The Ugly Mug Diner in Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts may be known as "Witch City" due to its horrific historic past as the site of the worst case of mass hysteria ever in Colonial America which led to the deaths of over 20 people, but there's a lot more to this Massachusetts North Shore destination than the Salem Witch Trials including a lot of great places to eat. As many times as I've eaten in Salem - and it's been a lot! - I have never once had a bad meal in a wide variety of restaurants. Not. Even. Once. 

During one of my many wanderings to Salem, my Distracted Sidekick and I decided to check out the Ugly Mug Diner as even though I am an admitted classic diner snob, I'm never adverse to trying out a diner that isn't housed in a historic dining car made by the Worcester Lunch Car Company or Fodero or Jerry O'Mahony or Kullman or … well, you get the picture! Out of all the possibilities laid before us in Salem, the Ugly Mug Diner had two things going for it that made me decide it was the perfect spot for a late breakfast - 1) it was a very short walk from The Merchant where we were staying and 2) they had something on the menu that's a particular favorite of mine and darned hard to find in too many other diners.  

Located at 122 Washington Street, the self-proclaimed "sassy and irreverent diner" has been a Salem foodie favorite ever since it first opened back in April of 2014. Inside you'll not just find quite the collection of ugly mugs from which to sip your drink but also a whole lotta "Peace, Love & Waffles" served up from 8 am to 2 pm, 7 days a week.  

If you're a fan of waffles, you might want to sink your teeth into an order of This Ain't No Chicken & Waffles featuring duck confit and candied pecans atop a waffle served with a bourbon maple syrup reduction or maybe the Elvis Waffles with chunks of peanut butter cups and topped with bacon, banana and whipped cream. If you totally enjoy peace & love but waffles just aren't your thing, there's an impressive array of other breakfast and brunch offerings ranging from egg breakfasts to pancakes with all sorts of good stuff in between. 

Along with their really good food, the Ugly Mug Diner has a very impressive drink selection to wash it all down with. Choose from their special espresso drinks, chai, tea, regular coffee, hot cocoa, house-made classic sodas, New York egg creams, beer cocktails, mimosas and more! 

Not the best photo in the world but I chose a Salted Caramel Mocha made with mocha & caramel syrup topped with a drizzle of caramel & a dust of salt. Good stuff! As for the mug it came in, not incredibly ugly but definitely not posh either! 

Speaking of coffee (which we were!), take a look at those lights above the counter. Pretty cool, huh? Best adaptive reuse of old coffeepots ever! 

So … what was on the menu that made me want to stop in? Scotch Eggs! I first tried this dish when I was visiting my friend Claire over in the UK and had yet to master making them myself when I saw that the Ugly Mug Diner had them. For those not familiar with the dish, it's a boiled egg wrapped around into the shape of a ball by sausage (the Ugly Mug makes their own sausage just FYI) then breaded and fried. At the Ugly Mug they top theirs with their house-recipe Dijonnaise sauce and they are oh so good! Just like being back in the UK minus the lousy dollars to pounds conversion rate!

As I had promised to share my Scotch Egg with my Distracted Sidekick, I also ordered an omelet which came with home fries and toast though I chose a fresh-baked biscuit instead because toast is just toast but a fresh-baked biscuit is awesome! As you can see by the edges dangling over the side of the plate, the omelet was huge! I certainly wasn't going to be leaving hungry! 

The breakfast order for my Distracted Sidekick came from the Benedict Batch section of the menu which appeals to not just lovers of  Eggs Benedict but to fans of actor Benedict Cumberbatch also! 

This is the Lox Benedict but it's missing the pink pickled onions on top as the DS is totally not a fan of onions no matter how cute they may look! They do, however, like sweet potatoes so they chose that particular Home Fries option. Somewhere under that mass of lox, poached eggs, house-recipe Hollandaise sauce and capers is an English Muffin serving as the stage for this particular production but you'd never know it until you dug in! 

In addition to all of the great options that they have on their menu, the Ugly Mug Diner offers daily specials which you can find written on the wall to the side of the counter. Unless things have changed since I've been there, I'm pretty sure that you can also buy yourself an Ugly Mug Diner t-shirt should you wish to proclaim your solidarity with their "Peace, Love & Waffles" philosophy of life! 

All in all, the Ugly Mug Diner is a great little diner in a city that has more than its fair share of places to eat so the next time you find yourself in Salem, Massachusetts - whether it be for their annual Haunted Happenings celebration or a visit to the absolutely phenomenal Peabody Essex Museum - be sure to wander in and order something delicious like their Scotch Eggs as trust me, they are most definitely delicious and hard to find elsewhere! 


Popular posts from this blog

Triple-Sheeting Defined

The Tale of Indian Leap at Yantic Falls in Norwich

A Virtual Visit to Salem's House of the Seven Gables - Part Two, The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion

The Hawthorne Hotel's "Haunted" Room #325 - The Set-Up

The Omni Mount Washington Resort: Historically Comfortable Elegance in New Hampshire's White Mountains