We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
The Diner is fine. In fact, everything at the Diner is so fine that I imagine the restaurant was dreamed up somewhere in Northern Finland by a mad scientist bent on creating food that elicits neither complaint nor praise, food that will absolutely satisfy you but to which you’ll never have to give a moment’s thought once you’ve ordered it. Here’s a rundown on some of the menu items. Burgers: fine. Chicken cheese steak: fine. Veggie burger: fine, if a little crumbly. Kids’ chicken strips and fries: fine. Kids’ hot dog: Better than fine, but not as good as Five Guys’. Milkshakes: fine. Omelets: fine. Croque Madam, Croque Monsieur, and Croque and Dagger: fine, fine, and fine. Various grilled cheeses: fine, especially the Plymouth Rock. Pies: fine. Blackened Tuna Sandwich: I get this 4 times out of 5, and I can’t think of a single thing to say about it. Coffee and ice tea: both fine. I’ve eaten more at Diner than anywhere else in D.C., probably because when it comes to choosing where to eat, it’s hard to argue about food that’s this consistently OK. Not fine: The room’s boomy, so if they decide to play, say, some Zeppelin, that plus the patrons’ collective roar means you’ll be asking your tablemates to repeat every other freaking word. And sometimes you have to wait awhile to be seated. But really, in the aggregate, that’s fine.