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Athens Diner

($) - Closed
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925 Congress Pkwy N
Athens, TN 37303 (Map & Directions)
Phone: (423) 745-1127
Yum or Yuck?
Cuisine: Cafe, Greek
Neighborhood: Athens

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Restaurant Description

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Credit Cards Accepted


Good for Kids




Price Point
$ $ - Cheap Eats (Under $10)
$$ - Moderate ($11-$25)
$$$ - Expensive ($25-$50)
$$$$ - Very Pricey (Over $50)


Outdoor Seats

Reviews of Athens Diner

review_stars 08/01/2009 - Michelle
I wanted to stop for a bite to eat on my way back to Chattanooga from Knoxville, and thought I'd try a local place rather than a chain - one can be pleasantly surprised that way and find some terrific food.

A roadside sign listed "Athens 50s Style Diner" among the fast food chains, so - remembering the Food Network's shows on diners - I thought I'd give it a try.

The atmosphere was pretty nice - there was 50s type memorabilia on the walls and a cute fountain in the corner. The two waiters were gruff and surly, no smiles, and I didn't feel welcome...that should have been my first clue.

I decided against a burger & fries when I saw they had lasagna, so I ordered that. Now mind you, I'm from NYC and know good Italian food, and seriously didn't expect anything comparable here in the South, but was hoping I'd at least get something decent and reasonably tasty.

What I was brought looked like vomit on a plate. There was ONE layer of lasagna noodles, topped with a huge amount of cheese that had the consistency of rubber. As anyone who knows food will tell you, it's the sauce that makes or breaks Italian cuisine; in this case, the sauce was bitter and had a metallic taste.

The salad bar was included in the meal; the "star" of the show was ordinary iceberg lettuce; there was nothing special, just the usual tomato wedges, cucumber, etc. The dressings were not labeled so I had no way of knowing if one of the two that looked like ranch was low fat.

The waiters weren't at all solicitous; by the look on their faces, they didn't want to be there.

When I went to pay, the owner - who at least was friendly - made a big thing of the fact that I asked for a lemon slice with my Diet Coke - he said he thought he was the only person in the world who did that! Huh???
He didn't ask my meal was good; neither waiter (I think they were his sons) asked why 90% of it it was left on my plate. (Hungry as I was, I just couldn't force it down!)

Is there anything good I could say about this place? Well, yes, actually: the garlic bread was warm and tasty.

If you're in Athens and looking for a place to eat, pass this one by!

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