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Diner -Yaletown


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Hello!

My family and I will be in Vancouver for a couple of nights, Boxing Day and the 27th. Boxing Day dinner has been set (my parent's choice) and I get to choose where to have dinner on the 27th. As I have a family full of meat and potato eaters, I have perused the board looking for something that would satisfy both them and me and Diner looks like it might fit the bill. I'm curious about a few things and hoping you can help me out.

-Have they worked out the kinks in service? (Aging parents and long dinners do not mix).

-Will a party of 5 have any problems dining on the 27th? (I've been calling the number listed in this thread but no one answers and the voice mail box is full so I can't leave a message - it made me a tad nervous).

-Are they still accepting cash only as payment?

I'd love to try this place out but, if it's still to early on, I'll add it to my list for my next visit. Of course, if you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.............

Thanks!

Heather is running a pretty tight ship and their haven't been any kinks since the opening at least for all the times we are in there. Must be at least 2x per week. 5 people shouldn't be an issue on a Tuesday, and yes it's still cash only. I've been bugging her about get a cc machine as I am missing out on alot of air mileage.

We we're just in there last night again for after dinner drinks and desserts. She has a new Pear Tartlette that just rocks.

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Ive been in a few times now, and it always seems to be an extended stay. If you have someplace to go, or antsy diners with you, you may be inclined to spend less time somewhere else. I like to go when I know I have a lazy afternoon to spend.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Does anyone know if Diner is taking credit cards or debit yet ( havent been for 6 weeks :sad: )? I kind of like the cash thing and cash register....makes it feel more like a diner but I do find myself forgetting that it is cash only and not being able to order what I want due to limited cash in my pocket....luckily the selection and the price allow me to still get a great feed. I think that during DOV I will hunker down a few evenings at Diner and wait out the storm that descends on Yaletown.

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I'm not sure about breakfast, but I hope it's soon.

I was by for breakfast last week and it was very good. On weekends, they serve a breakfast menu until 2 or 3 pm then reopen with the regular menu at 5pm.

I had eggs with bacon, toast, and hash browns. Everything was delicous - and the eggs yolks (sunnyside up) were nice and runny the way I liked them. The bacon was thick and meaty. The hash browns are closer to browned mashed potato, still nice and fluffy to soak up the egg runoff.

Where food especially shines is with the baked goods. Not surprising given Heather's pastry background. They are not big puffy pieces of styrofoam - but civilized sized and packed full of real flavor (and butter). The scones were crisp on the outside - moist and tender within and so buttery. Carrot cupcakes were rich and spicy with a ribbon of candied carrot strip decorating the top. Excellent cinnamon bun. The toast and scone were accompanied by apple jelly, mango ginger spread, and a berry jam (they tasted home made - but I did not ask - trying to control my napkin sniffing :raz: ).

It was a nice lazy meal... got a big press of coffee and just relaxed.

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Hey Lee -

What are the breakfast prices like? Mr Cat and I might check it out this weekend and must remember to bring enough cash. Can you remember any other menu items? Inquiring cat minds want to know :smile:

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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Prices are not crazy - kind of in line with Melriches. They said that they also had omelets - but they did not make the menu. Eggs benny and Eggs florentine and steel cut oatmeal were on the menu.

Don't be in a rush - though everything happened on a timely basis for my meal - I prefer to think I am in the 'Diner' time zone when I there. Bring something to read and just relax.

Hey Lee -

What are the breakfast prices like? Mr Cat and I might check it out this weekend and must remember to bring enough cash. Can you remember any other menu items? Inquiring cat minds want to know  :smile:

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Prices are not crazy - kind of in line with Melriches.  They said that they also had omelets - but they did not make the menu.  Eggs benny and Eggs florentine and steel cut oatmeal were on the menu.

Don't be in a rush - though everything happened on a timely basis for my meal - I prefer to think I am in the 'Diner' time zone when I there.  Bring something to read and just relax.

Sounds perfect! Melriches was our old hangout, back when it was a mere couple blocks away. Last time we were there, though, it was a long, wet, umbrella-less walk and the morning's open-mic entertainment was being provided by the Lower Yaletown Screaming Baby Chorus and Dirty Diaper Revue. My breakfast sandwich was not its customarily enjoyable eggy little self in that environment.

