I couldn't believe the news today nor could I close my eyes and make it go away: a full-fledged Diner finally opened its doors in Strasbourg. I had to give it a try and so, it won't come as much of a surprise that a good 22 minutes after Franky's Diner opened I could consider myself one of their first customers.
As I'm used to being disappointed by the usual amateurism associated with attempts to recreate true and great American food, I wasn't expecting much.
First of all, let me say that I was pleasantly surprised with the setting of this Diner in the sense that it pretty much looks like the real thing. Granted there are no napkin dispensers on the table and we can't choose the music but the seats, color theme & atmosphere makes you feel like you're 5000 miles away from the capital of Europe... Well, as long as you're also not paying much attention to the music: Franky: The Stray Cats formed in 1980 and their music mostly consisted of a blend of rockabilly music with punk elements. It is not the kind of music that is usually played in a Diner. I wish I would have listened to some more appropriate music such as: Chantilly Lace or Purple People Eater for instance.
What about the experience ?
There is a large selection of beverages. Unexpectedly, there are some not-so-easy-to-find-in-France cocktails such as Martinis and Margaritas.
I started off by ordering a Budweiser which was relatively cold (not ice cold like it would be in the U.S. but not as warm as bottled beer is too often served in France). Then, I decided to go for a Margarita: I was not asked which way I wanted it (my preference goes to rock & salt) but was happy to see the bartender use a Boston Shaker to prepare it. Besides the fact that it came in a Martini glass which wasn't salt-rimmed, I must confess that my Margarita was both good and strong.
So all in all: the beer was decently cold and the Margarita good but far from perfect.
My other complaint would be that while Dr. Pepper is on the menu, there is no root beer (which I love!).
Going through the menu, I was pleased by its variety: Nachos for starters, salads, burgers, BBQ ribs, milk-shakes etc...
I decided to start with Nachos & cheese:
They were much better than they look, though there wasn't much cheese under the first layer of Nachos.
How about burgers?
So how was my burger?
It was ok good and that's the best way to put it. It wasn't amazing. t wasn't disgusting. The cheddar was of the liquid kind, the tomato consisted of a very thin slice. It certainly does not qualify as the best burger in town despite all the signs pointing to this statement inside the restaurant. Without a doubt, the best paid burger in town is to be found at 231 East St. As for the other kind of burgers (think: free burgers), there only is one alternative in Strasbourg: Share-A-Burger.
Well, trying out a restaurant on its opening day is not necessarily the easiest task. I could tell that the staff was overwhelmed by the amount of customers but the good thing is that for the good 3 hours I spent there, the place stayed full with new customers pouring in frequently. Franky's Diner is, without a doubt, the closest thing you can find to a real American Diner in Strasbourg. Although I was disappointed by their burgers, I was happily surprised by the variety of the items on the menu and the size of the place. If you want the atmosphere and ok food then go to Franky's Diner. If you want to have a great burger, go to 231 East Street!
Full contact information:
2 avenue Jean Jaures
France - Europe - Earth - Milky Way - Known Universe
Tel: +33 3 88 44 40 40
Facebook page: Franky's Diner