Saturday, September 20, 2008

City Diner

The City Diner, co-owned by two big names in the Anchorage food world, is this city's answer to the Retro Craze. As far as I know, there are no actual diners here, and possibly never have been. However, Anchorage has as much a fondness for plain old regular non-gourmet food as any town I have ever been in, so this restaurant is a natural fit.

It has a good version of the diner look, with lots of chrome and glass brick and neon, as well as a discreet smattering of kitch. The menu covers two sides of an 11 x 17 menu sheet and consists of basic diner chow. Breakfasts, a few burgers, sandwiches, and a few entrees of the meatloaf variety. Prices are a little high, but are sometimes worth it. Mr. Eating Alaska and I shared an order of Bleu Cheese chips as an appetizer, then split a BLT and a toasted cheese sandwich. The sandwiches each came with a side - he got a cup of corn chowder and I got pineapple cole slaw.
The Bleu Cheese Chips were absolutely delicious - that kind of delicious where you involuntarily moan when you taste it. The dish consists of fresh fried chips covered with cheese sauce, smoky bacon bits, bleu cheese chunks, and chives. It is astoundingly good. Just have some - I insist.

The sandwiches were well executed version of the standards. My toasted cheese was crisp and buttery without being sodden. The cheese was good, flavorful mild cheddar. Mr. EA's BLT was also very good. The bacon was crisp and full of smoky flavor. The tomatoes were fresh, as was the lettuce, though there was too much greenery for his taste. So in general, well done but neither was a standout. My pineapple cole slaw was a bit sweet for me, and also a bit liquid-y, although there wasn't much left when I was done. The corn chowder, though, was delicious! It consisted of corn, potato, roasted red pepper and smoky bacon bit (again - they make the world taste good!) and what we think may have been some cilantro.
So it's a little uneven. However, we will be back again, if only for those chips. Although while we are having the chips...some of those burgers looked pretty good. We'll be back.
Mr EA Commentary: We had to wait for seating but not overly long and it was well worth it. The wait staff had the perfect balance of attentiveness & what I like to call "leave-us-alone-ness". The Unimaginatively named "City Diner" is located at the corner of Minnesota & Benson. Even if you're only in town a day or two, make this one of your stops....

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