Diners: not a fast food restaurant, but also not a “real” restaurant. Something in between. Seems like it should be in between the price of fast food and a real restaurant. But is it?

I am sad on a personal level to report that it is not.

Diners are good places to eat. Especially late at night. In the morning you can get an omelette lots of places. But where can you get an omelette at two o’clock in the morning? At a diner. You can get one there and some toast also. This is one of the main reasons it’s good to live in our modern world today, even with all of its problems.

Diners are good because you can eat breakfast, lunch, or even dinner there. You can also eat breakfast for dinner—or, if you prefer, dinner for breakfast. At a diner, they have a really long menu and all of the food is “okay.” You might not take a girl there on the first date, but you would take her there on the twelfth or thirteenth date, after she already likes you just fine and you both just want an omelette without a lot of hassle.

Can she get a Greek salad that’s maybe not the best one she ever had in her life but does have a lot of feta cheese on it instead? Sure.

I’m the last one to “talk trash” about a diner because I like a diner, from the free water in the beginning to the (maybe) piece of pie at the end. However you and I are adults with wallets who know a thing or two about the value of a dollar. Let’s level with one another and tell it like it is: a diner is not a nice restaurant or even something that you or I would classify as a “good” restaurant. That doesn’t mean a diner is bad. It just means a diner serves diner food. It doesn’t serve the city’s best wings or best tacos or best Pad Thai or best anything. It serves food that’s okay and you can get an omelette there around the clock.

So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say to diners, “Hey man—cool it with the prices!” Diners should be more than McDonald’s but less than a restaurant that might conceivably get written up in New York magazine for any reason. Diners seem cheap, in a good way. But when you examine the facts of the matter, diners are almost the same price as a regular restaurant.

Now that’s not kosher.

Let’s say you go out to brunch at the real restaurant in your neighborhood where people maybe stand in line to eat brunch some time (it’s popular). What will you pay there? Maybe $10-$15 for omelettes, pancakes, fancy burgers, and the like? Now go to a half-empty diner for “brunch,” which just means breakfast any time of day but on a weekend. What will you pay there? You’ll pay maybe $8-$14 for the same dishes.

It’s barely even cheaper at all!!!!!!

Diners should drop the price of all their items by three dollars. Food prices are a sensitive thing. They’ve gotten a little bit out of whack. No big deal; just fix it. We’ll keep on coming and pretend like this inflationary period never happened.

Do diners really want to go up against real restaurants? Cool it.

You’re just a touch pricey, friend.

[Photo: JJ/ Flickr]

Contact the author at Hamilton@Gawker.com.