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A Critic Writes the Diner Grill’s Comeback Is More Nostalgic Than Triumphant

Diner Grill’s infamous Slinger.

Plus, Funkenhausen’s German-Southern combo delivers

The Diner Grill’s return prompted Reader critic Mike Sula to take a stroll down memory lane to see if the nearly-eight decade late-night haunt still had it. “If you’re the sort of person who gets a kick out of dick-shaped pancakes” the Diner Grill is still there for customers. The diner burned down in a 2016 Christmas Eve fire, and finally reopened this year and “now, more than ever, the slinger can’t be ignored,” Sula writes of the grill’s signature item, though Sula’s dining companion found “the combination is incredibly mediocre.” There are new milkshakes, biscuits and gravy, and other items. The steaks tasted like they came from a “concentrated animal feeding operation.” However, the classic burger left Sula very satisfied.” [Reader]

West Town’s German-Southern restaurant, Funkenhausen, scores with the Tribune’s Phil Vettel. Chef Mark Steuer’s “Piggy Plate” is a must have, as are the pretzel knots — “tightly gathered, as opposed to the classic folded-arms Bavarian pretzels.” Many items carry whimsical names, and that amused Vettel: “You might not love everything about Funkenhausen, but it’s hard to stop smiling.” [Tribune]

Crain’s Graham Meyer reviews the lunch at Staytion Market & Bar in the Loop’s Renaissance Downtown Hotel. It’s an “attractive room” with a solid sausage and mushroom pizza, but the chicken wings disappointed, as they were “so tough they approached chicken jerky.” There were also some service snafus with all the items coming out at once. The bottom line: “For lunch, however, at the price and the hit rate, Staytion can be bypassed.” [Crain’s]

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