Hearts: Gyros (of course), decent service, wide menu variety, open 24/7
Farts: desserts not made in house
Young At Heart says...
OK, I know many of you loved this place when it was under a different name and served exclusively Greek cuisine. Well, first I didn't have the opportunity to try them when they featured only Greek food and second, I personally love diners if they have good food.
I was actually happy to see a diner (and from what I can see a true diner by northern definitions) pop up here in Wilmington. And I figure the owner changed his offerings because he wasn't making enough money to keep it only Greek. I mean he is in business to make money...right? Now for the definition of a diner by YAH:
1) Must have a wide offering of eclectic food such as American burgers, fries, etc.
2) Must have some offerings of Greek food. I kid you not, all northern diners offer some type of Greek food be it the gyro or the Greek salad. And no, I have not dug deep to find out if every northern diner is Greek owned (I am betting they are though).
3) Open 24/7 or close to it.
4) Serve breakfast foods not just for breakfast but also for lunch and dinner.
5) And last, bake their own desserts or find someone local that can do it for them, thus fooling the dinner into believing they baked it themselves.
The College Diner has successfully met 4 out of the 5 standards. Later on I will devulge which they failed to attain.
I had not eaten a gyro in over a year and I was definitely craving one when my Maryland friend and I decided to check out this place. With out diner's checklist in mind, in we went.
The place does have some of the interior characteristics of a diner but was missing the well known counter that is always found in northern establishments. After some online research I discovered that within the past year the owner had converted his exclusive Greek restaurant to a diner. Thus, the explanation I am sure for why no counter.
Upon parusing the menu, I immediately spied some Greek offerings. Praise to Jesus I thought! I have found a gyro under the flag of a diner. Immediately I had decided my selection. To my dismay, my friend also decided on the gyro. So much for variety in this review. Can you tell we both are missing our gyro buddies of late?
The gyro was delicious. A perfect blend of lamb, lettuce, tomatoes, a touch of onion, that special blend of dressing layered on pita bread. And to boot...fries to go along. It was gyrolicious! I could tell by the yogurt dressing that a Greek must own this place. They have a way with cooking the lamb to perfection along with dressing this sandwich with that yummy yogurt blend.
I was quite full after finishing my lunch but forged on for dessert. Unfortunately on this day there was no cheese cake. What! No cheesecake available at a diner? Blasphamey! Sin of all sins! They were out. So I took a peek into their dessert case but only saw two pies. Neither of which I wanted on this particular day. And besides...they didn't look like they were baked on the premises or nearby off the premises. Yes, this is the shortcoming. They are only 80% diner in my book. But I will be back.
I already hear that gyro calling my name....
P.S. For those of you missing some of the familiar Greek offerings from this owner's previous menu, call a few days ahead to see if the chef might not accommodate a special request. They are often flattered and if you bring a few people along to eat the same requested dish...he/she just might fulfill your craving. I figure the worst thing one might hear is no. And it might be a win/win. You will get your missed Greek dish and he will get an old customer back.