Restaurants & Bars Minneapolis-St. Paul

Town Talk Diner

M. Hardy | | Feb 19, 2006 03:29 PM

The new Town Talk Diner has *finally* opened on Lake Street (near Minnehaha). We went on Saturday, which was only their second day of operation, and very much enjoyed it. The place has real potential, enough to warrant a certain level of pickiness. With a few minor changes the place could be great. So, here goes:

- They have done a wonderful job of preserving the character of the old diner space, with the addition of some appropriate and fun updates - the floor is linoleum, but in various fun colors, the ceiling is tin, but painted silver, etc.
- We ordered the onion rings and were duly impressed by the glorious tower o' onion rings when it arrived. And they were yummy.
- The kitchen sink burger and the pulled pork sandwich were also both excellent. I ordered my burger medium (yes, I know, how gauche) and it arrived rare. It was good enough that I ate it anyway and didn't send it back, but they certainly lost points for that. If you are going to cook all the burgers rare, why even ask me how I want mine done?
- The side salads were tasty and attractive, with mixed baby greens accented by carrots and grape tomatoes (instead of the nasty, anemic winter tomatoes some place deign to serve).
- Each plate was garnished with a skewer of pickled vegetables, a pepperoncini and an olive. The pickles were homemade and fabulous, truly. The store bought pepperoncini and even the olives were an insult to the pickles. Skip the former and give us more pickles!!
- What they call a lemon pudding cake turned out to be something much more special: a disc of lovely, light white cake topped by zingy homemade lemon curd, with a homemade raspberry sauce. Very good.
- The staff all wear unattractive, ill-fitting black blazers reminiscent of cruise ship or hotel uniforms. They certainly don't have any relevance to the whole modern diner thing. And they make everyone look frumpy.
- They are serving Sebastian Joe's, which I know is a beloved Minneapolis institution of ice cream, but I prefer Sonny's, or even Izzy's. I hope they will reconsider.
- The menu consists of appetizers, burgers and hot dogs, sandwiches, only about 2 breakfast items, and some high priced fancy pants entrees, plus malts, cocktails, beer and wine, and alcoholic malts. I like fancy entrees as much as the next person, but I would rather see them expand the comfort food part of the menu instead. How about updated versions of stew, meat loaf, macaroni & cheese, etc.? How about more breakfast items served all day?
- Finally, everyone at the Town Talk needs to *chill* in a big way. Take a deep breath. The concept is good, the food is good, the service is earnest and well-meaning, the decor is fun, everything is good. With some fine tuning, it will be great.

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