Poached is the best way to eat eggs, but it's weird to order them that way at a diner. Sure, they can sling a poached egg or two alongside your home fries, bacon, and toast (I was informed on Twitter that the cook will use hot water from the coffee pot), but it just seems a little high-maintenance for the surroundings, y'know? Would madame also enjoy some organic house-whipped creme fraiche for her huevos rancheros? Perhaps a splash of locally-unscrewed OJ for an amusing aperitif? Poached eggs are a brunch thing, and brunch isn't really a diner thing. Just go with sunny side up and never have your expectations dashed.
I avoided ordering sunny side up eggs at restaurants for the longest time, and I'm not quite sure why. Possibly because they're beyond simple to prepare at home, and if I'm going out, I tend toward things I can't pull off as deftly. But there was a recent diner meal where I dunno, man—I just couldn't face my usual cheese omelet, and scrambled eggs felt like a crapshoot. They're adequate and edible usually, but unless you want to be that person and backseat-drive the cook about the exact consistency—which we've all seen happen—they're just gonna turn out however, and you have to be cool with that. They're mostly a vehicle for cheese and/or hot sauce anyhow.
But a sunny side up egg is essentially a condiment for whatever else you have on your plate. Pop that yolk and let it slop into your potatoes, dip your buttered toast into it, or smash it all up into your bacon. The diner cook has made approximately 30 million sunny side up eggs in the course of their career, so the whites will be set, the edges lacy, and it'll be just what you expect.
My diner egg preferences are not in the majority, however, per a highly unscientific poll I posted on Twitter a few hours ago. As of this minute, there are 251 votes, with 50 percent of respondents favoring over easy/medium eggs, 25 percent going for scrambled, and just 22 percent of us giving a runny yolk the OK. The remaining 3 percent opts for over hard, and I'll just go ahead and assume that their finger slipped while they were voting, or that Agent Dale Cooper was reaching out to me from the Black Lodge to assert his preference.
It's fine. I'm happy being an egg iconoclast and honestly, if my eggs showed up scrambled or over easy, I'd just eat them gratefully. But knowing what's coming and having it being exactly what I need and want—how often in life does a person get that sort of certainty? Maybe at some point the winds will change and I'll go back to my old cheese omelet but for now, I'm plenty satisfied over here on the sunny side.