The Marietta Diner is an Atlanta icon, the model on which most diners in the city are based. It isn’t a product of random fame, but rather a function of it performing better than the competition. It starts with a good staff, dressed in white shirts and tie, staff that is courteous and cooperative. Having more than one staff member work with your table seems routine here. It continues with a deft handling of a large menu. Food isn’t all staples, nor is it boring.

The diner has a good looking outside, though the combination of chrome, glass, and gray cinder block is an interesting one. The Marietta Diner is part of a family of restaurants, the sign announcing the sister restaurants clearly visible from the diner parking lot. Inside, brown wood is supplemented with a color scheme dealing in burnt oranges and reds, resulting in a more subdued look than many neon and chrome diner interiors.

On this day I had a series of dilemmas caused by the menu, which I mostly solved by making the most conservative choices I could. There was an Irish lamb stew in the specials, which looked really good. But did it have potatoes? If so, how many? So, I chickened out and had the Mediterranean panini instead. Yes, it had sweet potato fries on the side, but I didn’t have to eat them. It came with a soup, so I chose cream of spinach, trying to avoid the pastas of, say, chicken noodle. The soup came out quickly.

I tasted creamy, buttery, and cheesy flavors in the soup. The flavors of spinach were more hinted at than dominant. This isn’t a food I’ve had much of, since my diet pretty strictly limits my fat consumptions, and the soup was quite rich.

The panini was an interesting dish. There was far more cheese in it than chicken, and the vegetable slices were thick and delicious. The chicken that was there added a distinct grilled flavor to the sandwich and the gooey cheese acted as the glue that held it all together.

The serving of fries was huge and enticing. I had one fry. I couldn’t resist. In general, dishes in this eatery were enormous. The wings plate and the chicken fried steak plates served next to me could easily feed two people. Take out bags looked like grocery shopping bags. Desserts, in glass and chrome display cases, were huge.

This diner brings back memories, as the first place I stayed in Atlanta was a couple minutes away from this diner. Age seems to have enhanced the reputation of this eatery. Guy Fieri’s visit made it much easier to get my family here (no photos of that visit though). And the sheer efficiency of the place, the quality of service, the easily accessible menu keeps people coming back for more.

Verdict: An iconic diner that easily holds up to its reputation. Highly recommended.

Marietta Diner
306 Cobb Parkway South (i.e. US 41)
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 423-9390

Marietta Diner on Urbanspoon

Notes: Other blog reviews of this diner include one by John Bickford, another by Amy of Amy on Food, and also the blog Vainas Varias.