The Echo Restaurant is a quaint little neighborhood diner in the area of Oakley and Hyde Park in eastern Cincinnati. It’s the kind of place where people congregate in long lines in the morning, both for families and groups of older folk who are out to get a quick start on the day, as well as much of Oakley’s younger crowd. It’s really quite the friendly place, the waitstaff is nice and talkative and the regulars seem to know one another quite well. There are a thousand nice little places like this in a city like Cincinnati, but you never really forget the ones that really do it right.
Breakfast at a diner; it’s just about the best thing to look forward to when you wake up in the morning. The Echo has a delightful assortment of the old favorites, and cooked very well. The primary menus are omelets and griddle items, though some lunch dishes exist. The biscuits are great, definitely baked in-house and served topped with a great, thick sausage gravy. Excellent.
The griddle items dominate the menu, the bacon is spectacular and extra crispy. The potatoes are great, crispy-fried and a lot more crunchy than you’d expect, they’re pretty much fries, which is good. The eggs are excellent, whether they’re scrambled, over easy or sunny side up. Something I’ve picked up going to a lot of diners; eggs are very particular. Pull them off the griddle a few seconds too soon and you’ve got eggs that are just a little too gooey. Pull them off a few seconds too late and there’s a little bit of singing and blackened edges that really ruin the overall flavor. It’s not easy to master, especially in a busy kitchen. Echo got it perfect with every style of egg.
The atmosphere is really pleasant; it’s definitely a near-downtown restaurant because there’s a little less breathing room than I’m used to out in the suburbs, but that’s not a problem at all. The people are very friendly and chatty, and they seem very well-versed in reading the table and giving the appropriate level of service. It’s no surprise to see the place so full in the mornings. The place seems to attract people of all ages; I noted a lot of older regulars who seemed to know each other and the staff, and a lot of groups of younger crowd looking for something to start the day strong. The Echo is the kind of place I could come back to. Again and again.
- Earlier in the morning, when the place first opens, it can be a little crowded, but it clears out a little more during the morning and closer to lunch.
- Most of the menu is breakfast food. Just keep that in mind if you’re dining with a friend who doesn’t like eggs.
- Biscuits and gravy were my favorites, but the griddle dishes are good, too.