Monday, December 14, 2009

"the night could last forever"

the food: lunch at 24 Diner
the song: "Afterhours" Velvet Underground

About a month ago, I started hearing rumors of a restaurant replacing Waterloo Ice House on South Lamar that boasted a modern menu highlighting local, farm fresh ingredients. Sounded good to me, but then I heard the real kicker: this place would be open 24 hours.

24 Diner opened a week and a half ago and the husband convinced me to try it this weekend. Oh lordy, I'm so glad he did. I've been daydreaming about this place all day long, coasting through Monday with a smile on my face thinking about this burger.

I ordered the veggie burger with fries, because sometimes in a new place it's best to start with something basic and work your way up. But I'm not sure this veggie burger could really be labeled basic. The base is a nice flavorful homemade patty, dressed with juicy roasted tomatoes, pungent arugula, creamy goat cheese and a subtle lemon vinaigrette. Not that there's anything wrong with a Garden Burger with mayo, but this was a welcomed change from the typical veggie burger. And I can't forget to mention those fries. They were crisp, crunchy and lightly sprinkled with course salt. You know, just your typical 24 hour diner fair.

I also tried a bite (or two...or three) of this veggie po' boy. Charred squash, roasted peppers, portabella mushroom, and carmelized onion. Yes, please. It is a hard to tell from this picture, but the bread was soft and light and didn't overwhelm the sandwich. I had to restrain myself from eating this entire serving of mac and cheese. This is comfort food at it's best... cheesy, gooey goodness, updated with a nice kick of black pepper and green onion. When you go to 24 Diner, don't even think about sharing the mac and cheese. Just get your own.

Some of the Yelp reviews have been a little harsh, but from where we were sitting this weekend, everything was smooth sailing. Considering how good our experience was, it really is suprising it has only been a week and a half since the doors opened and downright mind boggling that they haven't shut since. And there's so much I didn't even touch on! The specially roasted coffee, the atmosphere, the beer selection! I must go back. Good luck, 24 Diner. I'm excited to watch you grow.


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