Adjacent to the University of Toledo campus, the Original Rick's City Diner couldn't be in a better location.
During our visits, Rick's had a diverse crowd -- young and old and from all walks of life -- and served up venerable diner food. The big windows at the front of the restaurant offer a pretty view of Ottawa Park, as the second and third holes of the golf course are right across Bancroft Street. And with exposed black beams above, contemporary art on the walls, and jazz on the radio, the diner was the perfect spot for a fine breakfast.
The blueberry pancakes ($6.70) were rich, while still being the fluffy pancakes you expect at a diner. The whole blueberries mixed into the batter had a nice balance of sweet and tart. The option to add a side of sausage was a good one, as these patties had a little bit of a kick at the end that was a nice counter to the sweet pancakes and syrup on the plate. The meal was too big to finish.
THE ORIGINAL RICK'S CITY DINER * * *
Address: 2633 West Bancroft St.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2 pm. Sunday. Reservations are accepted.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average price: $
Credit cards: Dis, MC, V.
Web site: No, but there is a Facebook page.
The cinnamon walnut waffles ($6.70) felt like a proper weekend indulgence, almost like having a treat at a county fair. The walnuts didn't let the cinnamon waffles get too sweet and the cinnamon didn't let the waffles make it seem too heavy. This menu item definitely will be revisited. Also, the ham side was big and a bit salty (but what ham isn't?).
There was much to like about the Italian beef sandwich ($7.95). The beef was tender and juicy, a thicker cut. The bun was great because it was firm enough to support the beef juices without turning into mush, and it had a tasty, crunchy crust. It was served with a tangy, spicy, and crunchy giardiniera, which is hot peppers, carrots, and onions in vinegar. The fries tasted homemade and were thick with a savory seasoning.
There are things you expect with a Monte Cristo sandwich ($6.50) and there are things you don't. You expect some sort of jelly dipping sauce, and none was provided or detailed on the menu. And you expect the sandwich to be fried, not just the bread. That said, Rick's succeeded because it's kind of hard to mess up ham, turkey, and cheese. Also, there are plenty of jelly packets on the table for those who feel like improvising.
The chicken and noodle soup (cup, $2.50) was way more chicken than noodle, and it's hard to complain about that. It was very good.
The wait staff was attentive during both visits, and general manager Rick Salem could be seen visiting with customers in the dining room. It's that kind of place.
Contact Bill of Fare at: firstname.lastname@example.org