Tastee Diner
8601 Cameron St., Silver Spring, MD 20910

(301) 589-8171

The scrambled eggs are not fluffy; more than anything, they look like flat, ragged pieces of torn cloth as they lie there limply on the plate. The butter for the hot stack is the whipped, salted variety—from tiny plastic containers. And the stale, thin coffee tastes like it’s been extracted from yesterday’s grounds. So why do I love the Tastee Diner? Maybe it’s nostalgia for a time when chefs didn’t feel the need to brag about their local, seasonal ingredients. Maybe it’s a need to eat around people who don’t consider dinner at Central Michel Richard a “casual” meal. Maybe it’s just that sometimes I want to down a meal—and read a newspaper—without having to ponder every damn detail about it. It’s easy to do that in a place where Sysco serves as a main supplier. But the Tastee Diner also has history (the stainless-steel dining cab has been around since 1946 and the restaurant itself since 1935) and charm (the hon-heavy waitresses, the cheesy tchotchke collection) on its side, too. These things seem to make everything taste better, even burgers and fish plates and crab-cake platters that can’t even begin to compare with the best in town.