Remember that late night/early morning Waffle House pit stop on I-75 halfway between Hotlanta and Chattaboogie when the coffee flowed freely and fried eggs ran just how you like ‘em … or … how about that day at the Shore, sitting atop the Windmill devouring a steaming heap of chilli cheese fries with Bruce’s Born to Run blaring from some car radio barrelling down Route 36?
No? Well, if any of that sort of romanticized Americana sounded remotely appealing, consider a kinda-sorta rendition of the best of American road food at the newly opened Diner in Camden, where two quid for a proper cup of filter coffee with FREE refills had us whistling Dixie on a recent visit. The juicy California burger (essentially a cheeseburger with Monterey Jack and Guacamole) struck a nice chord as well, and the chilli cheese fries were equally wonderful in some musical metaphor way.
The setting’s good too: right round the corner from Camden Market with rooftop terrace seating. The Diner’s kitsched up interior reminded us New York’s Soho-gone-Southern joint, Tennessee Mountain, and even a teensy bit like LA and SF’s Big Foot Lodge (especially with the Diner’s hard shakes: alcoholic milk shake cocktails). The Diner is a fun and comfy spot to grab some grub and a good place to hunker down over a long meal.
As Stateside as the menu and ambience were, service was rather more reminiscent of dining experiences on this side of the Pond. Londonist’s dining partner opted for the ‘Lumberjack’ – a decent sized stack of pancakes with eggs and bacon. Unfortunately, by the time the syrup made it to the table, the cakes were already cold. Some butter would have been appreciated too. But, we’re willing to overlook a few foibles as the Diner’s still a young’un, only a couple of weeks old and worth us comin' back to (ya hear?).
Photography by Chris Osburn.