South Street Diner (Boston, MA)

Well, over Memorial Day weekend I was down in Boston with family, so I decided to do another non-UV diner review. Since I had to wait for my brother’s train, I decided to duck over to the South Street Diner (which has an official address of 168 Kneeland).

This is an odd little diner, in that it’s kind of a little food oasis in an otherwise fairly non-restauranted part of Boston (unless you count the food court over at South Station). And, during the late morning when we ate there, it was surprisingly quiet. In fact, most of the time we were the only people eating there. But the place is definitely well-worn, so this (and the fact that it is a 24 hour establishment) mean that it’s primarily a night owl establishment.

That said, I rather like the place. The prices are decent, the staff was very friendly (if somewhat odd), and the food was quite good.

So, here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

1. The food was pretty good and plentiful, although this won’t make my top 10 list. Nothing innovative or special, but very well done basic menu items (burgers, sandwiches, fries)

2. If you’re by South Station and need a bit to eat, this is the best non-food court place. Especially if it’s after hours.

3. The staff was very friendly, although having the overall mannerisms that if they didn’t like you, you’d be out on your ass in a second. Not surprising, since I’m sure that they get more than their fair share of undesirables, especially at night.

Cons:

1. This isn’t a sparkling clean ideal 50′s diner from an old movie. The formica is worn, the booths are torn, and everything has a slightly dusty patina or is dented (mind you, if you are in the right greasy spoon mindset, these can be pluses). And it’s defintely grubby (putting the “grease” into greasy spoon).

2. Maybe it was one of those flukes, but they had a lot of little service issues going here. Service was slow (but friendly and talkative). The credit card machine was on the fritz. And they had to repeatedly scare up cooks from their smoke break in the alley.

3. While they had beer and wine on the menu, apparently they were having liquor license issues at the time.

But, all things said, the good outweighs the bad, and I had a rather pleasant meal there while waiting for a train to arrive. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back there if I find myself hungry in that part of town again.

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