The Executive Diner – A New Twist On An Old Concept

By the Gastronomes

 

The Executive Diner – A New Twist On An Old Concept

 

Just like the website says, “This is not your typical diner.” The Executive Diner is a combination of the old school diner of our youth – well, many of us – and the new concept of the interior of the sleek Silver Diner remakes that started popping up about 10 years or so ago.

 

Local business owners Jerry and Susan Pnevmatikatos of Brentwood Academy fame decided they wanted to take on something different than the day care/pre-school business and opened the Executive Diner and Café on lower Duke Street in Alexandria earlier this year. In fact, it’s not too far from one of Old Towns’ icon diners – Table Talk.

 

We had driven by the nondescript brick building hundreds of times – literally – over the last 6 months or so and couldn’t quite figure out what the new “Executive” concept was so decided to bite the bullet and stop in. This venture has two parts – a “diner” and a “café”. We understand that the café is more of a “grab and go” kind of place while the diner is just that. We were too late to check out the Café on our stop and were on deadline so couldn’t go back and give it the once over before this issue went to press but we did have a nice dinner in the Diner.

 

We usually start off our meals with a cocktail and then drink some wine with dinner, however, the Executive doesn’t serve alcohol yet. We were told that they have applied for the necessary licenses and permits and hope to have the issue squared away in the next month or so. To be honest, neither of us really missed it. The menu is pretty extensive and offers the usual diner suspects – country meat loaf, spaghetti and meatballs and mac and cheese. The meat loaf and spaghetti are pretty traditional but the mac and cheese has a major twist. The Executive version has shrimp, bacon, mushrooms, and chopped white onions in it. We are okay with everything but the shrimp. Since it is baked, I’m not sure one could order it sans seafood. We should have asked. We were both a bit surprised that there isn’t a hot roast beef or hot turkey sandwich offered. Not to fret, however, there is plenty to choose from. There are some Greek dishes influenced by the owners, obviously, not typically found in a diner and more upscale entrees including steak bordelaise. To fully peruse the menu check out their website.

 

I ordered one of their “Signature All Day Entrees”- spaghetti and meatballs. It is a lot of food and very tasty. The four house-made meatballs were two meatballs too many so they came home with me. The sauce was very pleasant and adhered to the perfectly cooked spaghetti nicely. This dish comes with 4 pieces of garlic crostini. My dining companion ordered off of the “high end” side of the menu – Creole Shrimp Scampi. He said his mother used to make a version of creole when he was a kid so he thought he would give it a try. The Executive version isn’t quite the same since it is served over linguini instead of traditional white rice. He said that it was very good but a little too spicy for his liking. I tasted it and it did have some heat and I like “hot” stuff. They may want to indicate the spice level on the menu description. All of the entrees come with a garden salad and choice of dressing. We both tried the house balsamic and it was very good. I am very picky about fresh vegetables and this salad fit the bill. The tomatoes hit the mark and sometimes restaurant tomatoes are a little anemic.

 

The manager on duty the night we dined told us that they are becoming a very popular place for breakfast since it is served all day. The selection of breakfast items is extensive. There are 4 featured omelets, eggs in about every form you can find them, chicken and waffles, chicken fried steak and eggs, a breakfast burrito (one of my favorite breakfast foods and it is $12.45 so it must be HUGE) and much more. The egg offerings and omelets come with toast and a choice of grits, home-fries or a fruit bowl. I like the fact that they have the fruit option. Normally you have to order it on the side with an extra charge.

 

They have a pretty comprehensive “Kids” menu as well as a very inviting dessert case. We are told that the desserts come from Italy and they looked fantastic. See the photo accompanying this write up. We were way too full to eat one more thing but now I am regretting not getting something to go.

 

Our service was fabulous and we will definitely go back for breakfast – have to try that burrito – sometime soon. The idea that they serve it all day and that they are open until later in the evening is a plus.

 

The Executive Diner

1400 Duke Street

Old Town Alexandria

703-299-0894

Theexecutivediner.com

Sunday – Thursday 6 am – 11 pm

Friday & Saturday 6 am – 12 am

 

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