I love the Silver Diner. If you don’t live in the DC metro area, or Cherry Hill, NJ, or near Richmond, VA, you’ve probably never heard of the Silver Diner. Maybe you have a great place like Silver Diner near where you live. I hope so.
Silver Diner has been in the D.C. area almost as long as I have. The one in Arlington is my favorite. I haven’t been to all 15 of them, but I’ve been to a bunch. I probably have some bias. The Arlington location is where we go all the time, and now where we’re known. And by all the time, I mean practically every week.
We’ve been going there for years. I love that they have jukeboxes at the tables. The old Seebring jukeboxes – but now they’re all wired into a digital jukebox system. Since they’re all old boxes, it’s hit-or-miss as to whether the one at your table will work. But a lot of times it does. When my son Sean was living, he would choose Yellow Submarine almost every time. After he died, we’d play it every time we went to remember him.
The last outing Don had before he went back to the hospital for the last time was to Silver Diner. It’s just always been a place that we’ve felt comfortable gathering.
For about the last ten years or so, our church’s theater group has gone to Silver Diner after opening night. The younger folks sit at long tables together, and the older folks tend to sit together, but we all sit in the same section of the diner. The kids order mass quantities of shakes (Silver Diner has a great selection of shakes) – usually so many that they run out of the glasses and have to serve some in to-go cups. The older folks order beer or wine or coffee, and everything from appetizers to desserts.
We used to go to other places. Early on, the folks who wanted to drink went to a bar somewhere, and the younger folk went to get ice cream somewhere, but that was too bad, because we weren’t all together. We tried a bunch of different places, and then one year we landed at Silver Diner. We arrive in huge clumps, we’re a bit loud, and they just roll with it. They always give us service with a smile.
The service is great there. I mean, I do go to places where the service is less than great if the food is outstanding, but great service makes such a difference. Everyone is friendly. Sometimes they make mistakes, because sometimes everyone makes mistakes, and when they do, they do everything to make it right.
I like the food, too. Several years ago they decided to make a commitment to local food sourcing. It’s one of the few places I’ll eat eggs, because I won’t eat factory-farmed eggs. This isn’t fine dining, but it’s good tasty food.
My mother did once send her bacon back like three times, but my mother…does that. I personally would recommend the tomato, basil, and goat cheese omelette. Every once in a while I get something else.
All together, it’s a recipe for feeling comfortable with friends and family. For all the commercials on t.v. about how this chain or that wants to be your neighborhood place, there really is no substitute for a truly local place. Those other places have soundtracks that are way too loud and treat their employees like crap.
I like going to a place where people stop by the table and say, “hi – haven’t seen you in a while,” and where they put a notice up at the front desk when a long-time employee and customer has had a health set-back. (There was also a collection jar so folks could contribute to his recovery).
That’s why I love Silver Diner.
That’s it. That’s my mite.