I was recently invited to a Blogger event at the Silver Diner in Clarendon, to hear about their Fresh & Local menu, as well as some other recent developments to their menu. Most people wouldn't associate diner food with "fresh and local", so I was interested to find out what their approach was to this. I was a little worried about getting there on time, due to the daily traffic nightmare that is the DC metro area, but luckily the drive to Clarendon was uneventful and I even managed to be one of the first people there, haha.
I received a welcome folder and chatted with a few of the other people (both running and attending the event). Once more bloggers started arriving, we received an order of all-natural chicken tenders (Kids menu item) and MD crab dip with tortilla chips.
This post is pretty photo heavy, but here are a few things that were discussed during the presentations and the Q+A session:
- The focus is on local, fresh foods- catering to a changing community of people that are becoming more educated about their food sources and choices (example: from watching "Food, Inc.").
-Silver Diner found from customer feedback that many were willing to pay more for natural, local food.
-The revamped Kids menu is focused on educating (kids and parents) and providing more choices to all customers, particularly with the increasingly high numbers of childhood obesity issues.
-The new Eat Well Do Well card (formerly the Blue Plate club card) will allow customers to link to schools that will allow them to receive money towards children's health initiatives. The emphasis is on programs that directly benefit children's health in local schools. They are the first restaurant to do so - many of these programs have only been utilized by large chain stores and other non-restaurant industries.
After a few presentations about the diner's Fresh and Local menu, we dug into a huge buffet of menu items:
- Turkey Sliders on Whole Wheat
- Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab Burgers
- Kids Menu Teriyaki Chicken + Salmon
- Chopped Cobb Salad
- Local Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad
The spread Part 1
The spread Part 2
Gluten-free Brownie Sundae
Strawberry and Blueberry Cobbler
We also received a cute summer basket filled with goodies as we left the event- including fresh blueberries, Greenberry's coffee, Starr Hill beer, and more information about the Silver Diner's new menu items. I would like to thank the Silver Diner for a great opportunity to hear about how a chain diner can successfully initiate a significant fresh and local focus to their dishes. The food was great, it was fun to see other (new and familiar) bloggers, and I am happy to know that larger companies can still take it upon themselves to aim for healthier, more local food choices.
Silver Diner- Clarendon
3200 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201