74 Queen St, Exeter, EX4 3RX
The award winning team at Ruby Modern Diner at 74 Queen Street have been very busy bees. Not only do they sell some of the best burgers in Exeter (see a recent review in Beer, Burger and Beyond and some recently awarded accolades) but they have also launched a Weekend Breakfast menu, serving breakfast from 9:00am – 12 noon on, strangely enough, weekends. The new breakfast menu is a modern take on the classic American breakfast, with a non-exhaustive selection ranging from a Breakfast Burger to a classic fried breakfast. Waffles, baps and a vegetarian option are also available in this nicely engineered menu with brioche buns baked locally by Emma’s Bread and locally reared meats.
The menu is concise yet inclusive. Want a meat free breakfast? They have a vegetarian version. Want waffles? The Canadian Breakfast strikes a balance between the need for fried stuff, the sweetness of maple syrup and fresh waffles, you can also find the classic Eggs Benedict: roast ham, poached eggs on toasted English muffin slathered in hollandaise. Ruby have also created the Semi, which is perfect for kids or smaller appetites, and the classic Sausage and Bacon Baps are available for eating in or taking away. And, if you happen to find yourself in Ruby after a particularly heavy night, try The Hair Of The Dog for £4.50 which for the uninitiated is a Bloody Mary.
The guys at Ruby Modern Diner really care about ingredients. Take a look at their Suppliers page on the website and you’ll see the role call of local producers that supply different elements of their menu. The one thing that I come back to when I have written about Ruby in the past is the care they take over the sourcing of their ingredients, and this is evident in the taste of their beef compared to other similar places in Exeter. As well as the excellent service which makes the Ruby experience very different from the other independent restaurants in Exeter, it is the visual style of interior and the combination of modernism and Americana that makes this restaurant a really special place to eat.
We both ordered the Morning Glory breakfast which includes refillable filter coffee (roasted by Clifton Coffees, originally sourced from El Majahaul in El Salvador which is part of the Rainforest Alliance) and a Pago Juice in the price (£8.50) which was, from the other side of the table, a perfect combination. With many breakfast menus, you are offered coffee or juice but rarely do you get both included, so this in itself is a big fat bonus. Pago Juices are thick fruit juices that come in a squat green glass bottle. It looked small but it was very deceptive, filling a large glass exactly.
The Morning Glory comes with three rashers of bacon, sausage, two eggs, hash browns, mushrooms and funky baked beans with an in-house BBQ twist. These BBQ beans are totally special to Ruby as they add their own sauce to the beans to give them a slightly smokey edge. The bacon was crisped really nicely and the hash browns were perfectly cooked.
As you might expect, the portion sizes in Ruby Modern Diner are as American as the surroundings, big burgers and lots of fries are the name of the game for their standard menu, and I was glad to see that the breakfast portions were following the same ethos on size as we were both suitably stuffed afterwards… and did I say that the Morning Glory includes toast too?
The breakfast scene around Queen St. is definitely one that will stir up with Ruby’s entry in to the party. It feels like I’m sitting in a diner (maybe Odessa Diner?) in New York City, I’m just waiting for a NYC cop to come in and order a bagel and ‘carfee’ and then the mental fantasy will be complete.
But for now I can live the dream by refilling my filter coffee and scoffing down one of Ruby Modern Diner’s perfectly crafted Weekend Breakfasts.
Eating Exeter were guests of Ruby Burger. If you want more information about Ruby, visit their website www.rubyburgers.com or say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org