Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Diner

We've passed The Diner's stainless steel facade numerous times on the way to Miles Market during the day and noticed it busy each time. When we walked into the black and white tiled "dining car" at 7:30 p.m., after buying our weekly stock of vegetables and fruits at Miles Market, I wondered if their dinners weren't as popular as their daytime menu with the seats mostly vacant. Did we miss the early Friday night dinner rush of families, early bird special seniors, or singles ingesting some fat and carbs before going home to prepare for a night out?

We were given a professionally printed colorful menu. Printed in large lettering, it announced that breakfast is served all day. The menu items are what one would expect at a diner like burgers, tuna melt, and grilled cheese. Bug ordered the Cheesesteak sandwich ($9.99), while I ordered a Reuben ($8.99).

While waiting for our meal, my attention was drawn to our black tabletop with some grease smudges and cup rings. Our paper napkins had splotches of red sauce, and my paper table mat had grease stains. Otherwise, it was a fairly clean restaurant.

To take my mind off of the table, I noticed that The Diner is connected to Pete'Zeria, a pizza (surprise!) take-out restaurant. Business seemed brisk as I watched SUVs pull up every 5-10 minutes and people returning with stacks of sheet pizzas.

The din of the Cavs quarter final game drew my attention for a few seconds. I looked up to see the Cavs ahead of the Celtics by ~30 points. I mumbled to Bug that I probably cursed them by laying eyes on the screen.

My eyes wandered over to an advertisement for their early bird special from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Seven dishes are offered with dessert for $7.77.

Off along the far wall, past the wrap-around counter with the swiveling round stools, was their specials board. I could sense Bug's disappointment when I rattled off the specials and came upon Swiss steak. This was when I noticed French onion soup ($4.49)!

I despise onions. However, I've just become aware of an ironic compulsion -- ordering French onion soup on my initial visit to a restaurant. The onion hatred is really directed at onions that haven't been completely cooked through.

After about a 20 minute wait our order arrived. The cheesesteak sandwich was served as two sandwiches with fries and a pickle. The beef with onions and peppers were lightly seasoned and dry. For the size of the rolls, the filling appeared a bit scant which worsened the situation. Bug would have been better off placing all the meat in one bun. He was visibly disappointed and annoyed.

The Reuben was good. The rye bread, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and corned beef harmonized well with one another where no one flavor outdid the other. Bug preferred more sauerkraut and cheese for a bigger zing and oomph. The rye bread was grilled so it was perfectly crispy and greasy, which isn't my preference typically. I felt like be nice to the kitchen by not making any special requests. It was my good deed for the day. The corned beef was very lean and thick-cut. I prefer my deli meats sliced wafer-thin.

The crispy twice-fried french fries were a beautiful shade of sienna. I would have been perfectly pleased to eat only the fries. A big, big bucket of them. The seasoning was reminiscent of Arby's curly fries, but 10x better. They must be 10x unhealthier. Nothing this good can be healthy.

What was utterly disappointing was the French onion soup. It came to the table in a small brown crock with a thick layer of gooey cheese. When I stirred the soup, it was rather sludgy since the bread had soaked up a lot of the liquid and the onions were slightly crunchy. The flavor of Thanksgiving dressing (sage) ran over, reversed, and over again, then stomped over the soup.

The menu prices and service were all right. Everyone was cordial. At times, I wondered if the kitchen was shared with the pizza place because of the odd delays.

It wasn't a horrible experience, but with so many restaurants in the city, there isn't much compelling us to return, especially since Shinano, the only decent Japanese restaurant in the region, is a minute away.

- Cassaendra

The Diner
28149 Miles Rd
Solon, OH 44022-2139
Tel: (440) 248-6669

0 deep thoughts:

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP