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Just when you thought it was over, along comes a diner to restore your faith in this languishing genre. Who knew chichi Palm Beach restaurateur Jo Larkie had meat loaf, pot pie, banana splits, blueberry pancakes, grilled ham-and-cheese sandwiches, and hot apple pie à la mode in her bag of tricks? You'd never guess a crowd of Palm Beach fans had followed her across the bridge and lunch regularly at City Diner, not from the down-home feel of this old Pizza Hut building, its walls full of kitschy diner memorabilia, its honest middle-aged waitresses, and the old milk-shake machine churning out floats and egg creams as if the joint were somewhere in Hackensack, not West Palm Beach. You can't get a bad breakfast, lunch, or dinner here, but don't miss the Reuben sandwich; it's a stunner.
If you want a true Reuben — the eponymous sandwich invented by either Arnold Reuben or Reuben Kulakofsky, depending on which origin story you credit — first you need to find yourself a diner. City Diner, opened this year by irrepressible Palm Beach restaurateur Jo Larkie, offers a devil's choice: the traditional grilled corned beef on rye (in this case two thick slabs of rye-pumpernickel swirl) layered with melted Swiss, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing; or a "California Reuben" composed of sliced roast turkey breast, melted Swiss, and homemade cole slaw. Either sandwich will make you wish you had an extra stomach in order to follow good with better, but if one were forced to choose from the receiving end of, say, a Walther P99, one might quaveringly allow that the corned beef ($8.50) just has the edge. Its fat and juice content, evidenced by what dribbles down the chin and puddles on the plate, its color and texture (a satisfyingly visceral and silky magenta), generous volume, ratio of cheese to meat and meat to cabbage, the pleasing char on the lip of that butter-saturated toast, and its long finish, which lingers on the palate like a good cabernet, taken together from the vantage point of a rotating chrome stool, add up to one permanent bad habit.
No_photo_small City Diner West Palm Beach by Lisa Cruz (1 review) February 23, 2011 - Doesn't like it My husband and I went to City Diner last week and enjoyed it a great deal. We had gone there after being ignored for over 15 minutes at a restaurant further down the road. We were delighted to find such a cute establishment and the food was great! However this was short lived. We went to the Diner again last evening thinking what a fabulous meal we were about to have and this did not occur. We were greeted and seated outdoors which was perfectly fine. Another gentleman was seated outdoors at the same time we were. he was immediately waited on, another table was seated and then another, all waited on immediately! All this time we had been completely overlooked by not one but THREE different waitresses who by the way looked directly at us. We were not offered drinks, we were not told they were busy it would be a minute, we were not acknowledged in any way whatsoever. So we got up to leave and the hostess asked why we were leaving so my husband told her and that this was unacceptable. She tried to make it seem like it was her fault but it was clearly not. To make matters worse, I tried to call this morning and was hung up on when I ask if the manager was available, I called back and mysteriously the number went to a fax machine. Now I will get to the part that may or may not be relevant - my husband happens to be Mexican American, 4th generation, I speak more Spanish than he does and I am by the way Caucasion! I hate to think that in this century, the world is still so ignorant but at this point I see no other option. It is appalling! Needless to say, we will not be frequenting their establishment again. I am sure this will not cause them to file for bankruptcy but perhaps someone will read this comment and think twice about the way they treat their paying customers. The ones that put a pay check in their pocket!
Great diner food plus more upscale nightly specials for half the price you'd pay in other local restaurants. Family owned and run, so the quality exceeds expectations. Also great for breakfast and lunch.
I don't want to go all maudlin here, but what the hell happened to diners? Maybe they do exist still, like endangered pachyderms retreating ever farther into inaccessible forest; you might catch a glimpse of some gleaming, bullet-shaped shadow on... More »
If you want a true Reuben -- the eponymous sandwich invented by either Arnold Reuben or Reuben Kulakofsky, depending on which origin story you credit -- first you need to find yourself a diner. City Diner, opened this year by irrepressible Palm Beach restaurateur Jo Larkie, offers a devil's choice: the traditional grilled corned beef on rye (in this case two thick slabs of rye-pumpernickel swirl) layered with melted Swiss, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing; or a "California Reuben"... More »
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