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Amphora Restaurant and Diner Deluxe


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Branching off from the discussion of the 29 Diner, the other go-to late night place when I was in college was Amphora Diner in Vienna. It's never a good idea to rate a dining establishment while simultaneously only having $3.75 in quarters to spend, so I was pleasantly surprised when I returned with a friend for dining during daylight hours.

Then: 2 AM, a man who looked like a Greek pirate (or roadie for Yanni) gently leered as he cut off the free water and bread to the impoverished drama students. The end piece of a slice of lemon cake is served, with one half quite delicious and the other half petrified from all-day exposure to the air. A generous tip is left because I was waiting for a police car to stop looking for my tattered gray oldsmobile. Ah, college.

Now: I sit down to brunch with a copy of Scientific American, waiting for my guest, and am served by the embodiments of various muses. It's greek diner food and a little greasy, not terribly flavorful, but is exactly what I wanted. The burgers tend to be a little overdone, but there are some places you probably shouldn't get an undercooked hamburger. My guest, who had only eaten there at 2 AM previously, was also pleasantly surprised. There were honest, decent people eating there during the day. I had my water glass refilled at least three times without asking.

Anyone else been?

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Branching off from the discussion of the 29 Diner, the other go-to late night place when I was in college was Amphora Diner in Vienna. It's never a good idea to rate a dining establishment while simultaneously only having $3.75 in quarters to spend, so I was pleasantly surprised when I returned with a friend for dining during daylight hours.

Then: 2 AM, a man who looked like a Greek pirate (or roadie for Yanni) gently leered as he cut off the free water and bread to the impoverished drama students. The end piece of a slice of lemon cake is served, with one half quite delicious and the other half petrified from all-day exposure to the air. A generous tip is left because I was waiting for a police car to stop looking for my tattered gray oldsmobile. Ah, college.

Now: I sit down to brunch with a copy of Scientific American, waiting for my guest, and am served by the embodiments of various muses. It's greek diner food and a little greasy, not terribly flavorful, but is exactly what I wanted. The burgers tend to be a little overdone, but there are some places you probably shouldn't get an undercooked hamburger. My guest, who had only eaten there at 2 AM previously, was also pleasantly surprised. There were honest, decent people eating there during the day. I had my water glass refilled at least three times without asking.

Anyone else been?

Do they still have the big display box full of cream pies?

Mmmmmm...... cream pies.....

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Indeed! Again, freshly made (I imagine from the bakery next door) they're fantastic. After the witching hour, not so much.

Where else can you get shrimp and lobster and felafel and breakfast and sandwiches and pasta in the middle of the night...in Vienna? The food is not amazing, but I've only had decent to middling fare, and I love their philosophy of giving their customers the run of the menu 24 hours a day. Though I will take the advice about the staleness of the baked goods at night. I've been tempted because they look so pretty, but, for a treat, always end up with a "fresh" milkshake instead :mellow:

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It isn't bad as a brunch place, either. With a big group, it really doesn't hurt to have 10 different variations of eggs benedict PLUS lunchtime options and lot of pie and cake. When we called to make reservations, they told us, "Sorry, we don't do a brunch." Which was met rather quizzically by our, "Isn't the whole menu available all day and night?" When answered, "of course!" we told them that we were coming in, then, for breakfastlunchdinnermidnightsnack at 11 AM.

Note 1: their drinks are very, very weak. Both in terms of alcoholic content (presumably, based on taste) and in terms of their mixology. Watery, weak juice will kill any breakfast aspirations of championhood.

Note 2: They are quite busy during brunch time. There was a small line continuously formed during our 11 AM-1 PM weekend window.

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