While Hilton Head Diner's roundthe-clock hours are reasonenough to stop in, this quintessentiallyAmerican diner also serves up anincredible array of choices.
Just south of the entrance to PalmettoDunes on U.S. 278, this 1950s-styleeatery offers a casual, accommodatingatmosphere where kids are welcomeand the service can be as quick orrelaxed as you'd like to make it. Lingerover coffee with a client or take thewhole family out without breaking thebudget-either way Hilton Head Dineris an excellent alternative to fast food,with way more personality.
Owned by brothers Edward Lehnen,who is the chef, and Nick Tsironis, HiltonHead Diner really delivers on value. The"Early Bird Menu" for $10.99 is unbeatable,especially given that it starts at3 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. Mondaythrough Friday. There are 16 differententrèes to choose from, each including bread,soup or salad, mashed potatoes or rice, vegetablesand a choice of a short list of desserts.For an additional $1.99, diners can upgrade toa slice of Hilton Head Diner's in-house bakery'sfabulous cheesecakes, pies or layer cakes. Theearly bird meals come with coffee or hot tea.
Portions at this restaurant are generous, nomatter what you order. From a roasted halfchicken to shrimp'n grits, the plates arebrimming with comfort food.
Chef Lehnen, trained as a pastry chef inMiami, is the genius behind the nearly 20 differentdesserts filling Hilton Head Diners' glassdisplay case. His thick sliced Challah BreadFrench Toast ($5.79) is amazingly good; it mayspoil you for any other version.
Craving hot pastrami? You're covered. Hankeringfor a triple-decker club? Ditto. Seekinga burger and fries? You're in the right place.Even those in the mood for breakfast in theafternoon can satisfy their cravings at HiltonHead Diner.
The restaurant is a favorite of theater patronsattending performances at the ArtsCenter of Coastal Carolina. It's the perfectplace for a glass of wine or a cocktail; yourparty might even come back after the showfor dessert. The tiramisu, flavored with coffeeliquor and cocoa, is heavenly.
"We strive to make our patrons feel athome," said Tsironis. "We want them to think ofHilton Head Diner as their place."
Watching folks enjoy their meals at the diner,it's clear that many do. With a nod and a wave,a gentleman seated himself at the counter,while two small children stood enthralled withthe jukebox. Everywhere, people engaged inconversation. Hilton Head Diner offers what adiner should-tasty food and a good time.