffles. Another section listed smaller, healthy meals like grapefruit or a simple bagel with cream cheese. And, of course, there were eggs and an impressive variety of omelets. A large selection of sides included more unique options such as fried mush, breakfast steak and corn beef hash (still kicking myself for not trying that!).
The children’s menu offered smaller portions of standard diner food like scrambled eggs, silver dollar pancakes, and French toast plus bacon and sausage. And while the Pilgrim clearly does a great breakfast, the menu also offered a large variety of classic sandwiches and dinners plus a salad bar and an assortment of fried veggie treats, usually seen only at a county fair. For additional variety, the Pilgirm offers daily breakfast and lunch specials plus a soup of the day (and Friday is an all you can eat fish fry!).
Quick service and good food
We quickly placed an order and within minutes it arrived at our table. The girls, 7-year-old Josephine and 5-year-old Mae, beamed with appreciation for their classic, golden brown waffles. Doused with butter and syrup, they balanced that sweetness with strips of crispy bacon (then begged for sausage from my husband, Jeremy). Our 9-year-old son, Leland, ordered sausage and French toast which he described as “fluffy,” “amazing” and “easy to cut” (I suppose that is an important attribute for a kid!). Jeremy tested the Pilgrim by ordering two eggs over medium, sausage and hash browns smothered in sausage gravy. I selected a veggie omelet, biscuit and hash browns. As Jeremy and I tasted our meals, we both felt the hash browns were a touch undercooked. The edges of mine were crispy and beautifully browned, but we both agreed that they needed a few more minutes. Then again, it occurred to me later that we usually order our hash browns extra crispy so it was quite possibly a matter of personal taste! Jeremy enjoyed the traditional diner fare. My veggie omelet was colorful and bursting with flavor thanks to the mushrooms, red and green peppers, onions and potatoes, with a touch of American cheese.
Perfect for busy families
Throughout our meal, a steady stream of guests came and went. Our coffee was regularly refilled. The mood was cheerful as servers greeted their regulars and friends hugged. Elderly couples sat quietly, at ease and content. Larger tables chattered loudly (which was fine since my kiddos have only one volume – loud!). Waitresses snaked their way among the tables, deftly picking up empty plates and cups. And while the service was incredibly efficient, we never felt rushed. Rather, we were treated just the way you want to be treated at a hometown diner – like a regular. And for that (plus the eggs benedict, corned beef hash and fried cauliflower) we will definitely be back!
Pilgrim Restaurant | 1505 W. Main Cross St.
419-422-7022 | “Pilgrim Restaurant” on Facebook
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: 6am-2pm
Wednesday and Friday: 6am-9pm