Less than fine dining at The Diner

by Delaney Stekr

diner photo

Diner lights shine bright The diner, resembling Pop’s Diner from Riverdale, is located on 12th and Harney. Photo by Audrey Hertel. 

The Diner on 12th and Harney has an iconic appearance. The glowing neon sign draws customers in, and the smell pulls them straight through the door. It is known for its fresh biscuits and fun interior design.

Its retro appearance and distinct height set it apart from the buildings surrounding it. Parking was not a problem, but that could have been due to the fact that we went in the early morning on a Saturday.

Upon entering with our three-women Network staff review team, the sweet smells of syrupy goodness fill our nostrils and set the bar high. We got seated immediately at a table in the corner, and the diner itself wasn’t too crowded (granted it was 9 a.m. on a Saturday). The Diner is open from 8-2 every day, serving mainly breakfast but having some lunch options, including a patty melt sandwich for $6.50 and chicken fried steak for $6.75. The bright red booths and silver chairs added to the overall retro appearance. My favorite part of the entire experience was the displaying of local artists’ work. I was admiring a piece of art, and realized that next to all of the paintings was a small slip of paper detailing the name of the work, the artist who created it and pricing. This support of the artistic community in Omaha is truly amazing, and increased the charm that this quaint diner possessed.

With the appearance of the diner being as lovely as it is, I assumed that the food would be just as amazing. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I ordered the biscuits and gravy meal for $8.50 and the actual biscuits did not disappoint. They were tasty, but the rest of the meal was less than satisfactory. The gravy was not exactly warm, and neither were the hashbrowns. The hashbrowns seemed all together undercooked. As a person, I love flavor, and neither the hashbrowns or the scrambled eggs had much at all; very bland, and again, not very warm. The food was very disappointing, as I was hoping that I had just found a new breakfast place to frequent.

While my experience was not up to par, the food was a toss up between my companions. Grace Sall ordered oatmeal for $3 and scrambled eggs for $2 and was not impressed. Shannon McSweeney ordered the ‘Oo-La-La,’ homemade apple cinnamon nut bread cooked like french toast for $6.50. Shannon’s breakfast was “The greatest French toast I have ever had, and I’m from France,” McSweeney said.  She thoroughly enjoyed her sweet treat. Maybe Grace and I just had some bad luck with our orders, but I do not think that I will be making this my new breakfast place- biscuits and gravy is my go-to and I cannot go somewhere without an out-of-this-world biscuits and gravy.

That being said, I have been known to be just slightly particular about my food, so this does not mean that The Diner is not an fun place to stop by when you are downtown.

The service matched the appearance of The Diner. The waitress was pleasant and attentive, catering to any specifications that we had about our orders. Overall, The Diner as a place and the people that fill it were completely satisfactory. But, as a restaurant, that is not enough. I came to The Diner to enjoy some classic diner food, and to say the least I was not impressed.

If you are hoping to venture down to The Diner, you need to do it soon as the restaurant will be closing soon. The land that The Diner sits on is not owned by The Diner, and was recently sold; soon in its place will be a hotel. The owners of The Diner hope to be able to relocate their beloved restaurant in the coming months if it is financially feasible.

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