Patrons given poor service, food at Original Mike’s Diner

Elizabeth Witt, Staff Writer

I’ve always loved 50s-style diners. Colorful booths, classic artwork and sweet music always gives me that savory, nostalgic feeling.

Restaurants like Johnny Rocket’s or The Original Mel’s have that great classic American atmosphere and have pretty good choices in American foods as well.

About 10 minutes from campus is a small, inconspicuous diner right on East Stockton Blvd near Applebee’s.

Original Mike’s Diner seems to have gone fairly unnoticed, but I chose to venture on over there with a few friends in the hopes that it would compare to some of my favorite restaurants, or maybe even win me over.

Upon arriving, we were seated fairly quickly at a booth along the wall. All the tables had coin-operated jukeboxes with decades worth of American music ready to entertain your table.

Although we were seated quickly, the wait for our server was long and no one had bothered to let us know that they’d be taking care of us or that they would be busy for a few more minutes.

Once our waitress made it to our table, she was polite, but briskly gathered our drink order and left without telling us her name.

We waited once again for her to return for our dinner order, but it gave us plenty of time to look over the seemingly endless menu.

I was impressed with the wide variety of meals they offered. Most of it was lunch and dinner, such as chicken strips, sandwiches and burgers. But on the back page of the menu was the breakfast: my favorite.

Breakfast for dinner is never a bad idea, especially when it includes French toast.

Along with the French toast breakfast, I chose to indulge in a chocolate shake. You just don’t get the full diner experience without the handcrafted milkshake.

The milkshake was alright, but the rest of my meal was definitely forgettable.”

We finally ordered our meal and waited one more time, for about 25 minutes, to get our food.

Nothing that had been ordered was so complicated that it should take 25 minutes to cook, and the restaurant wasn’t even close to busy.

My food looked and tasted as though it had sat under a heat lamp for about 10 minutes, which was the first thing I noticed.

I also found myself disappointed in the taste of the food. The French toast was bland and the maple syrup tasted overly processed, like the extra-sugary stuff 8-year-olds love to drown their Eggo waffles in.

I was pleased that the eggs were real and not from a carton, like some restaurants serve. The bacon was cooked to order and seemed alright.

The milkshake was alright, but the rest of my meal was definitely forgettable.

The total for my meal came out to just over $14, but luckily Yelp! had a 10% discount for checking in to the restaurant.

The meal was not terribly overpriced at $7.95, but I wouldn’t say the milkshake was worth $5.25 considering I could get the same thing from In ‘n’ Out for almost half the cost.

I wouldn’t frequently recommend this to most of my friends, but if they were looking for a relaxed, late night meal that was better than just fast food, I might mention Original Mike’s Diner along with some other restaurants, maybe a burger joint or pizza place.