There's a reason Guy Fieri visits diners and dives in the same show. Diners certainly are capable of producing delicious culinary fare. They often feel comfortable and homey with attentive service and all sorts of great amenities. But they usually aren't high-end or wallet-pinching. Rules, though, were made to be broken. Everyone's walked into a diner and seen that oddly-placed $25 entree listed next to the mozzarella sticks or the short stack.
Eater did a survey to find some diner dishes around town that can't exactly be called a bargain. Find an extra $20 bill in the wash? Consider ordering one of these, shall we say, delicacies.
The dish: A side of fries
The price: $12 late night
The place: The Coupe
3415 11th St NW
The deal: Clearly for the price tag, the customer is getting more than just fries. These are loaded with fresh cheese curds, short rib debris, jalapenos, roasted garlic, parsley and brown gravy.
The dish: Roasted chicken au poivre with fingerling potatoes and peppercorn sauce
The price: $14.95
The place: The Diner
2453 18th St NW
The deal: The French-inspired chicken offering isn't the highest ticket item on the Adams Morgan hot spot's menu. That honor belongs to the ribs with broccoli slaw and baked beans for $22.99. But the roasted chicken dish feels more out of place at a 24-hour diner among the patty melts and spaghetti and meatballs.
The dish: Steamed chitterlings dinner
The price: $15.95
The place: Florida Avenue Grill
1100 Florida Ave NW
The deal: Known for its soul food and long tradition of serving it up cheaply to Washingtonians, Florida Avenue's menu is filled with classics like buttermilk biscuits and grits. The priciest item, though, might be the most divisive. Chitterlings are a Southern staple of pig intestines. While the dish won't break the bank, it does ring up more expensive than all of the fish, sausage and massive breakfast combinations. To save a few bucks, there's always a pair of steamed pig's feet.
The dish: All the way bagel
The price: $14.50
The place: Metro 29
4711 Lee Hwy
The deal: Fieri actually made a trip to Metro 29 a few years ago for the eatery's highly-regarded challah French toast. For double the price, there's a bagel with lox. The "all the way bagel" is a toasted jumbo bagel with lox, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, olive and Bermuda onion. No need to fret, however. The menu is beyond massive with some cheaper breakfast and dinner alternatives.
The dish: Amphora special
The price: $24.95
The place: Amphora Diner Deluxe
1151 Elden Street Herndon, VA
The deal: Dropping serious change isn't difficult at Amphora. With pages of steaks, seafood and other "grand plates," the menu demonstrates a certain Mediterranean flair and luxury. The diner's namesake of a plate has some decidedly big-ticket items — just be prepared to pay for it. The dish has thinly sliced beef tenderloin medallions and jumbo shrimp sauteed with garlic, herbs and white wine over rice.
The dish: Franks and beans
The price: $12.95
The place: American City Diner
5532 Connecticut Ave NW
The deal: This family-friendly diner in Chevy Chase is all about showing classic movies and preparing classic American comfort foods such as chicken pot pie and meatloaf. Amidst its dinner offerings is an entrée of franks and beans, which includes two all-beef dogs, beans and sauerkraut. Usually prepared at
backyard barbecues, the dish is as expensive as fish and chips or a Salisbury steak with all the fixings.
The dish: T-bone side order
The price: $11.95
The place: Lincoln's Waffle Shop
504 10th St NW
The deal: Breakfast is served all day at Lincoln's, across from Ford's Theater and near the house where the president died after being shot at the theater. The array of eggs, pancake and waffle-centric platters are low-priced, to the tune of below $10. Adding in T-bone changes all of that. A side of the steak bumps the price up significantly.
The dish: Veggie burger sub
The price: $9.95
The place: Ben's Chili Bowl
1213 U St NW
The deal: Ben's is known for its half-smokes, its chili cheese fries and its famous patrons. President Obama and Bill Cosby, anyone? But the D.C. institution also features a few items for non-carnivores. Ironically, the meatless fare tends to be costlier, and the veggie burger sub – 2 Boca burgers on a 6-inch
roll — is the top dollar item on the menu. Compare that to the very filling chili cheeseburger for $1.40 less.
The dish: Carrot spaetzle (with plantains, pineapple ponzu, sweet onions, caramelized leeks and portabella tempura)
The price: $16
The place: The Coupe
The deal: Spaetzle tends to be an egg noodle accompaniment to eastern European fare. The Coupe has a dressed-up version with an exotic array of vegetables incorporated. Doing so takes it from a side dish for a nicely breaded schnitzel or chicken paprikash to the star of its own entrée show – and not a D list one either.
The dish: Captain's Platter
The price $24.95
The place: City Diner in Falls Church
The deal: A greasy spoon can seem like a dubious place to indulge in salmon and scallops, but for those who want to gamble on it, there's City Diner near Bailey's Crossroads. There, they have a number of seafood and surf and turf -tyle combinations, including this one with broiled salmon, scallops, shrimp and a crab cake. At least seafood is supposed to be expensive?
· All Previous Greasy Spoons Week Coverage [-EDC-]