Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Depot American Diner

When I wrote about Wilde, I told you all about how Josh and I take each other out to meals for our birthdays. Well now it was my turn to take him out. I asked what kind of food Josh was interested in getting, and he said that he'd been craving diner food for quite a while. I thought way back to before the JEC days when I was hitting up all of the DDD spots in Chicago. This lunch also happened to be one of my roommate Steve's last meals before moving away for dental school. He was such a big fan of this place the first time, and he was very glad to get another chance to dine here. So we all hopped onto 290 W to head to the Depot American Diner.

The Depot is laid out exactly how you'd expect a diner to be. There's a large open air kitchen with a lengthy counter. Both times I've sat at the counter to get the full experience, but they also have a few booths. The whole place isn't that big though and can probably only seat 50 people max. I'm not sure if they take reservations, but I haven't needed one either time.

The service is great with a couple of waitresses handling the whole restaurant. Including the cooks, everyone really makes you feel at home by striking up good conversation. It's pretty cool to sit at the counter and watch them cook everything. Also, although many things seem pre-packaged, trust me that everything is pretty fresh and they just portion out things ahead of time for efficiency.

It's very reasonably priced too. A sandwich or salad runs from $5-$8, and the daily blue plate special is $10. The portions are gigantic, and you definitely have enough for two meals every time.

The Food
They've got a nice variety of diner food here, and because I've sat at the counter both times, I think I've seen them make pretty much the whole menu. The salads look delicious as do many of their specials, but there's really one item that stands above the rest, the Pot Roast Sandwich. Steve and I had that, and Josh ordered the daily Blue Plate Special which was the Breaded Fried Chicken with Mac N Cheese and Corn. Josh's meal also came with Chicken Noodle Soup that had a nice spice mix and wasn't too salty. The Pot Roast is unbelievable. It's savory, juicy, and covered in a perfect gravy that makes you fell all warm inside. Oh, and it's covered in onion strings (boom). The fries it comes with are pretty standard, but you don't need ketchup because they cover them in gravy. I can and have drank this gravy on occasion. The Chicken had a nice crisp and was unbelievably juicy. The Mac N Cheese was very creamy, but didn't really bring anything special to the table like all of the other items.

 The Chicken Noodle Soup

The Pot Roast Sandwich

The Breaded Chicken Blue Plate Special

Now you're never hungry for dessert when you finish at The Depot, but it's just something you've got to do. We ordered the Doughnuts with Mocha Sauce. The sauce is very tasty, and the doughnuts are doused in cinnamon sugar. The doughnuts could be a little less dense, but that didn't stop me from inhaling them.

 The Doughnuts with Mocha Sauce

There's very little not to love about The Depot. For not too much money you can get one of the best sandwiches around and still have some the next day. The waitresses and cooks are friendly, and the food is out of this world. The only problem for many of you city folk is that it's somewhat of a drive, but if you need a lift you can ask me anytime. I'm giving The Depot American Diner 4.5 out of 5 Pearls.

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