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Far, far away in the land of Rensselaer County lies the small town of Brunswick, New York, home of the Country View Diner. We sought out this diner after passing it years ago on an expedition to get familiar with the area.
We sat down at a booth that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a very long time. The fake flowers looked like they were dying, and the vase they were in was sticky and crusty. The booth seats had dried splattered something on them, and if the walls could talk, they would say “Please bleach the slop off our faces.”
While waiting for our coffee and water, we took in our environment, which was a mix of mirrored columns with greasy handprints, chrome accents, drab gray formica, and neon ceiling lights reminiscent of The Max, Bayside High’s favorite hangout spot from “Saved by the Bell.”
The booths were like sitting on a weird water bed, very floofy and not very supportive. We perused the menu, which had selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner–typical diner fare. The only atypical and confusing piece was the selection of “salads,” which were actually just salad platters. You’d get a bed of lettuce with tomato, cucumber, and chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or grilled chicken. I asked for a grilled chicken salad with tomato, cucumber, green peppers and a hard boiled egg, with blue cheese dressing on the side. Then I crossed my fingers that I’d get something reminiscent of a salad.
Matt ordered a cup of chili and a turkey club sandwich. While we waited, we tasted the coffee and water, and checked out the condiments on our table. The salt and pepper shakers needed a healthy cleaning.
The coffee tasted like it had been around the block a few times in the same coffee pot and had a lingering, unpleasant aftertaste — a solid 2 out of 5 in our book. The water was astonishingly a 4.
Around us was a mix of college kids and locals, and though we were there on the early side of lunch (11:30am), the place was not busy at all. Within fifteen minutes of ordering, we got our meals. They brought out Matt’s chili at the same time as his turkey club, and his fries were cold. I had no egg on my salad and there were olives on it, though I didn’t ask for any.
I would like to take this opportunity to propose a call to action to all diners: Olives, like sardines and artichokes, are a very polarizing food. Please do not automatically assume olives are okay. They are Satan’s turds and I don’t want them on my plate.
After I carefully picked all those evil little nuggets off my salad, I noticed the iceberg lettuce was bitter, and looked like it had been partially frozen at one point. The chicken had strange brown spots that I didn’t even bother with, and I couldn’t even eat half the salad. The tomatoes tasted bland, and the cucumbers were incredibly bitter. Matt ate his chili, which was just about okay, and then tasted his fries and turkey club, which were also just okay. We were hungry, which made the turkey club start out positive, but each subsequent bite became more and more disappointing. Overall, the food was a 2.
Our waitress maintained the obviously low standards of the Country View Diner by ignoring us and our empty water glasses, passing by multiple times to take care of the adjacent tables, and the place wasn’t even close to being half full. We ran out of coffee, napkins and water, and had to get her attention before being taken care of. Service at this diner was a 2.
Upon walking in originally, we had seen the “desserts baked on premise” sign and the pastry case at the front, and had initially decided to try some desserts. However, after seeing how much the diner needed to be cleaned and having some terrible tasteless food, we passed on the dessert experience.
The bill total came to about $28, which was pretty average for a diner meal for us. The dinerness of the Country View Diner was a 3, as the decor was a hybrid of grandma’s living room and a modern diner. As we were leaving, my mood started to get better, until another waitress overstepped her boundaries in a major way. She palmed my head like a basketball, said “I like your hair,” and then ran her hand down the entire length of my hair, which is nearly to my hips at this point. I was too shocked at the violation of my personal bubble to react, and I left the place seeing red.
Needless to say, the Country View Diner is a great place for a bad experience. The Country View Diner will disrespect your taste buds, your personal space and your money.