Diners are great; where else can you get a classic, no-frills piece of Americana disguised as a delicious triple-decker sandwich? Especially after a few late night beverages? But when diners don’t stick to simple, tasty, American fare, they inevitably eff up what would otherwise have been good food. Agree? Disagree? Let us know.
The Fisherman’s Platter
When I see this on the menu all I can picture is the grizzled Gorton’s fisherman steering his vessel into dangerous waters just to bring me a plate of fried-or-broiled-until-they-taste-like-the-cooking-method-instead-of-the-ingredient seafood.
Surf ‘n Turf
If you’re not going to get good shrimp, scallops or fish in your fisherman’s platter, you’re sure as hell not going to win big on your diner-class lobster tail. Your tough steak won’t be winning any lifetime achievements either. Seafood restaurants and steak houses are a good reason to get surf ‘n turf; diners are a reason to get a sandwich…
…but not a pulled pork sandwich! Just because you slather something with smoke-flavored sauce doesn’t all of a sudden make it barbecue. Do yourself a favor and save this particular craving for a decent barbecue place.
Who on the planet says, “Hey I’m in the mood for Chicken Parmigiana…let’s go to the diner!” Nobody – that’s who. But it still ends up getting ordered and it still ends up tasting like a breaded sponge covered with metallic-flavored tomato sauce next to a pile of wet worms.
Any Type of Vegetable
Unless you’re at a Greek family-operated diner that serves a great eggplant moussaka, chances are your peas, corn, carrots, green beans and other run-of-the-mill veggies are gonna be straight from the can with little more than salty, cloudy can-juice to flavor them.
Avoid this if you’re not a fan of so-unripe-its-almost-white honeydew and sad balls of soft cantaloupe that have given up on life.
Unless you’re in one of those joints that refers to itself as a diner but really isn’t (see: almost every episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), a diner grilled cheese can’t hope to live up to one you make yourself on the stove at home with white bread, butter, American cheese and love.
Fish n’ Chips
Again with the fish? The only fish you should be ordering at a regular diner is of the tuna persuasion. Salad or melt, mind you, not sushi-grade. Inevitably, diner fish ‘n chips are greasy, flavorless and completely in line with the British tradition of shitty cuisine.