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The Douglasville Diner Disaster

My experience at the Douglasville Diner. My grade for the restaurant? D-

The other day, the wife & I were enjoying our normal routine: running errands all afternoon after playing with the cats all morning. We were headed for our regular dining spot, Douglasville’s O’Charley’s, when Ruth suggested we try the new Douglasville Diner. I had been meaning to stop by and sample our new hometown diner and, with some hesitation, passed up my favorite house salad with balsamic vinaigrette to experience what the diner had to offer. My, my, my…what a mistake.

For those of you who don’t know, the Douglasville Diner is the first in our town of a string of diners including the Carrollton Diner, the more famous Marietta Diner and the short lived Macon Diner (which had its automatic toilet flushers repossessed and had paychecks bouncing everywhere).  It is located on Highway 5 in the old Ruby Tuesday building next to the Office Depot.

Our trip to the diner started out very well: two young gentlemen opened the doors for us, the hostess seated us promptly and our server was just as warm and kind as could be. Unfortunately, this was to be the end of our dining enjoyment.

Since I planned on reviewing the restaurant, we decided to have a conventional meal-appetizer, two meals, drinks, and desserts. While we ordered the queso dip and tortilla chips, the wife asked which beers they had on tap. Unfortunately, she started, they did not have any alcohol although they had a liquor license after waiting weeks for that alone. Now, let me make it very clear that Ruth and I are never rude in a restaurant; we completely understand the serving business and refuse to be those kinds of customers, so we didn’t press about the absence of alcohol even with a license.

While waiting for our chips and dip, I took a peek around the restaurant while the ball & chain looked through the menu. “I think I’ll get the gyro wrap…it’s hard to mess those up.” She was trying to give the diner the benefit of the doubt, although she had worked at the Macon Diner and had her own reservations of the business.

“Look at this place…it’s like Saved by the Bell and the DOT had a fight in here,” I noted the décor: so mismatched and cheesy…and not in that or Chilis kind of way.

Finally, the chips & queso arrived. We placed our orders with the very nice server: Ruth’s gyro and my chicken sandwich. “You’ll absolutely want to try the dessert,” she added. And after remembering that the Marietta Diner is famous for its desserts (and realizing that is probably where the desserts came from in the first place) we set an order for the tiramisu for me and the cannoli cake for the wife after our meals.

The queso smelled great…and I’m sure it would have tasted great as well…if it weren’t for the chips that didn’t really crunch so much as they did bend. Yes, the chips were stale. The whole bunch of them. So, we set the appetizer aside and prayed for a decent meal to follow.

While waiting for the sandwiches, which were taking a considerable amount of time, I counted four, five, six managers walking out from the kitchen doors. They all set down in a nearby booth, laughing and carrying on. The three servers I saw seemed to somewhat be in the weeds (a term in the serving industry for being in a little bit over your head with orders and customer demands). None of the managers, save the one female manager, got up to help. She moved behind the bar to assist the bartender (but not with alcohol, of course) and as it bothered me to see the men undeterred by the help needed in the restaurant, our meals arrived.

After thanking the server, I cut my fried chicken sandwich in half…only to discover the chicken did not look completely up to par, although cooked through. On trying the sandwich, I discovered the chicken was of questionable quality and gave up on it. I moved to the French fries, which weren’t half bad, and asked Ruth how her gyro was. “Pretty good…” I wasn’t convinced so I gave her that look. “Well, the tzatziki sauce is nice, but this meat is cheap…it can’t be real lamb.” So we finished off our fries and my coleslaw (which was actually the most enjoyable part of my meal, save the dessert).

The server seemed to not notice our almost full plates when she came to clear them and bring our dessert. The cakes were in fact the best I’ve ever had and I can honestly write to all of you that if you decide to end up at the Douglasville Diner, please let it only be for the desserts. The tiramisu was so rich and creamy with a fluffy lady finger inlay and the cannoli cake was so on point I almost stole it from the wife. The desserts were so filling we ended up packing up most of each slice and bringing it home.

