Silver Diner, with its traditional 50’s decor and vibe, is taking a decidedly non-traditional route. With a recently unveiled menu featuring local ingredients, healthier options, and vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items, this Virginia and Maryland mainstay is working hard to accommodate a wide range of patrons. Local bloggers were invited to check it out, so we headed to the Clarendon location last week.
The revamped menu is a bit confusing as some items are double- or even triple-listed, first in the ‘appetizer’ or ‘entree’ section and then again in the ‘healthier options’ or ‘chef’s selection’ sections. Once we figured out what was what, we noticed that fruits and vegetables have made their way into two types of dishes: first, the kind that you’re unlikely to order at a diner, like the roasted vegetable salad. We love roasted vegetables as much as the next gal but a huge plate of them is just not what we crave when sitting in a red vinyl booth with a jukebox. The second, more successful type is the update to diner classics like all-day breakfast (such as the veggie scrambler with baby spinach and zucchini, Oaxaca omelet with avocado and a side of strawberries, and pancakes featuring quinoa and coconut with blueberries, strawberries and bananas), or a substitution of garlic spinach or roasted vegetables instead of fries with your burger.
We started with bruschetta, which boasts goat cheese from Firefly Farms in Maryland. The cheese was fresh and delicious as always, and the tomatoes were pleasantly spiked with pesto and balsamic vinegar and topped with fresh basil.
We really enjoyed the black bean burger, which features a flavorful and mildly spiced patty and toppings including grilled onions and peach salsa.
Most intriguing was the new vegan pesto veggie pasta. This dish was the epitome of comforting co-op food (this is a compliment!), with plenty of roasted eggplant, squash, and peppers, tossed with whole wheat pasta in a citrusy basil pesto and sprinkled with sunflower seeds. We ordered it with optional feta:
We had sucked down shakes along the way (Nutella banana is new!) and couldn’t make space for dessert, but were excited to see that there’s a new vegan chocolate raspberry shake AND a Soy Dream sundae available.
Silver Diner’s efforts to expand its menu to include vegan, vegetarian, and healthier items with a focus on local ingredients seem to be well-directed and largely successful. Check it out next time you find yourself in Arlington with late-night munchies (they’re open till 2 am on weekdays and 4 am on Friday and Saturday nights). We’ve always found the staff to be amazingly cheery, even when working the late shift.
3200 Wilson Blvd (Clarendon Metro)
Arlington, VA 22201
Also locations in Rockville (Twinbrook Metro), BWI, Greenbelt, Tyson’s Corner and more