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Decatur Diner

Category: Great local place or worth a drive if you are Greek diner deprived
Summary: Hoppin' atmosphere, open 24/7, very solid food

Decatur Diner has been open for a week or two now.  Word seems to have spread fast.  We got there just in time to get a table without waiting and the line started building as soon as we sat down.  The entryway was packed with people the entire time we were there. We saw all sorts of people: students, families, senior citizens. The combination of the food and the atmosphere is what brings people in.

This is a classic New York Greek diner.  Perhaps that's not too surprising considering the owner ran a restaurant in New York for 17 years, as he told me.  The decorations on the walls, the neon signs, the huge cakes in the refrigerator case all spell diner.  The waitstaff is friendly.  Everything moves quickly here; you don't have to wait long to eat if you're hungry.

I went for the chicken parmigana (chicken parm to the cognoscenti).  This is a classic diner dish and one of my all around favorite casual foods.  It's an Italian-American dish, way too heavy for a classic Italian table but hearty enough to fortify a busy New Yorker. You can see from the photo that the plate is covered with food; you can't tell that it's a huge plate.  I also received a soup and salad.  The sauce was fairly light and tasty with a good balance of sweet and tomato tartness.  The chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

I don't know of a New York-style diner in Atlanta that is of this quality.  Diner food, of course, isn't fancy, so don't drive here if you are looking for artisanal cheeses and fine wines.  But it's good food and a very fun atmosphere.  If you like New York diners, I think this is a place you will want to try. If you're hungry it's a pretty good place, too.

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