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the Diner

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Postby gcat » 12 Sep 2006, 21:56

As far as I know, the owners (the chef, and Amy on front of house) used to work at TGI Fridays. Lots of the food is from Costco (eg vegeburgers, cinnamon rolls etc).
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Postby maoman » 12 Sep 2006, 22:20

gcat wrote:As far as I know, the owners (the chef, and Amy on front of house) used to work at TGI Fridays.

Yeah, she worked at the Fridays next to my office. I ate lunch there almost every day for years. She was a great waitress - I'm glad to see she's doing so well for herself now. :cool:
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Postby coolingtower » 13 Sep 2006, 01:53

Dexter99 wrote:They difference between this restaurant and the other "Western types” is that this genuinely serves what you'd expect from a simple diner – simple, tasty, good-size servings at a price that anyone can afford. Others, like the TGI types go for the whole awful fake “western experience"- the gaudy flags, the oversized hellos, and ...

I finally discovered why I really like this restaurant – it’s because they don’t tax you purely because it’s western food! In many restaurants in Taipei, if you want a simple western food item – a decent burger for example, you pay for the local beef in the burger, and then you also pay a “it’s seems kinda foreign” tax, a tax that is justifiable for occasional imported items, but is generally abused!


Fanfare:
I also don't like the "oversized hellos" and other things associated with those places. I especially hate when I speak Chinese to the staff at those places and they respond in Chinese. Especially when they make a question out of what I said. (Me looking at the menu and speaking Chinese) "I'll have the ......." (Them speaking English) "Do you want the ........?" TGI and Dan Ryan's aren't too bad in this department, but Chili's is terrible. At Chili's one time a guy passed by and broadcast to the whole room "Is everything alright?", as if to say "Look at me, everyone!! I'm speaking English to the foreigner!" Even Alleycat's is guilty of this.

Foreign "tax"
I also don't like the gouging that restaurants often do just for selling something "foreign." Economically, however, it does make some sense that if something isn't completely appealing to locals, it should cost more to make it worth the cost of producing it. I highly commend the Diner for their new angle toward selling Western food. If the owners truly have TGI background, we probably shouldn't worry about the bread becoming yellow, shiny, smelly, soft, and sweet and sweet-corn kernels suddenly appearing in the soups and salads, etc. (I quit going to Costco and haven't paid membership because their whole-grain bread became sweet, among other reasons.)

Costco
I hope their items from Costco can last as long as possible. As Costco continually localizes their fare, I hope the products that the Diner buys are still available. In Tainan, we have already lost the best hot dogs and tacos because Costco quit selling the dogs and shells. I have seen many Western menus with that "li ke dai" stuff on it (that roll-on correction tape or whatever)--all because "Costco quit selling the item." I have a long list of items I formerly loved from Costco, but in my 5 year membership I've rarely found anything new or great. (Plus, I got a credit card that I could use there and and it didn't work about 1/4 of the time. If I have to have cash on hand before going, what's the purpose of having the card? We are NOT family!!!!) They'll still sell you a huge Whirlpool-brand washing machine with both hot and cold water inputs (which locals would rarely use), but...no more chicken enchiladas! Locals simply won't eat food that isn't sweet.

Good for the Diner!!!
I get hungry every time I look at this thread. I can't wait to visit this place! It sounds excellent! I really want to try the double double burger or whatever--with the bacon that "isn't bacon sashimi, like Mei-er-mei". LOL!!!!

Question: Is Mary's Hamburger charging too much? (The "kinda foreign tax")?
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Postby AWOL » 13 Sep 2006, 09:55

The only trouble with the Diner is it is ever so popular with younger local cool kids and goddam they can make some noise... the owners are aware of it and doing something about it, but the last 2 times we went it was near impossible to talk to each other over the incessant giggling and screaming whilst a table of 10 sipped their cokes and nothing else.
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Postby k.k. » 14 Sep 2006, 13:07

Just had my first meal at The Diner. I had the Jumbo Burger business lunch thing. Very good. One of the best burgers in town. It sunk me though. Make sure you're not going back to work after!!!

I'm looking forward to returning to try some of the other menu items. I have nothing but good things to say at this point. It is nice to have another option for eats like this.
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Postby coolingtower » 14 Sep 2006, 13:22

Hey, Mer,

You remember me, right? haha. What do you mean "it sunk you"? Does that mean being too full made you tired?
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Postby k.k. » 14 Sep 2006, 13:31

Yep. There's no skimping going on with the Jumbo Burger at The Diner.
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Postby Tigerman » 19 Sep 2006, 19:34

Tried the Pastrami Reuben on rye this afternoon and while it may not be exactly like a Reuben back home, it was very, very good. Took one home to my boy and he also gave it two thumbs up.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I'll be having more of that!
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Postby snafu » 19 Sep 2006, 22:40

I am gonna have to try that next time, BTW they are closed on Mondays, so is the hot dog place across from them.
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Postby canucktyuktuk » 20 Sep 2006, 12:17

I finally tried The Diner out today. Had for 150$ 2 eggs, 2 sausages, real hash browns, toast with butter and jam, glass of juice, coffee and small bowl of fruit.

Service was very good and inobtrusive, excepting the part where they didn't refill my coffee (I didn't ask either but a warm-up would have been nice). The food was very good. The eggs were cooked perfectly, the sausage good and the toast was fine as well. A very "western experience". It seems silly to comment on a typical diner breakfast but....this one was good.

Also, they had a paper there for me to read and the table was set with all the condiments and milk and sugar that I could have wanted. They even asked me if the music was too loud. I like the decor. Simple, roomy and neat. Bathroom was spotless and well appointed. Hot water on tap. I poked my head in the kitchen and it was clean.

I'll definitely be going back there to try the lunch sometime soon. There were a lot of things on the menu that I might try, including pancakes, a clubhouse sandwich, and lots of toppings available for the hamburgers. The prices look good.

two thumbs up!
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