Top’s Diner has been a fixture on Rotterdam’s 5 Corners for decades. It was the place to go for a great breakfast, sandwiches and burgers and comfort food like meatloaf dinners and fried chicken.
The original diner was torn down a few years back and a beautiful new restaurant was built. Now billing itself as “Top’s American Grill” , a new, exciting menu has joined with the familiar diner staples to offer something for everyone.
Open 7:00 am – 10:00 pm Sun – Thu and 7:00 am – 11:00 pm Fri and Sat, it is one of the few places to get food later in the evening.
The new building reminds me a bit of a Grecian temple, smooth white marble and Doric columns. Maybe the columns are Ionic, I never could tell the difference- no matter, the building is pretty.
You enter through large glass doors and come upon the hostess station and the large dessert display case. More about those later. Fair warning – SAVE ROOM.
You have your choice of generously sized booths or tables for four.
Off to the left is the large bar area. All clean lines and black counter. About a dozen high black chairs flank the bar as do 3 large screen TVs. The liquor selection is extensive – no matter what you poison, they are sure to have it here.
Top’s American Grill serves breakfast all day long so you can have your bacon and eggs or waffles and fruit whenever the mood strikes. A favorite of mine is the “Irish Benedict”. Poached eggs over homemade corned beef hash with hollandaise sauce, home fries and an English muffin ($7.99). The pancakes are light and fluffy ( and enormous!)
There are always daily lunch and dinner specials which add a cup of homemade soup or salad to chef’s choice entrees.
On a recent lunch visit, I had the Bison Burger special. A large patty of bison meat ( lower in fat and much tastier then beef in my opinion) on a fresh roll, lettuce, tomato and a small side of homemade coleslaw. It came with French fries and a cup of soup or salad ($7.99). If I wanted to, I could substitute sweet potato fries for $1.99. (Absolutely, whoever invented sweet potato fries gets my vote for sainthood).
I chose the Italian wedding soup. Rich chicken broth with escarole and nicely spiced little meatballs. I could have eaten several bowls, it was so good.
The Bison burger was a perfect medium rare and the lettuce, tomato and coleslaw atop assured the moistness of each bite. The sweet potato fries were heavenly, crispy on the outside and creamy sweet on the inside.
As I visited on one of those July days when it was 157° in the shade, I wanted a cool drink. Not a soda person, I ordered the fresh mint ice tea ($2). The tea is brewed on premises and fresh mint is added. Sooooooo refreshing.
No trip to Top’s is complete without dessert and there are so many house made sweet temptations, I always have a difficult time deciding. The dessert case is right up front, with the daily offerings twirling on a carousel. Fruit pies, cream pies, cakes and NY style cheesecakes dance before you.
I thought this hot day called for some cream pie. That narrowed down, I had to choose between chocolate silk, coconut cream, banana cream or key lime pie. One pie looked the color of mustard. The waitress said it was the banana cream pie and assured me it was good. Not being in a chocolate mood ( I know, shocking, isn’t it!!!) I decided to take her at her word, risk it all and give the banana cream pie a shot. I put my fork in the yellow cream and ferried it to my mouth. It tasted like – BANANAS!! This was not some vanilla pudding with a little banana flavoring, it was REAL BANANAS!! TO DIE FOR!
In addition to burgers – both Bison and beef- Top’s offers an array of sandwiches and wraps, personal pizzas, salad plates and chili. ($5.99 – $10.99).
Top’s has a full dinner menu. Steak, chops, fried chicken and meatloaf are on the comfort food side. Some of my favorites are the Greek pork chops with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese and the chicken oreganata.
There are nightly specials which have the more “grill” type offerings. Pasta dishes, chicken and fish with imaginative sauces have all been on the menu. I once had a seafood risotto that would rival any Italian restaurant.
Whether you want a quesadilla with a beer, a piece of cake with coffee, a burger, a big Greek salad, chili with onion rings, souvlaki, risotto with mushrooms or chopped steak with morney sauce, there is something on Top’s menu that will please you.
The staff is always pleasant, friendly and efficient and you never feel rushed even when they are busy.
For good food, a comfortable, family friendly atmosphere, and reasonable prices, you can’t go wrong with Top’s American Grill.
Top’s American Grill
351 Duanesburg Rd. at 5 Corners in Rotterdam, NY 518-356-0697
Open Mon – Thu 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri and Sat 7:00 am – 11:00 pm