All in all, the diner was a disgrace. It embarrasses me to see my hometown’s name on the building after the experience I had. I would suggest maybe opening a smaller, much smaller, dessert bar and changing the name to possibly the Douglasville Bakery because this diner? This is not what the doctor ordered. And for all those who feel the need to try out the diner, do yourself a favor and hit up the off of Chapel Hill Road. I promise you won't be disappointed there.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cynthia McLain July 26, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Lisa - Sorry if I confused anyone with my phrasing there. You are correct, Marietta Diner & PastaBella are owned by the same people, as well as Cherokee Cattle Company & Marietta Fish Market. Douglasville Diner is NOT owned by those same people. Sorry for any confusion in my previous wording. However, I also wanted to pass on something my husband told me today. He used to live down the street from PastaBella and claims that he had the same experience there when it first opened as the person who posted this blog. He said the service was acceptable & the food was mediocre at best, but they continuously improved & now Marietta Diner is famous across the country for their awesome food (which imo isn't as good as PastaBella, though they are both very good). So maybe if we all continue to support our local diner & inform the managers when we have problems, they could make the same kind of progress. Wouldn't that be great? :-)
Lindsay Millett July 26, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Actually, and this will be my last reply (because, seriously, you're beating a dead horse), she left on good standing with the Macon Diner. Please try to move past this. And if my post is not up to your expectations, maybe you could start writing some blogs yourself? All you do, as Sarah pointed out, is click "Want To Blog On Patch?" and start writing! Take this energy you're using on commenting negatively so frequently on the Patch and write something of your own. You can even blog about how you love the diner!
Lisa Cooper July 27, 2011 at 03:22 AM
Cynthia.....I'm sorry I didn't respond right away. I was actually doing this and that getting next week's column ready here at Patch. Your comment wasn't confusing regarding the line of seperation between Douglasville Diner and the Marietta Diner folks. The original posting (2nd paragraph) lumped them all together and for someone who didn't know they might assume they were all one and the same.
Fred July 28, 2011 at 10:57 PM
My very simple point has been this: You had an unacceptable experience in a retail establishment and instead of trying to get the staff to correct the problems, you did nothing - other than to come to Patch and publicly denigrate the business. It would be more appropriate to have this posted at Kudzu or some other business rating website. Patch's mission is to be "a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities." Maybe, you should contact John Barker about having this entire article and thread removed. After all, I am sure that someone somewhere at Patch is trying to sell advertising for this website, and having unprofessional negative-opinion pieces about a local business goes a long way to ensuring that advertisers stay away. PS: If you think that my posts here are negative, I suggest that you re-read your original article. Other than stating that the staff was initially friendly and the deserts were good, everything you say about the diner is negative starting with your title for the article.
Steven Roberts July 30, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Fred, you seem to be bringing up her wife quite a bit and the fact that YOU won't let it go makes me think you have an ax to grind against the gay community in Douglasville. Or maybe just lesbians. perhaps you don't want to support the diner as much as you'd like to make this woman and her wife feel as though they are not welcome here. About taking this thread down, every non-chain restaurant will have to deal with critics and if they cannot stand under the weight of criticism then they will not last. That is just a part of the business.
Michael Frisbee July 30, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Wow - I have been following this entire thread and not once did I get that from Fred's posts. My feeling coming from Fred is that he felt the wife's bad experience with the Macon diner, whom she was formerly employed by, colored the author's view of the restaurant. No where did I get an anti-gay feel at all.
Michael Frisbee July 30, 2011 at 05:38 PM
I've stopped by the diner twice in the last week. Both times were to go. The first time I ordered a classic steak philly with onion rings (wife's favorite), and I tried the gyro philly with pepperocinis instead green peppers with onion rings. Both by the way were phenomenal. Not done exactly in the traditional sense (originally a Pennsylvania resident), but pretty good nonetheless. What impressed me was our waitress, who works behind the bar, not only was she very warm and a delight to chat with but she checked through the orders when they were brought out. She saw that the kitchen messed up and forgot to exchange the green peppers for mushrooms on my wife's sandwich. She immediately sent it back to have the whole order done over. Yes - it took longer, but I didn't mind waiting the extra time when in comparison, if had I driven the 8 miles home, gotten settled in and my wife would have found a sandwich she would not have enjoyed (does not like green peppers AT ALL), I would have been REALLY put out. My next visit, I ordered the greek omelette for myself, and my wife got the chef's salad with bacon added. It all came out fast, order perfect, service great, had same waitress who remembered me by name, and when I got the meals home, thoroughly enjoyed them. I highly recommend the greek omelette. There was SO MUCH salad, my wife had half for dinner last night, and the other half for lunch about an hour ago. To wrap this up I have to saw WOW on their coffee.
Trish July 31, 2011 at 05:16 PM
