Back in the early days, diners were prefabricated restaurants. They’re usually old wagons redesigned to have a counter, stools and a small kitchen for food preparation. During the Great Depression, diners were in business because they offered inexpensive places to eat.
Today’s diners, however, bear little resemblance from yesterday’s diners. Modern diners are mostly located in regular buildings and shops yet still offer a casual atmosphere and a wide range of American food, which is considered a diner essential.
In the Philippines, where people readily absorb American influences, diners continue to attract interest. A few years ago, Filippi Nouvelle, Inc. set shop a retro-inspired restaurant serving American food in Tagaytay and Camp John Hay in Baguio. These branches had formed a cult-like following that it recently decided to begin franchising their business. At present, there are now three more new Mile-Hi Diner outlets in the metro --- SM North EDSA, Forbes Town and Eastwood City.
By the way, this isn’t your typical fast food chain. The hamburgers from this restaurant are made with fresh meat sandwiched in luscious buns and loaded with toppings. Add a regular order of fries and you are sure to be very stuffed.
My friends and I visited the Mile-Hi Diner in P. Burgos Circle in Forbes Town, Taguig. Burgos Circle is a famous place for fancy and relaxing eats. When I first saw its two-storey building, I found it a good place to hang-out and spend time with friends. It wasn’t a crowded burger joint.
The entrance is simple but the dining area is open and spacious with comfy leather seats. Immediately, one feels trapped in the 50s. The cozy diner is plastered with red and wallpapers that show drive-ins, jukeboxes, women in poodle skirts and pony tails, and men with leather jackets and slicked-back hair.
My friends and I were promptly given a menu. Their menu offers a wide selection of steaks, salads, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast/starters, coolers and even value meals. I’m also glad to find out that they also serve Filipino breakfast favorites such as tocino, daing na bangus and longanisa. Generally, the food they serve is nothing fancy and complicated --- it’s a restaurant wherein you can bring your children along.
I was craving for burgers that time so I ordered their Mile-Hi burger (P215) and a glass of iced tea (P35). After a few minutes of waiting, the burger has arrived. I was delighted to see french fries on the sides which I consumed first. I then tried the burger. I realize that it’s still smoking hot and the beef patty is so juicy. What I love most about my burger is that the veggies inside were fresh, I could feel its crunchiness.
Fish ‘n Chips
My friends, meanwhile, ordered a plate of Fish ‘n Chips (P290) and US Angus Striploin Steak (P595). The fish ‘n chips came with tartar and marinara sauce. My friend finds her fish flavorsome and very crispy.
US Angus Striploin Steak
When my friend’s striploin steak arrived, it had a wonderful barbecue aroma filling up the air. I felt that I was in the shrine that worshipped the bovine. My friend sums it up as perfect --- the entire meat was cooked properly and there is no messy drool on the plate.
My meal ended on a high note with a really mouthwatering banana split (P195). It was luxurious, just picture perfect! It had three scoops of ice cream (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla), whipped cream drizzled with heavy syrup and topped with cherries! The banana’s sweet and the dollop of ice cream just lingered long on my taste buds. It was so good.
My friends and I were excellent company, our little dinner meeting went for over two hours, and like all great meals, great company made it worthwhile and memorable. I look forward to future eat-ups with anticipation.
As for Mile-Hi Diner, well it certainly is a best place to have good steaks and burgers. What I like most about Mile-Hi Diner is that they don’t try to impress those picky healthy eaters --- real food without the gimmickry that is. Definitely worth checking out; it‘s a great place to eat if you’ve got a big appetite.