What it is: A casual restaurant with extremely friendly prices and huge portions. West Cobb Diner opened in a former Atlanta Bread Company in mid December and has been packed ever since. Set about 4 1/2 miles west of Marietta Square, it’s a part of town that has long needed better dining options.
Who’s there: Who isn’t? Lots of older couples, lots of young couples. But the main constituency seems to be families of all ages. It was big news on Yelp.com and the diner’s Facebook page when changing tables were installed in the restrooms. The weeknight rush seems to crest between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. If you arrive after 7:30 p.m., you’ll have better luck getting a table without waiting.
What the room’s like: Bright, and really not a lot different from its former incarnation. The waiting area in the former cafeteria line is kind of a holding pen. Best to make a beeline for the nice bar in the back of the room and get a Fat Tire Ale on tap. The diner serves beer and wine.
What’s on the menu: Southern meat-and-three meets American bistro. The former includes fun fried pickles with mustard and ranch dressing, and somewhat thick fried green tomatoes with a pink mayo called “shrimp remoulade.” Still looking for the shrimp.
People order lots of the crab cake sliders. We did, too, and got a trio of pretty decent, meaty cakes served on squishy dinner rolls with (sob) limp fries. Also popular: the $6 veggie plate — a great deal for the restaurant’s daily roster of fresh Southern style vegetables. We really liked the cheesy zucchini casserole and the skin-on mashed potatoes.
The Thai rice noodle salad in a salty wasabi vinaigrette with a truckload of dry-roasted peanuts was less successful. The noodles needed more soaking; it was a bit like eating packing material.
Did I mention the portions are HUUUUUUUGE?: Check out this country-fried steak with Vidalia onion gravy ($10). It’s like the shoulder pad in one of my wife’s 1980’s dresses.
Don’t skip dessert: The banana pudding, made with a real custard and served in a jam jar is the way to go. (”We don’t use J-E-L-L-O,” said our adorable waitress.) There are also pies, cupcakes and other daily baked goods.