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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives running thread

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by 93Devil, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member


    This is a tangent from the Expensive Dinner Thread...

    Any idiot can open their wallet up and get a great meal, but the real beauty is getting a great, well-prepared complex meal at a normal price, and this show gives you a roadmap to finding these places.

    In the last year, anytime I travel, these are the places that I have to eat at, and I am rarely disappointed. And if I am disappointed, it usually does not cost me $500.

    I will kick it off with the places I have visited and a quick review.

    Dot's Back Inn in Richmond

    So good. Just so good. Don't be in a hurry, but the food is well worth the wait. Kitchy little place in a kitchy part of Richmond. The black bean corncake appetizer is fantastic.

    Dor Stop in Dormont (Pittsburgh)
    Best breakfast you will ever have in your life. Buddy from Manhattan says this place could charge $200 per plate in NYC for breakfast and have a two hour wait every day. Everything here is made from scratch.
    Get the pancakes.

    Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh
    Well documented here, but a solid choice. Go to the original one in the Strip with the mural.

    Lo Bellos outside of Pittsburgh
    I hate to say but small portions and overpriced. Tasted good, but better Italian places in Pittsburgh or within five miles.

    The Dining Car in Philadelphia
    Had the chicken croquettes, and I really really liked them. Solid place.

    I'm sure I will remember more, but this is my list so far.
  2. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I ate at a place in Eastern Market (DC) a few months ago, and they had a sign on the inside promoting it's appearance on this show. Place was damn good. Some of the best fish tacos I've ever had. The pupusas were damn good, too. And you won't spend a fortune either.

  3. Always enjoyed a trip to Peppi's in Pittsburgh before a ballgame. If the North Shore location is still there, a lot of memories on the way by way of autographed pictures. And the food is pretty good as well.
  4. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I watch this show from time to time. Guy Fieri is only slightly less annoying than Rachel Ray.

    Some of the restos, as Devil pointed out serve good plain home cooked food-- but there's nothing "complex" about any of it. A good line cook can do this stuff in his/her sleep.

    Some of the other places that I've seen on the show look like just plain old greasy spoons serving unnecessarily large portions of artery clogging crap.

    To me, the tip-off between a home cooked meal and a greasy spoon in one of these diners is the french fries. If they use frozen fries, they're a greasy spoon. :)
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    These shows are a blessing and a curse. They remind me of Yogi Berra's line about a restaurant: "nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."

    A BBQ joint here called Smoque was featured on DD&D. http://www.smoquebbq.com/

    It's great, but there's always a line out the door.

    And since Rick -- brother of Skip -- Bayless was on Top Chef Masters, you can't get a table at either of his restaurants if your life depended on it. Even his new counter service place has a line out the door at all hours.

    Some of the best food/meals I've ever had in my life were from road side stands in Baja California. Simple tacos with just meat, onion and cilantro. Simple & perfect.

    There's a place in Chicago that reminds me of these places:


    It's a hole in the wall. A dump. There's room for about six people to sit on a stool and eat at a time, but it's open late & it's so good.
  6. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Huggy Jr. watches the show (he loves Guy's Big Bite too) but I have never seen it. My cousin lives in the OC and the last time we were out there she took us to Hodad's in Ocean Beach. Gotta get there early or you'll be in line a while. Highly, highly recommended. Just a great burger joint.

  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    I've seen dozens of Triple Shows and not once did any of these places ever use frozen fries. In fact, a great many go to such lengths as making their own ketchup, roasting their own peppers to put into their salsa and even making their own ground beef.

    I'm jealous of the great diner foods DD&D shows. We have 2 diners in our area, and while they have a great variety, they do nothing particularly well. Too many chains in suburbia, and too many non chain restaurants that want to be.

    We have a place that deserves to be on DD&D, Cross Roads Pub in Dayton, Maryland. A small 10-12 table joint, with an 8 stool bar with 2 TVs, one for sports and one for Keno, and a patio with tables. Best crabs, crab cakes, Maryland crab soup and hush puppies west of the Chesapeake Bay. A great little place, completely unpretentious.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Please read the menu.

  9. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Looks like a regular menu. What's complex about it?
  10. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Many of the dishes were created by this chef (or line cook). They are his combinations of tastes and flavors. Some of the food is traditional, but to get corn cakes with blackbeans and green peppers (left off the menu) if something you do not see everyday.

    This place also uses Feta cheese a lot. You don't see that very often. To me, from scratch is complex. In America, to much food is reheated, even in your chains.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  11. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's because I live in the DC area, with a bigger variety of places to eat, but I see that stuff a lot. Actually, I'm a bit taken back when I don't see it. Hell, that greek salad thing they make at that place in Richmond? They make that downstairs in the cafeteria at work. Using feta cheese in something isn't complex. Not at all.

    Corn cakes with black beans and green peppers sound damn good, though. There's a BBQ joint in the area, can't remember the name, but they make Jalapeno corn bread. So good.
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I guess it is more the time, effort and care placed on a meal. It's what seperates places that make their own pasta each morning or never use frozen patties for hamburgers and those that reheat a sauce package.
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