I was not compensated for this review and
the opinions expressed below are completely my own. Peace, B.
You know how when you find something new in town and you kinda fall in love with everything about it? Like "Holy crap, this place is so fabulous, I want to marry it and have its babies!" kind of fall in love? Yeah, well, Covington Diner had me swooning (but in a good way) before I even got into the restaurant. It's strange and lovely to have such a place here in town. I don't know if people understand that the existence of the Covington Diner means we all just got a thousand bonus cool points and an extra life, too. I met OFM admin, Pam, for lunch at the diner and, I think it's safe to say, we're both fans.
Ten reasons I love Covington Diner
1. The music is da bomb, yo.
The music piping into the parking lot was all kinds of crazy cool
. That trend continued. I only heard music filled with awesome and wow the entire time I was there. It wasn't overwhelming, but it helped set a mood that just made you want to stay and hang out for a while.
2. They're open 24 hours a day Thursday through Saturday! I know! Finally, we have a great place for late nights after ball games and concerts and dates. People have places to go and study any time of the day or night. Mamas seeking coffee have a place to tuck in with a book.
3. They have FREE wi-fi! I can escape my family as needed, nibble on yummy-ness, swill coffee, AND cruise Pinterest while updating my Facebook? Yes, please. Just ask your server for the password to log on.
4. GREEK food! I wasn't expecting Greek food and I love Greek food. Imagine my happiness to open the menu and see the word "feta" popping up everywhere. And, and, and then... dolmathes came with the salad! And, and, and then... the spanakopita was so good, I could have cried! And, and, and... they make their own baklava! For those of you who get your fix once a year at Greek Fest, say thank you to the folks at the Covington Diner. They made some sunshine just for you.
5. Affordable prices! I was really impressed with the prices at Covington Diner. You can get a burger and fries for $5.99. I mean, that's awesome sauce. They also had breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials. I would have ordered a special, but I was lost once I saw the Greek food. Pam had the eggplant parm and she loved it. I saw that breakfasts start at $4.99 (the Big 8 looks like a good deal) and go up to $8.99 for ham and eggs. Lunch can be as inexpensive or as pricey as you want. I had the combination Greek platter for $12.99. I took most of it home- we're talkin' a ton of food. The dinner selections went all the way up to $18.99 for a 14 ounce ribeye and also included shrimp santorini for $12.99 and spanakopita for $8.99 (yeah, I'm getting that next time because it was freaking delish).
6. It's not a chain restaurant! I really, really, REALLY like it when I can go to a unique place and have a unique experience. Covington Diner gives us yet another dining option that we can't get anywhere else. I think we have a handful of restaurants in town that offer that kind of one of a kind experience. (Treasure Thai on the square comes to mind.) The more quality, locally owned places we have in town, the more attractive it makes our community. I like being able to stay in town for date night, friends. Don't you?
7. Atmosphere! The owners did a good job transforming an old Shoney's that had a second life as a Chinese buffet into a diner. Seriously. It's set up well with plenty of seating, but it's not too cramped. The decor is eclectic and fun. It's bright and cheerful without being cold and generic. (One thing about the chain places on the other side of 278 that bothers me is how dark and uninviting they feel.) Covington Diner feels like a good place to be.
8. Friendly, efficient staff! Our server was Vickie. She was some kind of special sweetness. I like it when my waitress does her job well (refills glasses, pre-buses, etc) while being just the right amount of attentive. That takes experience and talent. As I watched the rest of the staff (the busboy, the hostess, the other servers, etc), I noticed everyone seemed to know what she or he was doing. No one was apathetic or leaning. Nothing brings down a place faster than frowny faced, apathetic employees. I only saw enthusiastic people who wanted to do their jobs well at the Covington Diner.
9. Homemade baked goodness! Dear sweet baby Jesus, the baked goods are amazing. Because I love you and wanted to give a thorough review of the place, I sampled the strawberry cake, the chocolate cream pie, the butter cookies, the chocolate chip cookies, and the baklava. Look. Somebody had to make sure this stuff was goodness and I'm here for you. You're welcome. You'd expect at least one thing to be just so-so, but no. Everything was yummy. I especially liked the baklava. I took home three of the giant chocolate chip cookies for the Littles. They devoured them and then, stole the baklava for their school lunches. Rotten children. The prices were a bit steep- $4.99 for a slice of cake, but the servings are huge. Two folks could easily share one slice of cake or pie. I have to give a shout out to a cake I didn't try, but called out to me for its complexity and insanity. The aptly named "crazy cake" is a four layer monster featuring chocolate, yellow, carrot, and red velvet layers with coconut, strawberry, and chocolate cream sandwiched in between. It's frosted with strawberry, chocolate, and white icing and a mad splash of sprinkles. My birthday is next month. Please, make a note of it. (The crazy cake is pictured below in the case. It's the one in the bottom left hand corner.)
10. Full menu selection! From burgers and sammies to steak and chicken, they offer a full selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was amazed. There are Greek specialties like moussaka and down home country favorites like pork tips and gravy over rice. A kids' menu offers everything from the standard fare of grilled cheese and spaghetti to more happy time dishes like a Mickey Mouse pancake. There's even a little salad bar which will make my Littles super happy.
Things that made me go hmmmmmm:
The fries were just meh- crinkle cut and purchased in bulk. Nothing to write home about when paired with the other delicious food I was eating. Maybe the addition of some special seasoning would jazz them up. (I'm thinking something Greek!) Until that happens, I'd substitute the fries for another side item if possible.
The gyro are made with beef, not lamb and it wasn't the best gyro in the history of ever. Not to downplay the significance of being able to order a gyro in Covington or to say it was bad. It was just average and when you compare it to say, the spanakopita, you can see that some dishes are better than others. Obviously, Greeks are in the house, but the gyros are only so-so.
The lettuce is iceberg and not a mix of greens. The Greek salad kicked some boot-tay because of the wedge of feta, pile of olives, and the surprise appearance of dolmathes, but underneath all of that goodness was just some average everyday iceberg lettuce. Covington Diner has a basic salad bar. Everything looked super fresh and yummy, but no mixed greens appeared there either.
It's easy to not notice the iceberg lettuce when faced with that hunk of feta cheese and a dolmathes!
Covington Diner gets an overall fabulous times one gazillion on the OFM scale. Try them out, friends. I think you'll like them, too. Covington Diner is located at 6238 Turner Lake Road NW in Covington. It's in the Food Depot parking lot. They're open Sunday through Wednesday from 6 am until 11 pm and Thursday through Saturday, 24 hours a day. You get 20% off any purchase made between midnight and 6 am now through September 12, 2012. When you go and check 'em out, tell 'em One Fabulous Mama sent you. :o)
Check out their full menu here