Well, after watching the Texas game last night, some of my family and I went to 24 Diner last night. That's the new Waterloo Ice House diner concept at 6th and Lamar.
The menu is, shall we say, pretentious. Aiolis and cheeses are predominant on the menu as toppings and dressings on the menu. Prices are somewhat high for the restaurant as well. (For example, a burger and fries run 8.95. Certainly not outrageous, but not when the burger can't even compete with a chain like Chili's.)
However, the menu and the prices were not the lowlight of the evening. Rather, it was the execution of the menu which left a bad taste in my mouth. After turning in our order, the waiter returned to tell us that they had run out of bacon. A 24 hour diner running out of bacon at around midnight is pretty unbelievable. Additionally, our iced tea was brought out without lemons and required us to request any sweeteners whatsoever.
I ended up with their cheeseburger, which was served on a challah bun. The bun had as much in common with challah as it did Wonder Bread. The fries, to their credit, were served hot and had a light sprinkling of sea salt. One of my other dining companions had the breakfast plate, sans bacon. She said the toast was poorly toasted, which I could observe as well. The sausage was inconsistent to her as one pattie was fine, but the next was overly seasoned with sage. When she asked for butter and jelly for her bread, she was told that the restaurant did not have any jelly whatsoever. The waiter did return with a small cup of butter, which appeared solid as if it had just been produced from the refrigerator or freezer. The only other option offered for the "toast" was honey, which was just a container of "Clover Honey." My other dining companion had waffles and country ham. The waffles were described as tasting similar to frozen waffles and the country ham was observed to require significant effort from a knife to cut it.
As we were paying out for our underwhelming meal, I overheard the manager discussing with the staff that they were out of Coca-Cola and he was sending an employee somewhere to buy eight pounds of bacon. One can only imagine that the bacon would unlikely be the "applewood bacon" as described on the menu.
Our waiter was pleasant, which was the only saving grace for the restaurant. The food is underwhelming at best and the management is clearly still trying to adjust to being open. With the restaurant being almost exactly halfway between Katz's and Magnolia, neither of those 24 hour restauarants should lose much sleep. For that matter, neither should Whataburger.