Oakland Restaurant Challenge: The Games Room At Pamela’s Diner

Achievement: #4. Eat at 15 Oakland Restaurants

Next on our Oakland restaurant list was the famous Pamela’s Diner. Pamela’s is a Pittsburgh staple, with locations in Oakland, Squirrel Hill (which is in a brand new building, and just up the hill from us), Shadyside, and the Strip District. However, for some reason, I continually think I don’t like their food.

I have no idea why this is. I have been to Pamela’s a number of times in my life, the first of which was sophomore year when Gustavo, our interesting organic chem lab instructor, decided we could have one of our non-experiment-week classes over some Pamela’s hotcakes. Gustavo was a soccer player, and let me just say, I have never seen anyone put away quite as many hotcakes as he did during that chem lab.

But somehow, as time passes between visits, I always ‘remember’ that I wasn’t impressed with their food. Funny enough, it turns out that I *am* impressed with their food.

Pamela’s was recently remodeled in the past few years, and there are now two rooms where you can sit. This time, we were seated in the Games Room, which is covered, floor to ceiling, in board games. There are even little dominoes glued to the ledge there above Michael’s head.

Also, at each table in the game room are cards from Trivial Pursuit. We are Trivial Pursuit buffs, so this was a lot of fun.

Before 11am, this meal is dirt cheap. After 11am, it’s only a buck or so more. And the food, although greasy as can be, is sooooo tasty. That nice pile up in the left-hand corner of the plate is Pamela’s famous lyonnaise potatoes. That basically means ‘potatoes with butter and onions.’ The older I get, the more I really, truly appreciate the flavor of things cooked in butter and onions. Yes, I’m that easy to please. Fancy spices and reductions? Nope. Just butter and onions, please. Yum yum yum.

Here’s Michael’s reaction to the hugeness of his Mexican omelette. And yes, that’s a hearty helping of guacamole in the center for the man who loooooves his avocados.

Here’s a selection of the board games hanging on the wall above our table. And yes, you weird-old-game-experts, that is, in fact, a copy of Dealer’s Choice up there, Parker Brothers’ “wheeling dealing used car game.” (I was having the best time reading the titles and descriptions of games that made me say, “Okay seriously, who would play THAT?”)

To give you an idea of just how many games there are in the games room, here is the full shot of the dining area. Craziness! They’ve even got a fully-assembled MouseTrap along the wall on the right!

So, I’m putting it here, in writing, in the blog, so that I don’t forget again: world, I really like Pamela’s. I may not like that line out the door every weekend morning, but I sure like their breakfast foods, and their prices: our entire meal, including two bottomless cups of hot coffee was just over $15.00. Just remember: Pamela’s is cash only, so hit up the ATM down the street before you get your table!


Filed under #4, #4-11, board games, breakfast, brunch, oakland, restaurant

3 Responses to Oakland Restaurant Challenge: The Games Room At Pamela’s Diner

  1. I love Pamela's! Hate the line, though. It's frequently scared me away on a Saturday morning to find some easier fare.

  2. Yes, I agree! I try to only treat myself to greasy plates of breakfast food once in awhile, and I think every time we would plan on Pamela's, there would be a huge line, and we'd go to Fuel n Fuddle instead. Now I know: Thursdays around 11am, apparently, there are seats 🙂

  3. Anne-Marie Alderson

    The board games theme is insane… I never would've recognized Pamela's from those pics- wow! I don't think I've been back to the Oakland

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