Menu: DK Diner

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There's lots of expensive and snazzy restaurants in Grandview. DK Diner isn't one of them. In fact, everything about DK - but especially its homespun food and low prices - hearkens back to an era before raw tuna was a staple on menus.

The first handy thing to know about the breakfast-and-lunch-only spot is it observes a fetch-your-own-beverage policy. This means you're expected to grab whatever coffee mug you find appealing (no two are alike) to get the joe flowing.

The second thing to know is DK takes everyday ingredients and transforms them into comforting diner fare.

The third - and most important - thing to know is that no one, and I mean no one, makes better doughnuts in Columbus.

So seat yourself and pour that drink. After being sufficiently entertained by DK's single standout interior feature - an entire wall cluttered with Buckeyes, neighborly photos and announcements for local events (many from days gone by) - it's time to check out the menu and "blue plate specials." Try not to laugh aloud at the barely there prices (no item reaches $7), and order freely with expectations of neighborly service and reliable food.

I couldn't resist something called Mess for breakfast, and you shouldn't either. A massive amount of that familiar, industrial and salty hash (ground corned beef pebbled with diced spuds) was smartly enhanced by a deep griddling with onions and green peppers. The satisfying Mess ($6) came with two fried eggs and toast.

DK All the Way ($6.50) was another alluringly named and cholesterol-be-damned eye-opener. Crispy, ungreasy, dice-shaped homefries were peeking out of an imposing puddle of OK sausage gravy swamping two over-easies, griddled Canadian bacon and a couple of biscuits.

I found lunches to be at least as good as breakfasts, especially the top-notch Italian Sub ($6.50). Mamma mia, that torpedo sank me with its double dose of delectable Italian deli meats and cheeses. Seared crisp, the mix of capicola, salami, ham and pepperoni plus melty mozzarella and provolone were flattered by a liberal dousing of zesty Italian dressing, a sprinkling of oregano, veggie fixins and a soft, toasty hoagie bun fun to chomp into.

Another simple winner was Schlamager's Bratwurst ($5 - I was told "Schlamager" was made up because it sounded good). The biggie brat was brashly cooked in beer and, along with the kraut, griddle-seared.

DK's old-fashioned Coneys (2 for $5) are popular and not bad. Meaty, sweet-side sauce, raw onions and grated yellow cheese covered seared weenies.

All sandwiches come with chips, but for a worth-it upcharge you can get masterfully oil-gurgled pre-fab fries ($1) or onion rings ($1.50). Both arrive golden brown, crispy and ungreasy.

This brings us to DK's ungreasy, mostly craggy and dense, irregularly shaped superior doughnuts. Freshly and expertly fried daily, they're really great. Ask for the intense blueberry, the deep chocolate or the light, airy glazed. Just don't ask for one made with raw tuna.

DK Diner

1715 W. Third Ave., Grandview


Price: $ (up to $10 per person)

Cuisine: Family fare

Patio: Yes

Hours: 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday