06 March 2010

Dan's Drive In

Dan's Drive-In is the quintessential American diner. Full of kitschy knick knacks alongside a menu full of breakfast items and Greek fare, Dan's delivers exactly what one would expect when walking through the front door.

In some ways this is a good thing; and in others, it's not so much.

The decor of the restaurant is actually quite charming. The place used to be a car hop, and the parking lot reflects this. The walls are covered in pictures of Elvis and other classic depictions of wistful nostalgia.

Like most diners, the focus at Dan's is on breakfast food. Vegetarians should take note: there are tons of items on the menu that are suitable for ovo-vegetarians (omelets, skillet scrambles and breakfast sandwiches). I'm not big on eggs, so you'll have to check these items out on your own.

However, aside from the egg-tastic choices on the menu, there are other items available that are suitable for vegetarians. Choices include three different Greek-style pasta dishes, French toast, pancakes, a veggie sandwich and a hummus pita wrap. There are many vegetarian side dishes like fries, onion rings (which were tasty), poppers, hummus and tzatziki. Dan's also gets bonus points for labeling the vegetarian choices on the menu.

While the prices are low and the service is friendly, the quality of the food can be somewhat hit-or-miss.

The pasta dishes come with garlic bread and salad. Both sides were exceptionally mediocre. The salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, green peppers, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes. The dressing was overly viscous and borderline slimy. The garlic bread was essentially garlic-dusted toast.

The Greek pasta has slightly more redeeming characteristics. A decent portion of spaghetti was served in a tomato sauce with onions, green peppers, kalamata olives and a liberal dose of feta cheese. This dish is pretty much the safety net for most vegetarians in Greek restaurants nationwide. Dan's version is decent if unspectacular.

Despite my protestations, Dan's seems to do a pretty brisk business. The dining room is full of a rotating cast of South Side regulars.

While the place isn't exactly the type of establishment I could enthusiastically endorse, the menu does have a pretty wide variety of choices for vegetarians. If you're in the neighborhood, it will do in a pinch.

Dan's Drive In

Dan's Drive in on Urbanspoon

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