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Made from Scratch; The Downtown Diner

The Downtown Diner in Fort Saskatchewan was enthusiastically recommended to me by friends when they found out that I was a food blogger. I had mentioned that one of my favorite finds, the Redline Diner had closed its doors for business.

I grew up in the era where it was still possible to pull up to the Drive In restaurant and have your server come out on roller skates to take your order. When your food came, it was on a tray that clipped to your window glass. The burgers were always a tasty treat and the root beer so frosty and delicious. Those were the days!

The Downtown Diner is not a Drive In, nor do the servers come to your table in roller skates… but it is the 50’s style decor, and the food will send you home with fond memories. There are no reservations here, and the Diner is very busy so be patient and be prepared for a little bit of a wait.

Keith is the mastermind behind the creative dishes that appear on the menu. He likes for everything to be made from scratch, and he is very particular about the quality of the food that gets to the customer. He works a lot of long days to share his talent with his patrons. Lori, his lovely wife takes care of the social media end of things. She is still new to the Twitterverse, so please be patient with her!

The passion in the food and the “made from scratch” mantra sure show. The place was busy when we arrived and the only seats they had left were up at the bar. We got to get up close and personal with Keith and the kitchen, it is very fast paced and Keith is very focused. He makes sure every plate is right before it goes out.

After the rush was done, Keith came out to see how we were enjoying our food. He was met with smiles. We shared the deep fried pickled beets to start. I had the Shepherd’s Pie Burger and my husband had the Chicken Burger (the Buffalo version).

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The deep fried pickled beets were a wonderful way to wake up the taste buds. It is a large portion which is perfect for sharing.

The Shepherd’s Pie Burger is served with the burger on the bottom and topped with a panko crusted mound of mashed potatoes. This is all covered with gravy, peas, carrots and corn. It is all topped off with hand made crispy onion straws. The burger was obviously hand made; very tender and juicy. The panko crusted mashed potatoes were amazing. Keith is able to get just the right blend of spices and flavors in both the burger and the potatoes. The gravy…Oh the gravy! Just perfect. He was fussing a bit because mine was the last plate out for the night that needed gravy and they were almost out. Look at the picture, it was more than enough! I was only able to finish half of my burger and I gave it my best.

Jeremy’s Chicken Burger was the same idea. Chicken breasts so tender and moist, absolutely delicious. His burger came with hand made potato chips. Again, a perfect blend of spices on the chips and they are cooked to light, crispy perfection. He needs to bag these and sell them on their own. I gushed about the chips so much that Keith was gracious enough to send me home with a batch all of my own.

Unfortunately we were so full that we didn’t have room for dessert. We watched some really great ice cream desserts being assembled and going out to customers. We may have to go back just for dessert some Saturday afternoon.

I am fortunate enough to have found a handful of Chefs/Cooks that show their passion in their food. Keith has most certainly been added to that list!

For Edmontonians, it is a bit of a drive to get out to Fort Saskatchewan, but I assure you, it is worth the drive!

Keith and Lori, thank you for an amazing dining experience. We will be back for more!

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