Rosebud Diner, 2023 reboot [Davis Square, Somerville]

The Parsnipity family ended up needing a walkable dinner option the other night with an out of town guest who’d declared a fascination with diners. Thus, we decided to check out the newly re-opened Rosebud. It was purchased, briefly closed, then reopened with a new chef with an Indian background and the promise of some new flavors.

For those who don’t keep close watch on Somerville politics, there’s been a great deal of back and forth about the firing of the former staff. Myself, I decided to keep out of it and am generally of the mindset that businesses can close, sell, reopen, etc. Whether it was done in a kind and considerate way to the staff, I cannot say. So let’s leave that out of this for now and focus on food.

The atmosphere delighted our guest, and of course one must dine in the front part of the diner car. We were all set to order chicken and waffles, which is on the menu with an intriguing Indian spice bent, green chili waffle with a gluten free option, and fried curry leaves, but unfortunately they were unable to make waffles the night were were there. Big bummer as basically all of us had settled on that. Should have been stated up front IMO. Most of us settled on fried chicken sandwiches, and the spring onions went with pancakes and French toast plates. Nothing interesting about those menu items, but they filled everyone up. Our guest ordered the vegetarian Indian chili and said it was good but too spicy- we weren’t on a food-sharing basis with this guest so I can neither confirm nor deny.

I really liked the GF bun on my fried chicken sandwich, but the chicken itself was cooked to death and quite tough. Also not a great size portion for $19. I also wasn’t asked anything about my gluten issue, so while I personally do not need to be strict, there were a few warning signs that would cause me to not advise anyone to eat here who had celiac.

On the whole, I found the food comparable to how it’s always been here- filling, greasy, some parts rather tasty but nothing I’d go out of my way for. To be fair, we also really didn’t sample the parts of the menu that looked like the chef might have had more creative leave with, so that’s on us. If the atmosphere and location work for you, it can fill a niche. We did not sample drinks for various reasons but they do have an interesting cocktail menu advertising $10 cocktails which is pretty good these days.