Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Silver Diner Food Review

Lumberjack Breakfast

Silver Dump

Those who can't do, teach; and those who can't cook (or run an effective restaurant) open diners. Like it or not, there's a certain demographic (presumably folks without taste buds) that flock to places like Rockville's Silver Diner... even at 3:00 on a Wednesday afternoon. A better question is why was I there? I'd managed to avoid eating here, since they moved up the Pike five years ago; but hunger took over, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Six hours later, it's safe to say I've learned my lesson: Silver Diner is one of, if not the worst "restaurant" in Montgomery County.

Lest you think I'm a snob, keep in mind... I prefer fast casual food as a rule; but the word fast doesn't appear to register at this establishment. I arrived at 2:36 PM, and asked for a small table (instead of sitting at the cramped counter.) An employee was kind enough to secure one (no easy task, since almost every seat in the house was taken) but mucked it up when he pointed at it, and instructed me to go over there and sit down. About 30 seconds later, he came back and tossed a menu on top of the table. Classy. Cue the clock. It took 14 minutes before a server came by. Emily did, asking if anyone had helped me yet. Funny, I assumed I was in her station (which I was.) She offered a (very) quick apology, and asked for my order.

Looks nice from the outside...

She was nice enough, I suppose; but paying customers shouldn't have to wait more than five minutes for a greeting... even if it's a bit busy. My soda (not cheap, $2.89) arrived quickly but I had to wait another 15 minutes for a so-called Lumberjack Breakfast. Evidently, lumberjacks in Rockville don't eat much. However, they must make a lot of money... to afford $11.99 for two overcooked scrambled eggs, a dozen small, flavorless home fries, three greasy strips of bacon, two tiny pork sausage links (one burnt to death) and three old silver dollar pancakes with syrup liquid sugar on the side. No toast. No quality. No chance I'd ever come back.

How do you like your sausage? Burnt, of course.

For the record, Silver Diner boasts "We Buy Fresh & Local, You Eat Well!" That's quite a statement coming from an eatery that sports a laminated book (with pictures of the food) for a menu. Amish eggs? What difference does it make, if you cook them to rubber? The pancakes felt, looked and tasted as if they were sitting somewhere (not a grill) for an hour or two. The syrup was startlingly sweet and ultimately yucky. Home fries were OK; but that was little consolation as I wiped big drops of grease from my fingers after handling a strip of bacon for 2-3 seconds, tops. Reason #128 to dislike diners... "Restaurants" drain oil from the food, diners don't care.

As if bad food (and service) wasn't enough, Silver Diner gets low grades for ambiance too. Music is random 80's (Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow's Copacabana) and every other second, another customer is getting up to use the bathroom (I wonder why?) Flatware is dirt-cheap and low-quality, and my table wasn't clean. Calgon, take me away!

One final nail in the coffin... Silver Diner offers a $5 "instant" coupon, if you download their app onto your phone. No problem: I had plenty of time to do so. When my check came, I showed the app to my server, who took down a code and left. At least I didn't have to pay full price for a lousy meal. Not so fast (pun intended.) She came back (a few minutes later) and explained that the system was down, and that she couldn't/wouldn't apply my "instant" $5 savings. Lucky for me, she suggested I use it next time I come here. When donkeys fly, my dear. Add fraud to the laundry list of reasons to avoid Silver Diner at all costs.

$15.78 for breakfast (no toast) and a soda? Toss in $4.22 for a tip, and I forked over 20 bucks for one of the worst meals of 2015. I'd complain; but what difference would it make? I'm betting Silver Diner couldn't care less. Hopefully you will.