While I am at this point wondering if I should bother commenting...as there seem to be too many people going after the person blogging, instead of just posting their own personal "positive" experience. Which would give others the other side of the story and encourage them to try it personally. I too would like to see this establishment succeed as we have lost too many in our county already. However, My experience at the DD was mediocre at best. I will admit to not trying the desserts...which I will now be encouraged to do. As I agree that we usually have to give a second chance to most places. I have been to the new Highlander Tavern and both times have been very impressed with the food and service and staff. Not sure they will survive because they are not in the best location, but certainly hope they do.
Jessica Demers August 01, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Just a quick note....I was there with my family last night and I noticed that the guy at the next table was drinking a beer. So, apparently they DO have alcohol now.
Fred August 01, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Mr. Roberts: Wow. It was not until I was writing my first post in this thread that I even picked up on the orientation of Ms. Millett (it was kind of a 'wait, what?' moment, but I simply moved on). She was the one who used the terms the I quoted. In my last direct response to her in this thread I never even mentioned anything about her wife. All of my comments have been directed at the possible bias against the Diner Ms. Millett & her wife appear to have and the way in which Ms Millett did nothing while in the Diner to correct her problems with the food. I have no idea about your 'sentence' that starts, "perhaps (sic) you don't...", even means. As far as critical pieces on Patch; this website is trying to become a type of web portal / news consolidator for Douglasville. At least that is what the About Us says. However, it does seem to be devolving into a conglomeration of personal blogs rather than facts about the community. A trained journalist's article about a bad experience at a restaurant would be helpful to the general public. A personal screed such as this original article is not. All the back and forth about the Diner and you come away with issues about sexual orientation. If anything, YOU appear to have an axe to grind in the area of the gay community in Douglasville.
Michael Frisbee August 01, 2011 at 02:46 PM
They also have a nice selection of Woodbridge wines
Toby Jenner August 01, 2011 at 07:15 PM
First of all let me state that I was hoping to be able to comment and interact regarding actual news stories here at Patch. Unfortunately, all I’ve see offered of late is a series of written pieces I don’t even want to refer to as blogs because there are so many valid, well written blogs on the Internet to enjoy. I see very little of that with the Patch blogs. Fred, I certainly agree with you regarding the expectations here at Patch. They are lacking and it’s disappointing. Where is the real news? Lindsay, you had a mission or two here. It’s obvious, and it didn’t exactly go your way. You mention early in your piece you were headed to O’Charleys, when your “ball and chain” wanted to try the diner. Then you switch gears and provide the reasons behind your food choices had to do with your “planned” restaurant review. Which was it? Planned or not a public blog piece attacking a business not only jeopardizes the business owners, but can have an effect on every employee’s livelihood as well. You should realize this since the “ball and chain” is a server.
Toby Jenner August 01, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Don’t you profess to be a “freelance writer” on Facebook? If you are, then it would make sense to do a little homework regarding the place you want to review. Your paragraph regarding the various diners is little misleading to the reader. Why string together a series of businesses that only happen to share the word “diner” in their name? The only two that are connected are D’ville Diner and the one in Carrollton. You did not research and one can only assume from your your own words that you thought they were all related. Why mention in the same paragraph embarrassing details regarding the location in Macon? Oh yes, “the ball and chain” worked there. Does she also work at O’Charleys now since you kept directing the reader to go there as a better choice?
Toby Jenner August 01, 2011 at 07:18 PM
I never once got the impression Fred or anyone else here made a negative reference to your living arrangements or personal choices. You made reference to “your wife” and “the ball and chain” more than once so, I have to assume you wanted the situation to be noticed since your picture was there, and I have to take pause when I notice the only one who brought it forward was Steven Roberts, a friend of yours on Facebook, right? Did you not get the comments you anticipated? Were you a bit disappointed when the supposedly straight-laced Douglasville folks didn’t take the bait and do a little gay bashing. It was interesting to note the flow of the comments, and once you had people that disagreed with you, you folded your tent and went home. Even those associated with Patch stated if we disagreed we should just blog ourselves. In most blogging circles comments are welcomed. Folks who comment are not told to go start a blog. A blog is actually a two-way dialogue between reader and writer. If you are going to be Patch blogger then be prepared to accept responsibility for what you put out there.
Toby Jenner August 01, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Post all the negative things you want to about Douglasville. Make fun of people and attempt to become the next blog star just be prepared because when you put yourself out there in the public eye on a website where people can react – they will react and it won’t always be the way you want them to.
Ashlee Hill August 01, 2011 at 08:11 PM
You people take yourselves far too seriously. It's just a blog! A blog about the writer's experience in a restaurant. Have none of you ever had a bad dining experience & then told all of your friends about it? I would hate to see how harsh some of you could be if you were offended by a blog written on actual issues in our world today. Basically, all I'm trying to say is cut Lindsay some slack, grow up, and stop being so critical of criticism.
Myra Crawford August 03, 2011 at 02:21 AM
I couldn't agree more, Ashlee. I thought it was a great blog. People don't have to read it if they don't agree.
Lisa Cooper August 03, 2011 at 04:10 AM
