The Diner – Raleigh (Glenwood South)


The Diner
410 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27603
www.thedinerraleigh.com

Having opened January 4, 2010, The Diner is one of the newest restaurants to open in Raleigh, taking over the space in the heart of Glenwood South vacated by Hard Times Café. The owner also runs Solas and Hibernian, both just up the street, but the Diner is a different animal from these nightlife hotspots.

Upon walking in, I was relieved. Despite the name and retro logo, I was afraid the restaurant would be a diner twist on just another tapas bar or formal restaurant of which the area has plenty. But The Diner stays true to its namesake from the décor, to the menu to the 24/7 hours of operation.

Characteristics of a true diner:
Breakfast served all day: check
Huge menu, including two dozen sandwiches: check
Most items $8 or less: check
Malts (aka milkshakes): check
Giant Elvis figure on the wall: check

Of course there are a few more eclectic options that you wouldn’t expect at a normal southern diner, but that you would expect from Glenwood South. This includes a Mediterranean salad, blackened catfish, fresh seasonal fruit and fried green tomatoes.

Having always wanted to try a Monte Cristo, and gave it a shot. In this case it was turkey, ham and cheese on French toast, and with my choice of sweet potato fries as the side. It turned out to be a great fusion of breakfast and lunch. The meat was smoky and juicy and the fries were enjoyable. The bread was a little soggy and it took a little while to get our orders (probably cause and effect there). But to be fair, I went for lunch on the second day The Diner was open, and it was busy. I’ve worked in food and beverage long enough to know that they’ll work those kinks out quickly.

Overall, The Diner will be a great addition to that part of Raleigh. The menu is unique for Glenwood South, and the hours should create some lively late-night dining experiences and some not as lively brunch hangover fixes. Not to mention they have a great patio overlooking the street that will be packed when the weather warms. Long live the American diner.

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