Anyhow, we had our choice of seating so opted for a window seat. I'm glad they chose to take down the 'secluded patio' feature of the old tenant's (Fiore Cantina) - not only is it much brighter in there, but you can gaze out the window onto the increasingly busy little area of 87th and 109th. I'm wondering though, if a piece of glass or something will appear on the patio come spring to help block the noise and exhaust of 109th traffic from patio diners.
I always forget that Urban Diner carries Fentiman's Sodas, and I ended up with the Dandelion & Burdock brew which was a delicious treat. Charles went for the Organic Lager from Mill Street Brewery from the Diner's pretty excellent, though short, beer list. I also noticed that they were doing a cask night last week with one of the breweries they carry on tap, which is definitely encouraging. Food wise, I went for the reuben with butternut squash and sweet potato soup ($11.95), while Charles decided on the steak sandwich with fries ($16).
Food came out quickly, and we got right into it. Charles steak was cooked slightly past his requested medium rare, but the mushroom gravy was the perfect rich, savoury accompaniment. The shoestring fries were excellent - peppery, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and especially good when dipped into the gravy. My reuben was good too, although I'm pretty easy when sauerkraut (or any cabbage for that matter) is involved. The corned beef was moist and well seasoned, and the sautéed onion and swiss cheese made for a wonderful late evening mess. The soup seemed to contain a little curry, which was definitely welcome, and was a perfect fall warmer before we ventured back out into the cold.
For dessert we decided to share the lemon-sour cream pie. The small piece was perfect after our largish meals, and although slightly tart, it was certainly the light ending necessary.
I think Urban Diner will be a welcome addition to this block of cafés and restaurants, especially on busy weekend brunch days, when Sugarbowl and High Level Diner have lineups stretching out the door. We're definitely glad to have another casual spot in the area, and that the spot is Urban Diner is definitely nice, since we don't get over to the 124th location too often. We'll definitely be stopping again soon.
Urban Diner (South)
8715 109th Street
*Just a note on breakfast in the area - Da Capo has been doing breakfast on weekends. We stopped a couple Saturdays ago, and my over easy eggs, as well as hash browns, were excellent.
**Sugarbowl is featuring Wild Rose Brewery's Velvet Fog right now. It is a pretty lovely one, managing to be both smooth and tangy at the same time. Also, Sugarbowl seems to have recently increased the amount of garlic in their hummus quite a bit, so if your partner/friends/whoever is concerned with your breath, or vice versa, go with the cornbread or crab fritters.
***We walked by Urban Diner Thursday (today) to take the picture of their sign above, and they were packed!
March 14, 2011 - We stopped in for dinner here this past Friday. Things are as good as ever, and happily their beer list is growing. The most recent addition - Yukon Brewing's Porter on tap. Food wise, we clearly don't deviate from favourites - once again, Charles did the steak sandwich and I did the Reuben... here are some pictures though.