The Lost City Diner, located across the street from “The Charles” theater, is a small eye catching retro urban diner/luncheonette. The interior is colorful and quirky with an old-style counter as well a dozen booths and tables, big classic science fiction movie posters and even a rocket ship hanging from the pressed tin ceiling.
The menu is equally quirky and eye catching and will take you time to read through.
In addition to breakfast/brunch food (most $7-$10) available all the time, there’s a mix of appetizers ($6-$11), burgers (Most $8-11 but the $18 “Monster” 1 lb burger with 4 slices of cheese, smoked bacon and a stack of onion rings deserves mention), assorted deli-type sandwiches (most $9-$14), and entrees (Most $11-$15). There’s another whole two big page menu dedicated just to desserts ($4-$9) and “fountain service” ($5-$8 including specialty drinks like shakes, “egg creams”, “floats”, etc.). FYI – Lost City Diner has special soy-based, vegan friendly ice cream made just for them (starting at $2/scoop and available in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry)
On a cold winter evening, we decided to start with some “made here” soup ($5/cup). John’s vegan chili was awesomely spicy and good and topped with some chopped raw onion (It strongly reminded him of the vegan chili at dearly departed Zodiac – which made sense in hindsight since Lost City Diner is owned by the same people who owned the kaput Zodiac as well as the Club Charles <Wink>) Marty found his beef macaroni soup (with lots of veggies) hearty and satisfying. Our soups arrived less than piping hot – but our waiter Nico quickly resolved that issue for us. Both soup and chili earned an unqualified “Thumbs Up!” from us.
For our main course, John ordered Vivian’s Fried Chicken ($14) – this included two huge breaded and pan fried chicken breasts with “made here” mashed potatoes with gravy and a sizeable biscuit plus a side salad.
The chicken was tasty but a huge portion (John took one breast home!); the mashed were clearly not “instant”. The iceberg lettuce salad seemed appropriately “retro” while the biscuit was unfortunately as dense as it was big with decided “hockey puck” potential.
Marty went with a Chicken Parm sub sandwich with chips ($9); with breaded, fried chicken tenders with barely a teaspoon of tomato sauce and barely that amount of melted cheese, it proved disappointing (Fortunately, Marty found the attentive, friendly and twinky-cute Nico the waiter a great distraction!)
From prior visits, we would recommend the Meat Loaf entrée ($12) and the Jayne Mansfield breakfast ($10 – featuring two “sunny side up” eggs in a suggestive pose) but had bad luck with an eggplant parm sub sandwich which proved disturbingly salty).
While we’ve had a “roll of the dice” experience with food that we’ve sampled at the Lost City Diner, the retro atmosphere, the great service and home made soups get a “Thumbs Up” from us. The Lost City Diner could pitch hit nicely when we get nostalgic cravings for Zodiac’s vegan chili or looking for a fun place to grab a late meal on Friday and Saturday nights.
Facts: Lost City Diner; Station North; 1730 N. Charles Street; (410) 339-LOST (5678); http://lostcitydiner.com.com; No alcohol but no “corkage” fee for BYOB; Vegetarian and Vegan options; breakfast options available all the time; on-street parking only; Last visit: Jan 13, 2014