Daddy's City Diner in Marina is the reincarnation of Seaside's City Diner, a much beloved short order cooking institution. It moved to Marina about three years ago to a much larger location in a double storefront and now it's easier to get a table during busy hours. Same family runs it, same cooks, and friendly service, I'm told. My first time was a year ago, when we dropped in here for lunch but quickly shifted when we saw the larger breakfast meal served all day. The breakfast offering includes American country breakfast classics and also Hawaiian specialties (loco moco, spam, linguica), Filipino breakfast (tocino, longanisa, fried rice), Mexican (chorizo, fajitas), and local items such as calamari and artichokes. Where to begin?
Since it was actually lunch time, we tried out a couple appetizers from the table top menu card to share.
Shanghai lumpia, $5.25 for 12, were some of the hugest of this smallest of Filipino egg rolls I've come across. But turned out, mostly because they were wrapped rather loosely. Somewhat plain tasting filling, but fried cleanly and the sweet chili dipping sauce can improve almost anything.
Calamari, $7.95, looked a bit dark, however, no need to worry, these were tender and sweet inside. We liked that they included the tentacles. And the tartar sauce was first rate though I preferred just a squeeze of lemon on mine. The dinner menu offers a different prep, breaded calamari strips for a change of pace.
Loco moco, $10.95, offers a 10 ounce hamburger steak with three eggs, pearly steamed rice, and a velvety housemade brown gravy. Better than in the islands.
From the Value meal selections, the Chorizo and egg burrito with excellent country potatoes, $5.95, got the nod of approval from the friend that ordered it.
For me, the house specialty and also on the value meal deal, SOS over a biscuit, $4.95, for a huge serving of sausage and hamburger meat in a white cream gravy. While I'll go for the country potatoes as a base after seeing them on another plate instead of the so-so biscuit, the meaty gravy was marvelous. A dash of hot sauce brought it all home.
For Mom, one of the Senior breakfast specials, #3, includes a half waffle, one agg and two strips of bacon, $6.25. She was happy with her meal.
Daddy's City Diner has something for everyone. We got a lot of good, hearty food for our buck. The ingredients were not fancy, yet they're fresh and the execution of the short-order cooking was spot on. I was pleased to see that the art is alive and well in this part of the Monterey Peninsula.
Daddy's City Diner
265 Reservation Rd
Marina, CA 93933
Monday and Tuesday, 7am to 2:30pm
Wednesday to Friday, 7am to 7:30pm
Saturday and Sunday, 7am to 5pm