24 Diner offers chef-inspired comfort food. Across the street from Whole Foods and next to Waterloo Records, they have the ideal location and are always busy. Since I’m from New Jersey, the land of diners, I find their name to be a misnomer. Other than being open 24 hours, this is nothing like a diner. It’s not a greasy spoon, it’s missing all the Greek dishes common at diners, and it’s definitely not cheap. But the food is delicious and the service is stellar. By the way, true diner service is provided by cranky older ladies.
On a recent visit, Mr. Betty and I had a late dinner after an event that ran long. We started with a couple drinks and some deviled eggs. The mister had a beer and I tried an Amarillo Lemonade. Oh, puke. What the hell is amarillo? This bitter concoction was not for me. Lesson learned.
I had the Chopped Salad and it was huge and filling. I was able to eat about half and enjoyed the rest the next day. I think $14 is a bit overpriced for a salad, but it was chock full of turkey, ham and all the good stuff. I skipped the tomatoes and buttermilk dressing and opting instead for a roasted shallot vinaigrette on the side.
Mr. Betty had the Bacon Avocado Burger. A true creature of habit, he’ll order pretty much anything with poblanos on it. Again, I feel that $15 is too much for a burger, no matter how delicious. I had a bite and was indeed a really good burger. One of the best I’ve ever tasted. The creamy avocado and smoked aioli were a beautiful contrast to the savory, well-seasoned burger and salty bacon. Fries also get an A+.
24 diner is super cool inside, another big difference from a real diner. I’d describe the decor as retro chic with an edge. Not at all a hammy throwback to 50′s era diners that so many places do (I hate that) but tastefully modern with a nod to the past in the details. Look how fun it was over the holidays.
Would I go back or recommend 24 Diner? Absolutely. The food, service, and entire experience were wonderful. This is a favorite among Austinites for very good reason. With tip, we got out of there for just under $70. This will not be my first stop when looking for a cheap meal, but I’ll definitely be back.