I’ve clicked on and off this comment three different times in the last hour, and it keeps calling me back I can’t leave it alone and go off to bed. “People don’t have to read if they don’t agree.” Myra, my weekly column here at Douglasville Patch isn’t my only “gig”. I have been blogging since 2006 fairly successfully with two major blogs carrying advertisements and numerous subscriptions, plus three additional sites I just piddle with. I write to teach, to share, and sometimes I even write just for me, but I never write with the notion that if people don’t like what I’ve written they shouldn’t read me. Are you only writing and hitting the “submit” button for folks who agree with you and hang the rest? Blogging isn’t just about the writer. Blogging is a relationship between the writer and the reader and you have to understand unless you have your own domain and the ability to close your site to people of your choosing your writing will be read by folks who agree and those who don’t, and they both have the freedom to comment. Some of my worst critics have actually made me a better writer. Various opinions….even those I don’t agree with are part of the debate.
Myra Crawford August 03, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Great point, Lisa. I think I meant that if it really bothers them, they have the option of just not reading. There is a writer for the AJC that seems to always be trying to "stir" thinkgs up. My husband will read her and get mad as blazes. I just stopped reading her column because I know we have vastly different viewpoints. I respect her right to write what she feels and never wrote a letter to the editor to tell her how wrong I thought she was. But I don't read her anymore. I don't know if I could make her a better writer, I'd be just trying to sway her opinion. In my opinion she is entitled to that opinion even though I think she is incorrect. So, I guess I was thinking of my own example when I made that statement. It's all about choices, like everything else in life. And what a boring world we'd live in if we all held the same opinion and viewpoint about everything!! That's why when I read things I don't agree with, I let it go. I realize we are entitled to free speech and I will never agree with everyone's opinion or idea.
Bill DeVan August 03, 2011 at 06:21 PM
OMG, I started reading this last night and couldn't stop! Just wished I had popped a bag of popcorn before I started. Who says Dville's not exciting? :)
John Barker (Editor) August 03, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Thanks Bill, I think that was the best post yet!
Lindsay Millett August 04, 2011 at 02:34 AM
definitely said I wasn't going to reply anymore...but bra-vah, bill, bra-vah!! favorite by far. have to say, I'm enjoying this myself.
Myra Crawford August 04, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Go pop you a bag and read mine!! Not nearly as many comments but I am working on it!
Fred August 04, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Welcome to Topix-lite everyone!
Fred August 04, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Ms. Hill - Your last sentence is the best statement here, your use of irony is outstanding!
David Herring August 04, 2011 at 03:35 PM
I, for one, enjoy the honest feedback by Lindsey on her experiences on the Diner. I haven't been to the Diner: mainly so others can be the guinea pigs on new places (got burned by that place that use to be in Smokey Bones-yuck). I didn't get the feeling that there was any hidden agenda because of past experiences with employment, or for any other reason. Everyone who has worked in the food service industry knows how things should work and have incite that others may or may not normally have. Bringing the quality of the food up to mgmt would have been a good way to also test the responsiveness of management. To me that says a lot about the restaurant in the way managers handle those situations (I had a terrible experience with Texas Roadhouse on that front, but I'm not posting to bash them) I also think the follow-up comments regarding good experiences were also helpful and possibly indicate maybe this was an isolated experience and may be worth checking out. Obviously, the post was successful as it got some people to share their experiences on the restaurant which I think was the whole point. The comments regarding other motives, sexual orientations, etc. are just silly and I think were made just to get a rise out of some folks. I look forward to other posts on reviews of Highlanders (have heard mixed reviews so far) so I don't have to be the first to try it out. Keep it up.
Lindsay Millett August 05, 2011 at 12:37 AM
Thank you very much, Dave. And I think my one regret WAS not speaking with management. And I don't think that I made it clear that I was a little put off by the management just by what I saw, but again, I should have brought it to their attention. But I stick by my assessment of the diner and I appreciate your comment, and everyone's comments, good or bad. Thanks and keep reading!
Lindsay Millett August 05, 2011 at 12:39 AM
@Myra-my post is older than your newest post...I think you can get well past my amount of comments (and I didn't mean to put TWO comments, I just NOW read your reply to Bill's post, I'm not trying to up my number hahaha) but I enjoyed yours very much! I tried to put a little humor into mine, but your humor I think is read a lot better. Keep writing, PLEASE!
Cindy Brown October 14, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I had a similar experience as Lindsey, but since I've only been once I didn't want to judge too harshly. However, I just ran across their reviews from Urban Spoon and apparently they still don't have their act together. http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/9/1596758/restaurant/Atlanta/Douglasville-Diner-Douglasville
Murray Jr October 16, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Just two words for everyone. Five Guys. Best Burger Joint ever. You can watch them make the burgers after you order, but the best thing are the fries. I was estatic when they came to Douglasville. For anyone who uses Foursquare, I'm the mayor of the Douglasville five guys and you will never get my title. http://douglasville.patch.com/listings/five-guys-burgers-and-fries-86 https://foursquare.com/v/five-guys-burgers--fries/4ae79cbcf964a520d1ac21e3

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