The Exmore Diner is old (born in 1954) and somewhat rickety, but handsome in its well-worn way. It is a wonderful place to eat breakfast. The menu features such mid-Atlantic signatures as creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy biscuits, and scrapple with grits.
The diner’s two main claims to culinary fame are seafood and fried chicken. Shrimp come steamed or fried; flat, griddle-cooked pancakes are made from shreds of local crab meat (“shell is possible,” warns the menu), and there are oysters (in season), clam fritters made with seaside clams (brinier than bayside), plus the occasional plate of puffers and fried drum fish ribs. We love the menu’s description of the seafood platter: “sample of every seafood in the house, largest plate anywhere.” Side dishes include real mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (locally grown), porky greens, and braised cabbage.
The go-to dessert is sweet potato pie.
Even better than Exmore Diner food is its cast of characters. This is where a goodly number of local citizens come to exchange top-of-the-morning pleasantries, news, and views. It is a small-enough place that you have to seriously lower your voice to have a private conversation, so most of what everyone says is open to discussion.