Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tastee Diner of Bethesda Food Review

Double Burger with Fries at Tastee Diner

Few places match the magic of Tastee Diner in Bethesda. Sure it's a greasy spoon; but how many eateries can claim residency since 1935? This cab (it's not a dining car: There's a difference) even survived a fire back in 2002, only to reopen two months later... better & brighter than before. I've been coming for years (love those open-faced sandwich specials) and will always have a special place in my heart for the unofficial "King of the diners."

One of the best things about Tastee Diner are the hours... all 24 of 'em. Finding a decent place to eat a late dinner after 10:00 PM is no easy task, especially on a weeknight. I walked in, and was immediately greeted by Frank (the diner's manager extraordinaire) and his trademark, 'table or counter?' I picked the former and had to wait only a few seconds for my server to come by with a menu and a glass of water. The service here is often overlooked, and it shouldn't be. I ordered a double burger (two patties) for $6.25 and a side of fries (another $2.25) with a Diet Coke.

As usual, my order arrived lickety-split. The burger fit perfectly in my hands: Both patties were juicy and cooked exactly as I had ordered (MEDIUM.) Fries were golden, crispy and delicious. They needed a dash of salt; but it makes sense to let the customer do it themselves.

I won't try to oversell the place; but Tastee Diner (at least the one here, the Silver Spring & Laurel locations aren't on the same level) never seems to let me down. If you like simple, satisfying food at a good price with a no-nonsense atmosphere... you'll be hard pressed to find better.

Atmosphere: B (As authentic as they come.)
Burger: B (Best diner burger in the area.)
Fries: B-
Service: B+ (They don't kiss your ass, but they deliver in spades each and every time.)
Value: B
Overall: B (The last remaining institution in downtown Bethesda.)