The Diner: A Nashville ‘flavor’ite headed south

Photo by Tayhlor Stephenson / Lifestyles Editor

In a booming city full of tourists, both first-time and returning, and locals eager to try all things food-related, The Diner couldn’t have come at a better time when it opened its Nashville doors in February. The eatery continues to attract attention for its unique six-story architecture and 24/7 serving schedule, but is this place worth all the hype?

The atmosphere certainly is. Upon arrival, you’re thrown into the first of six levels: the coffee shop. Conveniently placed at ground-level, you can get in and out with your freshly baked pastry and brewed beverage rather quickly.

If that doesn’t quite suit your yearning tastebuds, ride the elevator to the Cocktail Lounge on the second floor for a menu complete with burgers, salads, adult beverages and more. For seafood, you’ll want to hit the sixth floor, where you can find “shucked-to-order oysters, crab legs and made-to-order sushi.”

As for me, I chose the dine-in experience, which led me to the fourth floor — one of two floors fully devoted to the dining ambiance. I was seated beside floor-to-ceiling windows, which left me awestruck. I can honestly say I have never eaten at a place where the view was as great as this one. Surrounded by downtown Nashville, I was sure this place would soon be added to my go-to list.

To my satisfaction, The Diner offered a full menu, including appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, entrees, sides and desserts. I tried both the Lemon Rosemary Chicken, a dish complemented by White Wine Herb Pan Jus, and the Rattlesnake Pasta, the newest addition to The Diner’s menu and the perfect choice for those in search of food with a kick. Without much deliberation, I added a side of grilled asparagus, a side my waitress confirmed worthy.

Unfortunately, my love for the place started die out the longer I waited for my food. Sure, I had beautiful scenery to preoccupy me, but that doesn’t dismiss the fact that I was forced to wonder whether or not my ticket got lost in the midst of the hustle and bustle of things.

When I actually got my food and tasted each dish, my disappointment only set in deeper. While the Lemon Rosemary Chicken was tender and moist, the Rattlesnake Pasta was too spicy to enjoy, and the grilled asparagus was served cold. I’m hoping it was just an off night in the kitchen, but for the price of what you get, I wasn’t pleased.

Ultimately, I feel like The Diner is attempting to offer something they can’t really back up. Though the atmosphere is incredible, the food is not, and at the end of the day, I choose my restaurants based solely on food.

On a star rating system, I would give The Diner two out of five stars.

Table Talk is a foodie’s paradise where you can find true, honest opinions on the most talked-about places in town. For more Table Talk coverage, click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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