Now Diner looks like the closest decent breakfast option to the new pad. We're big fans of installing ourselves at a comfy table with the weekend paper and slowly replacing our entire volume of blood with coffee, so I'm sure Diner and us will get along just fine. Mr Cat will doubtless be relieved to know they have Eggs Benny too.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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The hash browns are closer to browned mashed potato, still nice and fluffy to soak up the egg runoff.

Hmm so they can't steal the hash power from Melriches then. Do they do "fried mash"? That's really good mmm. But the perfectly crispy potatoe cubes are what I'm all about....

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Was cleaning out my camera's memory card the other night and stumbled across a couple of photos from a meal at Diner. These are of a dinner that Ian and I had on the Friday night of Remembrance Day weekend after shopping for presents at the Circle Craft Christmas market.

We rolled in to the restaurant at about 8:30ish that evening. All but three of the tables were occupied, but there was an easy, relaxed vibe in the room. There were three servers on the floor who seemed to be handling things rather efficiently.

Having had and loved the meatloaf on previous occasions, I heartily recommended it to Ian. I, in need of a starch fix, opted for the perogies. A pint of Red Truck and a tumbler of red wine were our respective beverages of choice.

gallery_18820_1524_20518.jpggallery_18820_1524_3484.jpg

The meatloaf was as good as ever. Moist, sweet tomatoey goodness. And the perogies. Ooooh, the perogies. I'm no connoisseur, but these were pretty damn fine. Filling was well seasoned, not bland and pasty as it can be in the worst of establishments. Just enough bacon and fried onions to ration some out with each bite.

Of course, we had chocolate soufflé. When I ordered one for each of us, Ian gave me that quizzical look as if to say, "What, are you on crack? Soufflé really isn't my thing. We should probably share just one." Yeah, right. That sentiment lasted as long as his first bite.

All in all, a very well-paced meal. No service hiccups. Comfort food at its best on a damp winter evening. Ian's been a believer ever since.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Hmm so they can't steal the hash power from Melriches then.

As a Melriches-goer myself, I can confidently say that Diner has atmosphere in spades over Melriches.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I really don't mean to be mean, but Diner hasn't been able to impress myself or friends lately.

The biggest problem is the speed of service (front of house and kitchen at times). For lunch on a weekday, lunch easily climbs past the 1 hour mark. Usually there's only one server so even getting a drink can take much too long (requested refill of coke didn't make it until I was on the last two bites of my meal about 7 minutes later), wait for food was around 30 minutes (perogies, meatloaf, burgers). Food overall was fairly good, but not rave-worthy. My mashed potatoes were a bit watery instead of creamy.

I've heard feedback from two friends having dinner experiences there that have no desire to go back, largely due to service issues, but some food ones as well.

I think concept and menu are good, but I think the ship needs tightening.

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I think concept and menu are good, but I think the ship needs tightening.

That's the recurring sentiment from most posters since it opened 3 months ago: Good comfort food, great (rave-worthy) desserts, service issues. Personally I'm curious to hear what ashley_k thinks.

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I think concept and menu are good, but I think the ship needs tightening.

That's the recurring sentiment from most posters since it opened 3 months ago: Good comfort food, great (rave-worthy) desserts, service issues.

See, that's why our meal from November sticks out so clearly in my mind. I had an interminably long lunch at Diner soon after it opened and was expecting service to falter in a similar manner that night. No worries, since we weren't in a hurry anyway. But there weren't any issues with the pace of our meal or the timing of our dishes. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

I think that canucklehead's comment upthread hit the nail on the head.

Don't be in a rush - though everything happened on a timely basis for my meal - I prefer to think I am in the 'Diner' time zone when I there. Bring something to read and just relax.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I too had a very mediocre meal in December at Diner.

Had lunch there with a friend, and although we were in no hurry, the service was extraordinarily slow, with only one person on the floor, handling about 5 tables. I remember craving comfort food, and when I saw Macaroni and Cheese on the menu, I asked our server about it. Eyes all a'glitter, I asked "is it really creamy and cheesy?" She said that, yes, it was, and it was very, very good. My meal arrived, and it was cavatappi pasta in a bland, white sauce (barely enough to coat the pasta), topped with a few sauteed onions and green beans. I think it had been sitting under a warmer for some time, as it was really dry. Where was the gooey cheese?? It was one of the worst pasta dishes I've ever had.

I probably should have sent it back, but by this time we were pressed for time, and just wanted to finish the meal.

I also ordered the chocolate souffle (at the beginning of the meal) and when it arrived, well after we had finished our lunch, it was barely warm and deflated. Like my enthusiam.

