Diner for dinner? Palace is the place

Spring lettuce salad, grass-fed burgers and craft beer is far from typical diner fare. But Palace 2.0 (or is it 3.5?) is no place to nosh nostalgic.

“We think what we are doing is pretty fresh,” said Greg Mitchell, who pops open his 1927 diner car in downtown Biddeford Friday night for dins.


Mitchell at work

Since taking over the historic spot with partner Chad Conley in March, Mitchell has been slinging hash, piling stacks and lining up local sausages for the a.m./afternoon crowd. Dinner was planned from day one.

What to expect from Palace after dark? A sophisticated, rotating, bistro-friendly menu. This weekend pork chops and seafood toast lands on the formica. Think cold shrimp salad with jalapenos and lime served on gridled toast from Standard Bakery. Think delicious.

“We are super excited for dinner service to start; to do our thing on that end. Source local,” said Mitchell, who selects beef from Farmer’s Gate Market in Wales cut by a butcher he knows by name. “We will always have a burger, but our menu will change weekly.”


Breakfast lovers will have to hold their fire for Croque Madame and buttermilk flapjacks paired with Tandem Coffee. But with beer like Rising Tide now on offer, there is no local letdown.

“We just got our first beer delivery 10 minutes ago,” said Mitchell.

Wine  — two reds and two whites — are now part of the p.m. transition too. Cocktails should arrive with vacationers.

Is this new-wave comfort food for hipsters? Tourist fuel? Or stick-to-your ribs Biddeford fare? Why labor over the label? It’s a new dining option in York Co. and SoMe peeps are eating up.

“The feedbak has been overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people from Kennebunk, Kittery, Wells have come in. There is a hunger for a really delicious establishment,” said Mitchell. “People seem jazzed.”

Dinner at the Palace Diner is Friday and Sat. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

18 Franklin St., Biddeford. No reservations.


Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.