NACOGDOCHES — Nestled quaintly on the brick streets in the heart of downtown Nacogdoches is Dolli’s Diner, a small eatery that opened in 2015 and has not, in my estimation, gotten the recognition it deserves.
After the fiasco that was Ocean Buffet last week, my husband and I wanted to try something safer. We again visited Nacogdoches and came around the lunch rush. We waited a little, sitting on the curb and enjoying good weather until a table opened up inside.
I was happy to learn that their breakfast menu is served all day, so we tried both breakfast and lunch items.
For an appetizer, we chose the Mozzarella Sticks, which turned out great. The breading had a nice crunch without being in danger of breaking your teeth, the cheese was gooey but easily cut, and the herb seasoning paired excellently with the marinara, giving a grilled cheese and tomato soup vibe.
For entrees we chose the Mexican Omelette, Build Your Own Burger, French Toast and Nutty O’Brien sandwich.
The French Toast was excellent. On first glance, the pieces looked a little dry, but after the first bite, I was in love. It was essentially cooked like my momma’s — every piece soaked through with that delightful egg and milk mixture.
The Nutty O’Brien was a wild, sweet experience. Nutella, bacon and banana were grilled together on Texas toast. It was much better than I expected. I could say it was like a flavor journey — each individual ingredient hits your tongue individually. Should bacon and banana ever work together? I don’t know, but Dolli’s Diner magic makes it happen beautifully.
The Mexican Omelette and Build Your Own Burger were both incredible, and I honestly can’t pick a favorite.
The Mexican Omelette was a fabulous blend of flavors. Many different dishes try to explore this palate, but few come out this good. Every bite is a burst of light ringed in darkness. Elements of chili and pepper cling to the gooey cheese and egg layers.
The Build Your Own Burger was also phenomenal. The patty wasn’t anything too special, but maybe that was intentional. It made for a perfect vehicle for the rest of the ingredients I chose. The bacon was the shining element of this dish. Thick cut and crunchy with a generous portion of fat, it made for a burst of flavor. That paired with the Pepper Jack cheese, oozing fried egg and lettuce nestled between a sweet brioche bun made for a wonderful burger experience.
The sides were also wonderful. Crinkle fries are pretty run of the mill, but they worked well with other dishes like the burger to mop up egg runoff and such.
The onion rings were flavorful and well cooked. The home fries were absolutely incredible crunchy bits of potatoes with touches of grease and seasoning.
Attention to detail was apparent in every dish. The omelet had actual layers. The burger’s elements were cooked separately with care. Even the staff could pretty much read my mind during the whole meal.
I left with my stomach hurting in a much more positive way than last week.
Dolli’s Diner, at 116 S. Pecan St. in Nacogdoches, is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.