Eat Ito eat all the night and the day, and groove to Elvis Presley!
-By Ayushi Teotia
Back in the days when Lindsay Lohan or Hilary Duff ruled the teenage cinematic audience with peppy and perfect performances in their respective movies, showing specific relevance to the upbeat culture of Diners and their meager incomes from the same, as they slid past, table to table, taking orders and serving food. Yes, All American Diner will surely remind you of scenes from such movies, or instill a feeling of being in a typical diner, if nothing else. Located within the resplendent surroundings of The Indian Habitat Centre, All American diner gives you a feeling of sitting in not less than a 5-star hotel coffee house, for its nice and flashy ambience, a perfect blend of clique crowd, vintage American like posters and a mix of checks and reds making the place look exquisite and vibrant.
Being one of the first of its kind, the place is inspired from ‘The Diner’, which was born when Walter Scott began to offer prepared food from a converted horse-drawn freight wagon in Providence, Rhode Island in 1872. His lunch wagon was an immediate success and others copied and improved on his concept. These pioneers helped create an industry that would eventually produce thousands of diners. All American Diner is an amalgamation of people holding serious business discussions, passing time and filling appetite before or between cultural events and exhibitions, or simply catching up with friends over a cup of coffee, for which it is almost impossible to find this place vacant or not expect waiting of at least 15-20 minutes. The bar, tall revolving stools, sitting cabins, menu card, napkin box etc. everything has as typical American feel to it. With a limited edition ‘Elvis’ Wurlitzer Juke Box that plays 50s’, 60s’ rock classics, and a Hamilton Beach Blender – probably the last one with a retro 50s’ look, each piece at the Diner is a collector’s item. The place has definitely focused primarily on every intrinsic detail to make it look authentic and a real diner.
The menu boasting of popular American cuisine dishes starts from Salads, Sandwiches, Burgers, Pancakes, Hot dogs, Pastas, Waffles, to an endless range of options. The breakfast menu is particularly popular, and offers palatable omelets, scrambled eggs and bacon. Coming to the rest of the menu, the Classic Double Decker burger is a stealer, topped with double cheese, lettuce, tomato, braised onions and gerkins and comes along with crispy well fried wedges and an appetizing bunch of steamed vegetables. The fries are fresh and literally cut right in front, giving it unique freshness and not tasting stale because of potatoes being frozen. My recommendation would be the Zucchini white sauce mushroom pasta, which is smooth, creamy and savory in both, the taste as well as the presentation. The Malts and Shakes are particularly sought after, for their thick and refreshing taste, and the desserts part of the menu has delicious options including the blend of waffles, pancakes and ice cream, apart from the general sweet tooth offerings.
Hot dogs are the hot favorites of his place, offering quality stuff and variety in form of not just hot dogs, but also cheese dogs. For value added meals, there are options of combos to suffice your big appetite needs. Although the food is scrumptious, the only hinge being the size of portions not being satisfactory. Diners in the US are known for their generous servings but this place stands in stark contrast with their stingy portions. One wouldn’t mind paying a few extra bucks for real authenticity as far as quantity goes, as a perfect mix is the one which encompasses high quality along with quantity. The friendly, Elvis side-burned waiters are well-versed in bringing a smile to the face and offer good service. Though the place is a little small for the large crowd it attracts, the fine detailing of absolutely everything and anything makes the experience worthwhile.
Price (for two): Rs 800-1000 (approximately)
Overall Rating: 9/10
Timings: 7 AM – 12 PM
Location: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Closest Metro Station: JLN Stadium
Photographs by Foodie Photographer: Vidur Mayor