A cheesesteak sandwich with sirloin, onions, peppers and American cheese at Real Deal Cafe. [Photo by Rebecca Scott]

Diner favorites at Real Deal Cafe

Few things smell better than a hot, homemade meal. And few places whip up comfort food quite like Real Deal Cafe on Stewart Avenue in Medford.

Eggs, coffee, burgers and house-made soups are the hallmarks of any standout diner, and this restaurant aces all your favorite home-style breakfasts and lunches.

Real Deal Cafe serves breakfast all day, and they don't skimp on the most important meal of the day. Options range from four-egg omelets and scrambles to chicken-fried steak, French toast, pancakes and waffles. If lunch is more your style, then dive into the other side of the menu, which offers an array of burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads.

My friend and I decided to split the difference: She was drawn to breakfast and I went straight to lunch.

I was in a Philadelphia state of mind that morning, already craving Real Deal Cafe’s take on a cheesesteak sandwich ($8.95). I added a side of fries to complete my lunchtime vision.

The sirloin, onions and peppers fit snugly inside a grilled hoagie roll, as if they were nestling under the covers on a cold winter morning. The creamy melted cheese made the sandwich feel like an out-of-body experience. Watch out, Philly, Southern Oregon is coming for you, and Real Deal Cafe is leading the charge.

The omelet ($10.50) also was a success. My friend chose a two-egg omelet, and judging from the size of it, the four-egg version could easily feed two people.

Of course, if you're that hungry, you might go for the restaurant's Hungry Man or Hungry Woman Breakfast, which features three eggs, four strips of bacon and two sausage links or two Taylor’s sausage patties, plus a biscuit and gravy or toast or a pancake for $11.50.

One of the most popular dishes on the breakfast menu is called Those Potatoes, which features potatoes topped with chopped bacon, Jack and cheddar cheeses, with two eggs for $9.50.

My friend's omelet was filled with spinach, mushrooms, onion and cheese, and was accompanied by a side of home fries and sourdough toast. Expertly cooked, the omelet was chock full of veggies, ensuring a mouthful of fillings in every bite. I ate most of my friend’s sourdough toast. Diner toast is always a treat when it's perfectly toasted and buttered.

A former colleague at the Mail Tribune says he and his wife like to hit the Real Deal for hot soup or chili on drizzly days or after coming back frozen from a winter snowshoe trip.

The restaurant offers a soup of the day ($3.95 for a cup and $4.95 for a bowl), plus what they bill as "The Best Bowl of House Made Chili," featuring simmered beef and pinto beans with just the right amount of spice ($5.95 for a bowl and $4.95 for a cup.)

My friends also swear by the Real Deal's Huevos Rancheros, which feature two eggs on refried black beans and corn tortillas, topped with cotija cheese and salsa ranchero for $8.75.

Fresh, quality ingredients and lots of love are the backbone of Real Deal Cafe. The open kitchen allows patrons to watch the staff preparing meals. It feels like you’re eating at a friend’s house rather than a restaurant. It’s a good place to meet friends, have breakfast with the family or a share a fun food experience with out-of-towners. It truly is Medford on a plate.

Real Deal Cafe is located at 811 W. Stewart Ave. They are open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Call 541-770-5571 or see www.realdealcafe.com for more information.

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