VisitingNewEngland.com Dining Reviews >>> Morin's Diner, Attleboro, Mass.Comfort Food Heaven at Morin's Hometown Bar and Grille, Attleboro, Mass.
Article and photo below (of more formal dining room) by Eric H.
On a cold, rainy spring night in nearly empty downtown Attleboro, Mass., the feeling wasn't exactly that of, say, sunny Cape Cod.
And while I strongly believe that Attleboro has remained one of the most solid small cities in Massachusetts, the feeling this evening was that of Gotham City. Darker than dark with rain, cold, wind and being flat-out hungry will do that to you.
Driving past the warm storefront glow of Morin's Diner, we immediately turned around, entered the diner, and were welcomed by not one but three very pleasant waitresses. The heat was on, coffee was brewing, several desserts were on display in the dessert case, and some solid-looking locals nodded to us as if to say "Stay here, don't go anywhere else."
That was several years ago, and since then Morin's Hometown Bar and Grille has been a dear friend. First, we found Morin's was so much more than a diner. Walking past the counter and booths, you step down into another dining room with bar -- a good-sized space with lots of elbow space and just as many people dining as in the diner. Beyond that, a pool room leads to a historic-looking, rather isolated dining area with high wooden-plank ceilings, exposed brick walls, two levels of dining and an overall quaint feel. The first time we visited Morin's, we opted to eat in the diner over a home-cooked roast turkey dinner, spinach and artichoke dip, some homemade baked mac and cheese and blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. Everything was fabulous, like food that would appear on the Food Network -- delicious, abundant and with some flair.
So, it's no surprise that Guy Fieri, of the Food Network, featured Morin's Hometown Bar and Grille in November 2009 on his "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" show. Mr. Fieri highlighted what we already knew about the amazingly tasty French meat pie and the Fisherman's Stew. He also featured boiled corned beef and cabbage dinner that we will not wait until next St. Patrick's Day to try. We recognize Mr. Fieri as the "real deal" -- an unpretentious type, not swayed by anything except his own tastes -- and he really seemed to like Morin's. We go with what he says, and concur with his glowing assessment on Morin's!
Based on our many visits to Morin's, I can say without any reservations that Morin's is indeed the place to be if looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Attleboro area. It's everything you could ask for in an informal local dining spot: excellent food, lots of it, quick and dependable service, and a clear pride of ownership. Owner Billy Morin is not just some "vacation in Florida all the time" kind of guy that lets the staff do all the work. He is a regular on site owner, out there talking with the customers, cooking, managing the restaurant, and walking around with a purpose that could only suggest he loves his restaurant -- and the customers that keep him and the Morin family in business.
Some more highly-recommended dishes: the tender BBQ steak tips, the huge portion of fish and chips, the half-pound burger, Yankee pot roast, homemade meatloaf and chicken pot pie. Without a doubt, my favorite fish is the aforementioned Fisherman's Stew with "today's fresh fillet," bay scallops, mussels, baby clams, tomatoes, and bliss tomatoes in a yummy spicy, tomato broth.
We also love the Saturday night comfort food buffet. Last time, Morin's chefs offered some quite tasty dishes including the aforementioned Fisherman's Stew, oriental chicken stir fry, prime rib, pasta with chicken in a pesto cream sauce, and much more. A dessert table features pies and cakes, the best perhaps being the Boston cream pie.
Morin's recently celebrated its 100th year in business.I have talked with many Attleboro residents (old, young, in between) and in the past, members of the 368th Engineering Battalion "B Company" (Army) and they have all raved about Morin's. In a way, Morin's reflects the hard-working, common folk, patriotic spirit that I have personally seen amongst so many Attleboro residents. They go when not feeling like cooking a meal, when in search of a good bargain, and if the appetite has gone into overdrive.
Morin's is a true American success story, starting as a tiny cable car to now seating more than 250 people. It's remarkable that Morin's survived the Great Depression, the decline of the local robust jewelry industry, the development of malls and commercial endeavors along Route 1 that greatly affected Attleboro and North Attleboro, and the current recession. With an ambitious results-oriented mayor in Kevin Dumas and some visionary citizen involvement, Attleboro is poised for a great comeback -- planned downtown revitalization, tax breaks for new businesses, beautification projects, etc.). Whatever level of downtown restoration takes place, we look to Morin's as always being a historical cornerstone of this proud city. After all, it has been as solid as a rock through the years and with some of the best food you'll find in this New England neck of the woods!
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