Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream
Monte Cristo with Challah, Ham, Turkey, Swiss, Cheddar and a side of Grits
Bread Pudding French Toast with Citrus Cream and Strawberries
Challah French Toast with Strawberries
Hot Apple Pie with Whipped Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream
Perhaps America’s most classic culinary institution it has always proven interesting to see what each major city considers to be the quintessential “Diner” and although the Nation’s Capital has several such places to choose from few seem to embody the traditional model as much as Adams Morgan’s “The Diner” where breakfast for three was ordered on Wednesday morning.
Owned by the group behind Tryst and several other local establishments, the spacious 24/7 Restaurant located at 2453 18th Street Northwest decorated with mirrors and a diversity mural flanking the lengthy Bar where many patrons choose to sit and kibitz with waitresses and line cooks, guests visiting The Diner early will find ample metered parking just outside the space and despite the fact that reservations are not offered there will likely be no difficulty finding a seat save for the busiest times, though receiving service that qualifies as ‘adequate’ may prove to be a challenge.
Lengthy and just a bit grimy, a vagrant outside shouting obscenities as the sky while intermittently begging for change just another part of the experience, it was shortly after seating and hearing about seasonal specials that beverages were ordered, the Coffee a pretty basic brew that essentially required begging for refills while the “Hot Chocolate” clearly came from a powdered mix as flecks were seen circulating the glass overflowing with Whipped Topping.
Priced appropriately to ingredient quality and format, most plates less than $10 despite big portion sizes with condiments including artificial Maple Syrup and packages of Smucker’s HFCS “jelly,” it was after some debate about a makeshift Croque Monsieur or Chicken and Waffles that the decision was made to instead invest in three styles of “French Toast,” two largely the same with outsourced Challah Bread griddled Golden and one served “Monte Cristo”-style around Ham, Swiss, Turkey and Cheddar, the fact that it wasn’t deep fried not as much an issue as the fact that it was served luke-warm with Cheese only partially melted and nothing worth topping or dipping it in.
Battling a busted parking meter on this particular day, the focus on not getting a ticket more than once requiring a trip to the door to check on the car, it was thankfully with The Diner’s Bread Pudding French Toast that the kitchen at least managed to serve a dish that required more effort than assemblage and a quick trip to the stove, the Bread soaked overnight in Lemon Cream thankfully not requiring anything more than Berries and a dash of Powdered Sugar to be good while the housemade Apple Pie was also decent, though ordered a la mode it would have benefitted from a better brand of Ice Cream.