Mimi’s Drive In

Categories: Diner, Eat-in
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 9, 2008

Having met with a client further north, I was on my way back to my office when I decided that noon was the perfect time for breakfast. I pulled off 481 into the surprisingly empty parking lot of Mimi’s Drive In – a diner just north of the last traffic light (or just before the first one, if you’re headed south) in Fulton.

Going in, I realized my car clock was running about 10 minutes fast. While most of the tables and booths were empty, the waitresses were gearing up for the lunch rush. At Mimi’s you seat yourself, so I hoggishly scooted into an empty booth which – if your party’s made of starving artists – seats 4 people comfortably. My justification was that I’d be out before the real rush got there.

The prompt attention and rapid deployment of foodstuffs for which Mimi’s is famous failed for me. I came in at just the wrong time, I suppose. Given their excellent track record of getting my lunch order in front of me almost before I order it, I can certainly forgive them this one time. My waitress nodded at me as she went past, but it took almost 10 minutes before another waitress dropped by and offered to get my drink.

Now, I love going to Mimi’s, don’t get me wrong. I’m not there often enough to know the names, but if you have thin skin, this is one woman you want to avoid. I think all diners have at least one or two harried, annoyed, no-BS “I am not your waitress” waitresses. In the scheme of things, having her wait on you is like having a hangnail – a little annoying, but you can tough it out. Every other waitress I’ve had there is friendly, and always has a smile ready for me and every other patron.

Another five minutes, and my real waitress comes over and takes my order – two eggs sunny side up, hash, and toast. Less than five minutes later, I’m presented with exactly what I’ve ordered, and it’s piping hot.

The menu is fairly simple. There’s two pages of breakfast, and two pages of lunch. Most of the patrons are locals or frequent visitors, so many either order off the board, or simply order their “usual.” If the waitress recognizes you, you may be asked if you want a menu. There’s a selection of standard diner sandwiches and hot meals, along with breakfast which – like in any good diner – is available from open to close. There are also several boards around the dining area showing the daily specials.

What can I say about eggs, hash and toast? It was great – just what I expected. I’m happy to say that the cooks at Mimi’s don’t overly season your meal before it comes out. I put on the amount of salt and pepper I wanted (which wasn’t much) and I chowed down.

I love fancy food, I really do. But some times there’s nothing better than a slightly bumped up version of stuff made in your own kitchen. My favorite lunch at Mimi’s is usually 2 egg and olive sandwiches on wheat with swiss, and whatever the soup is. Rarely do I get a burger, but sometimes the hot roast beef sandwich is calling my name. After a recent price increase, the egg and olives went from $1.55 each to around $2.25 . Like I said, given the usual speed of delivery and friendly service, I’m happy with that.

My meal came to just over $6, including tax. I left a buck fifty-five on the table and took by bill to the line at the counter. The tiny waiting area was now bulging with people, and a group of four jammed themselves into the booth I just left before it was even cleaned. Yup – it’s that good, you don’t care if the table’s dirty as long as you get a seat.

This is no Liberty Diner, that’s for sure. But if you’re traveling along 481, I don’t think there’s any place else that serves good food as quick and fresh as Mimi’s. If you don’t stop and chat to your neighbors, or your waitress, or some other colorful character you’re likely to meet, it’s almost quicker than most fast-food drive-thrus. You can easily do a hell of a lot worse.


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