browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.
Our Great American Adventure Website Logo

The Diner. “Food that breaks hunger, not the bank.”

Posted by on April 25, 2015

APRIL 25, 2015           ORANGE BEACH, ALABAMA

diner3IT’S CALLED “THE DINER.” This joint is special. So is my story about it.  And the name is just “The Diner.” Not to be confused with “Duck’s Diner” or any other “diner” in the beach area. Just “The Diner.” I knew this place was special the moment we arrived. It was kind of dark inside…way casual. A few neon beer signs on the walls. A cozy little bar tucked in the corner with a few locals perched on their regular stools. Several distinct rooms…one with pool tables, a jukebox and a few arcade-type games. It’s open every day, has a special Sunday brunch and best of all, the bar is open ’til 2 am, with lots of food available ’til the bitter end. It reminded me of one of the dives in Newport Beach, California I always enjoyed so much way back in the day. They weren’t too much to look at, but the food was good, the vibes were good and everyone always had fun. Could it really be that long ago?

ALL ABOUT THE PLACE. Owner Steve Kazman has always had a passion for cooking. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, dinerSteve learned working in restaurants at an early age to hustle and work fast on his feet. He worked hard and excelled in his career. His resume grew to include Executive Chef for “Morton’s of Chicago” and Corporate Chef for “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.” Pretty good credentials, I’d say! Steve’s career took a new direction when he opened a restaurant at the beach in southern Alabama. The slower, laid-back lifestyle was appealing and offered a bit of relief from the frantic fast-paced work he’d been accustomed to doing for the “big boys.” The doors have only been open for the last three months, but everyone we’ve met so far has been raving about the place, so today we decided to give it a try. Good call. We had a good time and a good meal. Great food at an affordable price. Simple comfort food. An obviously accomplished chef.

LUCKY ME. You guys know I’m a “wanna be chef” and restaurateur. You also know that when I find a place I like, I always try to meet the owner and get, literally, a “cook’s tour.” Today I scored. Steve led us through the restaurant and the kitchen, and he showed us the outside patio he’s developing. From the taste of the food, the good vibe in the place and knowing a little about the guy running the show, I’m guessing this one’s really going to make it! I bet when we return for the winter, “The Diner” will be thriving and even more crowded than it was today. And with a little luck, maybe Steve will let me help out in the kitchen when he gets really busy! Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

OUR SELECTIONS. The menu includes soup, salads, sandwiches, burgers, some tempting entrees and lots of Southern-style sides. I had a cup of lobster bisque…much better than I’d expected, and one of today’s specials: Braised beef tips served over noodles with a side of my choice. All for a whopping $7.00. Can’t do much better than that, can you? And it was good…very good! Florence had “Ashle’s Chicken,” named after Steve’s wife. Here’s how it’s described on the menu. “A dinner favorite! Breaded boneless chicken breast, sauteed and topped with beurre blanc, served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.” $10.00 for that one. I snitched a taste of it. The chicken was almost flaky-tender and very moist. Wonderful!  Thanks for a good lunch, Steve. And thanks for giving us the Cook’s Tour of your restaurant! We’ll see you next winter, for sure!



Comments are closed.