I’m also reposting this one from Party Earth. I have a store of food reviews from places I used to live that I want to get out of my system. (By that I mean both the reviews and the places.)
The Diner in Adams Morgan is similar to other diners in that it’s open all night and there’s an assortment of unusual people sitting in it. When I went there at 2 PM, I was sitting next to two middle-aged women in wheelchairs who were reading science fiction. When I went there at 2 AM after the bars closed I remember less clearly who was there, but I know that there were an awful lot of people and I’m pretty sure the food was no worse or better than it would have been at any other hour.
The Diner is not like other diners because the vibe, as it tries to become more hip by means of updated throwback hipsterism, actually becomes less so. It has the red vinyl booths, the silver bar with matching stools and appealing-looking drinks (I didn’t try the eggnog, but you should), and the friendly staff. It’s a lot like the nearby Tryst in attitude if not in menu: they serve standard American fare like sandwiches and milkshakes.
I got a peanut butter and chocolate shake and a portobello sandwich. The portobello sandwich included a lot of diced-up portobello pieces instead of one big burger-like patty. It had spinach, fried onions, peppers, and feta cheese. The dressing made it taste pleasantly sour and meaty. My peanut butter and chocolate milkshake was good and was served in a heaping portion with one of those big metal ice cream cups. It was good.
But then I saw my bill. It was like $18.50. And holy crap it wasn’t THAT good. Diners are supposed to be cheap and cheesy and filled with college students and old people. You’ll like The Diner okay, but in trying to be both a diner and a hip hangout with good food it fails to fall comfortably into either camp.
My Rating: 4
Recommended Dish: Milkshake
Atmosphere: Fake, but nobody ever rushes you. You and your friends can hang all night.
Price Range: $10-$30
Clientele: Students, passerby, and mainstays during the day, drunk people streaming out of bars at night.
2453 18th St NW
Washington DC 20009