After seeing all the stellar reviews, I chocked our meals up to being an "off day". I'd like to see Diner make a go of it, but I agree - service issues should be addressed. I haven't decided if I'll give it another try.

Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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Last Saturday we tried the new breakfast menu and just loved it. Our friends ordered the Eggs Benedict and a Veggie Omelette, Yummy had the Banana Waffle, and I had a Cheddar, Bacon, and Mushroom Omelette along with the Rum Raisin French Toast. Everything tasted awesome. Service was spot on and we left smiling and full.

Later on in the day I stopped in to get a few sweet snacks and came away with a box full of Carrot Cupcakes and Cinnamon Roles. Both of which were fantastic.

Today I was in for lunch, my friend had the Meatloaf Melt while I had a Spinach Salad and a bowl of the Salmon / Cream Cheese Chowder. Yum! Very quick service.

Heather is a sweetheart and I just can't say enough about the food and the staff.

Definitely one of my favourites places in town to eat.

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[Hmm so they can't steal the hash power from Melriches then. Do they do "fried mash"? That's really good mmm.  But the perfectly crispy potatoe cubes are what I'm all about....

I'd give the nod to Melriches in the potato dept.

As the general comments above noted there are some mixed feelings about the place. I like Diner - but I can see how it can also drive some people mental.

The food has always been solid for me with alot of depth and finese in surprising places (the baked goods are very consistent). I have made the concious decision not to get stressed while I am there and only go when I am not in rush. The place has a distinct personality - sometimes it works for you - sometimes it doesn't

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hello egullet. I spend quite a bit of time reading all of the posts - absorbing all of the commentaries and getting a really good anthropological perspective on culinary critique. Every now and then I am compelled to jump in - particularly when I have been waiting for some pros and cons to appear on a particular subject. Diner is one of those subjects that has particularly fascinated me. I (we) husband and well educated teenage gastro-kids have eaten at Diner on 4 or 5 different evenings. The first two were fantastic, keeping in mind that the service was a little slow (but this is Vancouver and we wait for 45 minutes at Toshis or Vijs before we are even seated and don't complain). The following 3 visits the service had certainly improved but the food, to be truthful, was headed in a rapid downhill spiral. The last fateful evening our food was inedible to the point where we sent it back, ordered something else and it went from bad to worse. We left without eating our dinners or even ordering dessert (now that's BAD cause its the best part of the meal). I hate to discredit or slam an establishment that is working so hard to be "good". It simply reminds me that in order to succeed in such a difficult industry you can never let your guard down, assume anything, you have to give at least 150% every day because there is very very little room for error. I think Heather may need to revisit that concept and keep striving for the perfection that I believe she is capable of.

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I went in with my brother around 3pm one day last week. We were the only table in the place, which we didn't mind. I had been wanting to try Diner since I started reading all the posts here, and this was my first time.

I didn't want anything large (dinner resos at CinCin later that night) so I opted for the Grilled Cheese sandwich. My brother (a chef) ordered the Chicken schnitzel with spaetzle.

A bit of a wait for the food, but we didn't really care all that much, but the first thing out of my brother's mouth was "they shouldn't serve hot food on a cold plate". I tasted the spaetzle, and it was barely lukewarm. "That's because of the cold plate." He says. My grilled cheese sandwich was fine, but if it was my place (which I have dreamed about forever) my grilled cheese sandwich would make people rethink the concept of grilled cheese sandwiches by getting funky with it. This GCS was good, but nothing special, and when you pay for a GCS, it should be special. I would have it again, but I'm just saying it didn't wow me. Overall, I would go back when my appetite was bigger and I had the time to try something more interesting.

And Heather is definitely cuter in person than in the pictures. She sounded like she was having lots of fun back there, too.

Ian McTavish

General Manager / Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club

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Well, it looks like I'm going to be one of the few dissenting voices on this one.

Following the review in the Queue section of the Vancouver Sun the other day, my friends and I decided to finally check this place out. We arrived early and had no problem getting a table although, as the evening progressed, the place filled up pretty quickly. Now unlike many who have posted about problems with the service, I have to say that the service on the night we visited was quick and courteous. Our server answered all of our questions and delivered our meals without undue lag.

