After months of anticipation for the Town Talk Diner opening, we waited another 6 weeks to give them a chance to get in their groove before trying it on Saturday night. We went in at 7:30 p.m., and even though it was very crowded we were able to get right in without a wait.
As with othe popular new restaurants, like 112 Eatery, you can walk into Town Talk and have a tasty meal of a buger and fries for $8, or you can have a more elaborate dinner -- I find this range of options very appealing. Everything on the menu was under $20. Our party of four shared an appetizer (?) of onion rings. While they tasted very fried, they were delicious. T
he biggest highlight among the entrees was the double cut pork chop with cherry sauce and mashed potatoes and sour chicory hash on the side. The pork chop was juicy, thick, and perfectly cooked. The cherry sauce went perfectly with the pork.
Staying in the pork food group, we also had a pulled pork sandwich. I generally prefer BBQ from BBQ places where you get the proper smoked flavor in the meat. The pork itself was okay, but not great. However, with the homemade pickles and cole slaw, the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.
We also had a kitchen sink buger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, onions, and a jalapeno sauce. I thought it was very good, and my wife who is more of a burger expert than I am gave it a big thumbs up.
The weak spots were the pan fried chicken and the garlic fries. The pan fried chicken is a half chicken (boneless) that is pressed and served with pecan brown butter and a sweet potato bread pudding on the side. I usually want there to be a little more flavor for dishes that make me feel like I should be consulting with a cardiologist. With so many great places to get fries in town (Barbette, Lurcat, jP's) the french fry bar has been raised. These ones were good, but not at the same level as those other goldne beauties, and they were a little overwhelmed by the heavy dose of garlic.
For drinks we tried the vanilla shake (good, a lot of malt flavor, but disappointingly no metal cup on the side), a cream soda float (excellent, the soda was served on the side of the ice cream), the coke float (good), and the ginger beer (good, but more sweet than spicy).
The place was bustling, and they have definitely hit on a need in the marketplace for affordable good comfort food. The accoustics were poor, making it a little difficult to hear our party.
Overall I really enjoyed my experience there. The food was very good, and it was a good value. Don't go expecting a fine dining experience like Alma or Cosmos. If you think of it as a scaled up version of local spots like Edina Grill, you will be very pleased.