The Circle Diner in Latham is a place you might drive by a lot, especially if you’re not sure which exit to take out of the roundabout.
We visited the Circle Diner this past Sunday, a place that is absolutely stunning when you walk in. The exterior is shiny and modern, and the ceiling of the walk-in area looks like it was designed by the scenic artist from Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby. The black and white checker floor complements the clean, straight booths and the classy mirrors throughout the place. Chrome is ubiquitous at the Circle Diner.
We were seated immediately in a booth toward the center of the diner, and perused the menu for a few moments. The pricing was ever so slightly higher than average, though the variety of options was higher than average too. The booths were comfortable and the music was hard to hear, though it sounded like the easy listening station.
We were pretty hungry, so I started with a blueberry muffin and Matt ordered the Texas chili appetizer. I’ve been craving a fabulous blueberry muffin for about a week, so this was the muffin to satiate my craving.
Or so I thought.
I asked for it to be grilled and buttered, and even the butter couldn’t cover the dryness. It crumbled into millions of tiny dry pieces while I lamented what could have been blueberry-filled happiness, had it been made in this century.
The Texas chili, on the other hand, was delicious, but it was huge and perhaps should have been listed as a meal instead of a starter.
For my meal, I ordered the French Toast with real maple syrup, and Matt ordered a turkey club. Many diners we’ve been to actually charge more for real maple syrup, but the Circle Diner’s prices were already a little high for what you get, so the real maple syrup was a gimme. The turkey on the turkey club was mushy and sliced so thinly, we couldn’t tell if it was turkey or Oscar Meyer bologna. The french fries that came with the club were light golden yellow and bland, instead of the desired golden brown with a crunch. The French toast tasted alright, except for the piece that tasted like someone had spilled onion powder on it. It didn’t come with anything either, which affected the presentation. Getting handed two pieces of deflated-looking French toast after a disappointing muffin was a letdown.
The water was a 3 out of 5; it had an aftertaste like there was added fluoride. We each ordered a coffee as well, which was also a 3, as it was bland and watery rather than smooth and bold. The service after being seated started out okay, and then went downhill. The waitress came back to our table maybe twice throughout the meal, asking Matt if he wanted more water and coffee, but completely ignored my empty mug. We’re rating the service a 2 out of 5 because it could have been so much better.
Food was a 3–it would have been lower, but the chili was fabulous. After eating half my French toast, I thought about getting a dessert to make myself feel better, but when I went up to look at the desserts in the display case, I was disappointed again. They looked like they’d been in the case for a couple weeks or more, so I passed on the dessert.
When we went up to the counter to pay the bill, Matt was staring at a neon sign on the wall, and the hostess asked him if he liked the sign that much. He was tempted to say “it’s the best thing in here,” but he just nodded and smiled. We paid and left.