We started with drinks and, having the sweet tooth I do, I couldn't resist the Elvis Shake, a milkshake inspired by what was purported to be Elvis's favorite snack: a peanut butter and banana sandwich. The milkshake form - banana, peanut butter, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream - elicited a general leeriness from my companions. That is, until they tried it, at which point that leeriness turned into sheer envy. Best. Milkshake. Ever. It was so good that, by the time the appetizers arrived, I'd almost polished it off. In retrospect, had I simply ordered a second and skipped the meal, I would have left extremely satisfied.

My friends ordered the onion rings. In all fairness, they were clearly described on the big chalkboard as thick beer-battered onion rings. Thick and greasy. I was only able to eat three before I began feeling queasy. I directed my attention to my appetizer, the onion galette, a menu item I'd been particularly looking forward to which was, in my opinion, the biggest misstep of the night. The carmelized onions were excellent, but overpowered by the goat cheese. Was it supposed to contain fig slices as described in a previous post? I'm not sure because I didn't find any on mine. The thin pastry base upon which it sat was akin to eating very flaky pie crust. Overall, it reminded me of the suspect "creations" my old university buddies used to make in their dorm rooms when they couldn't be bothered to order in.

Our entrees were a mixed bag. I had the Meatloaf Melt which I thought was pretty darn good. My friend claimed her grilled cheese sandwich was the worst she'd ever had. The mac and cheese didn't fair any better. Made with white cheese, it lacked the essential bite of, say, a cheddar. "Bland" and "tasteless" were two words that my fellow diners used to describe the dish.

I finished with the Chocolate Souffle. Excellent although, as is usually the case when I order this dish, the souffle to ice cream ratio is terribly unbalanced. It could have used a more generous scoop of the nice vanilla accompaniment.

In more innocent times when we were heartened by the possibilities of what "could be" (sometime between the Elvis milkshake and before the meals arrived), my friends and I were perusing the breakfast menu, joking about spending the night in our seats so that we would have no trouble getting a table for breakfast. Alas, once the bill had been paid and we were out the door, not one of us was considering a return visit.

Edited by LordBalthazar (log)

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

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We just returned from breakfast and , whle it was decent, I don't know if we'll end up going back very frequently.

Arrived around 10:30 and seated ourselves. About 75% of the tables were full and they only had one server working the room, so it was about 5min before she came by to say hi and another 5 before we were able to place our coffee order (and maybe another 5-7 before the coffee came). I don't mind waiting for food, but I need my coffee stat on a weekend morning.

The waitress dropped off the menus and let us know that only the breakfast menu was available. That's cool, we said, that's what we're here for. She neglected to mention, however, that they had none of the baked goods on the menu left. Evidently they were slammed the morning before, probably due to the Queue review, and ran out. Now, call me crazy, but if you get reviewed in the paper on a Thursday and get slammed on a Saturday morning, you'd anticipate that Sunday might bring more hordes clamoring for food, thus you would re-stock on the items you had run out of (especially considering her lineage as a pastry chef, it seems rather plausible that people would be coming in looking for pastry items) AND schedule more than one staff member to handle the rush. The breakfast menu is pretty small, so without any baked goods on the menu, you only have about 3 or 4 things to choose from.

So I didn't get either of the menu items I had decided on whilst perusing the menu - no scones and no carrot cupcake. Instead I went for the eggs any style with ham. Mr Cat and I both ordered multigrain toast, and when our breakfast arrived we ended up with white toast and no jam in sight. We just went for the white toast anyway, no big deal. Mr Cat eventually scored some strawberry jam, which I have to say was outstanding. Really intense strawberry flavour. Yum!

Anyway, the food was nice simple breakfast fare, but for just a little more money, I'd rather go to Seb's. The portions are bigger, the food has a little more creativity going for it, they're never out of anything, and despite having line-ups, the servers never miss a beat when taking care of a totally full restaurant.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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Anyone try their eggs benny?  I'm a hollandaise fanatic . . . it's all about the hollandaise, and the proper poaching of the eggs IMO.

Had the eggs benny last saturday for breakfast. One of the best I've every had. The raging hangover has obscured the details, but here goes, in all my purple prose:

"Right from the chicken" eggs (no cartons allowed!) poached slowly oozing gilded with gustatory gold leaf hollandaise on top of thick cut cured ham crispy, soft and sweet, bedded upon what some may call "a biscuit" but what in reality was a twice-cooked fork heaven of exploding dense flakiness.

I can't remember what they came with, but it doesn't really matter.

The scones were pretty damn good, too.

Quentin Kayne

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