I have enjoyed the Buckhead Diner for nearly 20 years. I was in over the weekend and the interior has maintained the décor all these years. It’s warm, a little dark, cozy despite how big it is and welcoming. The floors likely have been replaced to still look so fresh. It’s absolutely a diner but a diner you can wear an evening gown to should your night require such attire before or after eating here. Come in your jeans otherwise. They welcome it all.
Still packing them in on a Saturday after decades is a great sign. I got there long before my reservation but still had to wait a bit after my appointed time. I was happy to observe the GM so actively engaged with customers as well as helping do every job that needed to keep things flowing smoothly. Cheery hostess and the staff seemed to be moving things along nicely.
The bar area and front waiting area were quite packed! There is plenty of seating in the restaurant but there were just too many bottoms requesting one of the many seats so it was standing room only for 2-3 dozen people. We all wait with a smile knowing what treats await.
Once seated our waiter set the tone. He was odd and later learned he completely disregarded me ordering the signature starter of blue cheese chips (you must get these. They were the first in the city to offer them and may be the only restaurant that still does and the main reason I chose to dine there). The food runner and GM were quick to remedy this after our entrees arrived and I announced the starter hadn’t been delivered. That put a damper on our experience the rest of the evening. I expect flawless service from a Buckhead Life restaurant.
The wine list is very decent for a “diner” – but this is no run of the mill diner. Do not let the name fool you.
I saw pimento cheese fritters at the pass and regretted not getting those alongside the blue cheese chips. I have to return to experience these golden delights.
The veal mushroom meatloaf is a must have comfort food elevated to Buckhead Life standards. It’s a long time signature of theirs for a reason.
"S & S" Florida shrimp & Maine lemon sole: I have mixed feelings about. The sole was unimpressive in flavor. Texture was lovely and fish is fresh but the crust didn’t really compliment the delicate fish. The shrimp was quite exquisite though. Very tender with a sweet almost lobster like flavor. Fantastic tartar sauce. Fries are nothing memorable but are obligatory on a fried plate of seafood.
Grilled Niman Ranch Pork Chop & arborio risotto with parmesan : One fine plate of food. Tender savory pork and the risotto was perfectly cooked and seasoned. If I lacked manners I would have licked the plate. Seriously. Umami flavors at their best.
I am officially disappointed that the incredible chocolate cake they used to serve is no longer offered. It’s without question the best one I’ve had by a mile.
I may go back just for that and another piece of the white chocolate banana crème pie (and those pimento fritters). My dining companion and myself still are thinking about that pie 2 days later.
Shame on service but I will return. I have had many excellent experiences in the past and hope to have many more in the future.