The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a diner this way: diner (noun), Chiefly U.S. : a small, informal, and inexpensive restaurant that looks like a railroad car; a roadside diner.
While this may fit Max’s Table in Osprey to a “tee,” it certainly doesn’t go nearly far enough. Max’s puts the dine in diner.
Open for breakfast and lunch for about 6 months now, chef/owner Dimitri Xinidis has completely remodeled the old, ramshackle M & D Diner that was there for years. I used to drive past the restaurant while it was being renovated, well before it opened. It wasn’t unusual to see someone peeking in the front door to see if they were open yet. I suspected it would be mobbed when they opened, and I wasn’t wrong. From the day Max’s Table opened that once empty parking lot has been consistently full, no matter when you stop by.
The restaurant had a total renovation, featuring a dining room with a comfortable, contemporary design, seating at the counter overlooking the kitchen pass through window, as well as al fresco seating on the covered side porch. The ambiance is lively, light and bright and the servers work like Energizer Bunnies, swiftly refilling coffee, refreshing ice tea, taking and delivering orders to each table.
Having eaten there several times now, it’s the food that keeps us coming back, (Ok, the food, and the service, and the prices.) The menu offers something for absolutely everyone, with numerous nods to the chef’s Greek heritage. On the most recent visit, Jill and I stopped by for a late lunch, and were cheerfully greeted and seated promptly.
Uncharacteristically, I made up my mind almost immediately and decided on one of STAVI’s Tacos – the Ancho Marinated Chicken version. Jill took a moment more, and chose that classic American lunch dish, the Patty Melt. Our enthusiastic server was clearly proud of the menu offerings when she took the order, and even more so when the food arrived a short time later. “You’ll be sooo glad you ordered that,” she commented to Jill. “I love the Patty Melt here!”
My taco was both refreshing and fresh, with the earthiness of the ancho chili chicken balanced with the crispy cabbage slaw, the nice acid and heat from the chipotle lime crema, and crumbled feta topping. Have I ever mentioned that I love cilantro? There was plenty here to love about this dish. Jill and I tasted each other’s dish, and she commented on how nicely grilled the flour tortilla was — just a hint of grill marks, leaving a crispy crust and a soft and pliable interior that hugs the ingredients. It came with a side of charred tomato salsa, which offered a robust flavor that was quite addictive! Let’s just say I’m probably as enthusiastic about the Stavi Taco as our server is about the Patty Melt!
One look at Jill’s Patty Melt, and it just speaks satisfying lunch! The golden brown toasted marble rye held a huge, juicy beef patty, with melted cheddar and swiss oozing out of the edges. Caramelized onions, and mushrooms, plus a creamy horseradish create a hearty, full flavored sandwich that almost impossible to stop eating. Crispy, light brown fries are always a great indication that the kitchen cares about the oil that they cooked with, and these fries passed with flying, golden brown colors as well. You can tasted the enthusiasm in this sandwich!
Previous yummy visits have included my ordering Homemade Corned Beef Hash and eggs served your way (I chose sunny side up) with tasty grilled potatoes cooked with caramelized onions and peppers. Although it was a bit indulgent, I’d also ordered a side of Max’s Table’s Cheesy Grits, which were quite delicious, and worth taking an order home!
As mentioned earlier, there are a few Greek items on the menu, and who could resist the Big Greek Gyro? Certainly not Jill! It was the first meal she’d ordered at Max’s Table, selected after another guest told us he’d had at least a half dozen in the last few months. Served with your choice of sides, Jill chose a beautiful orzo pasta salad bursting with flavors of onion, peppers, parmesan cheese and almonds and dressed with a pesto-like sauce. The gyro featured loads of lamb, spiced brilliantly, with an amazingly fresh tzatziki sauce that Jill couldn’t get enough of. “There’s no doubt that is real-deal Greek cuisine coming out of that kitchen,” she said. “Wow!”
Yet another lunch visit had me enthralled with the Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with its crushed walnuts, dried cranberries, and citrus honey vinaigrette. A lunch this light, flavorful and healthy will help you feel uplifted for the rest of the day!
I have to give a nod to some of the cute signage at Max’s Table. My favorite, shown below, is my new mantra!
I swear, everything we’ve ordered at Max’s Table gives your taste buds a hug, and every second glance at the menu gives you multiple reasons to come back very soon.
Hmmm, those Lemon Ricotta Pancakes sound so good…