Food & Drink

The place for a simple, satisfying antidote

You've had a long, hard day at work. You're too tired to cook dinner, but you've been spending too much on eating out lately. Besides, you're not up for an epicurean adventure anyway. What you'd really like is something comforting, something like you'd make for yourself at home if you had the energy and the fridge weren't empty. Scrambled eggs, maybe, or a bowl of soup and a sandwich. A piece of apple pie would be nice, too.

It doesn't take a doctor to diagnose your ailment. You've got a bad case of foodie burnout, and you'll find the cure at The Remedy Diner. The atmosphere is come-as-you-are casual and, with prices topping out at $7.95, the menu won't tax your wallet.

The streamlined diner offering won't tax you with an abundance of choices, either, though there's sufficient variety for most tastes. The backbone is a selection of sandwiches, half of them made with meat (listed under the heading of Mainstream Therapies) and half vegetarian (Alternative Therapies). Quick Fixes (appetizers), A Dose of Your Own Medicine (design-your-own salads) and A Spoon Full of Sugar (desserts) expand on the witty moniker motif.

The sandwich offering includes a modest sampling of classics, from BLT to Reuben to tuna melt. There's also a grilled cheese with a twist, made with cheddar, provolone and sliced Roma tomatoes on whole wheat. More adventurous palates find satisfaction in the Spicy Turkey (with provolone, jalapeños and chipotle mayo on grilled sourdough) and the Sergeant Billy Club (a triple-decker stacked with ham, turkey, bacon, avocado, Swiss and American cheese).

Vegetarians find a suitable prescription, too, in The Remedy's healthy selection of meatless sandwiches. Besides the grilled cheese, options include the Capri (fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta), the Mediterranean (roasted red peppers, hummus, feta, red onions and balsamic), what's called vegan chicken salad and a vegetarian BLT. There's even a veggie hot dog (with relish, slaw and mustard) and a veggie meatball sub.

Vegetarian or not, sandwiches are served with tortilla chips and pico de gallo. For my money, though, it's worth the $2.50 surcharge to substitute a side salad, homemade soup (recent options have included vegan chili and an earthy curried corn chowder) or crinkle cut fries. Unless, that is, you've already binged on an appetizer of loaded fries topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and chopped green onions.

Granted, the fries are a commercial product, but they're fried to an addictively crisp, golden brown. And, really, that's what The Remedy Diner is all about: simple, satisfying food at reasonable prices. You won't find house-cured pastrami on the Reuben, for instance, or house-roasted prime rib on the roast beef sandwich. If you order breakfast (which is served all day), you'll discover that the uniform shape of the sausage patties betrays the fact that they're not hand-patted.

But it's clear that those commercial products are chosen carefully, with the aim of delivering optimal quality and flavor for the price. The breads are baked by Neomonde, for instance, and though there are only two draft beers, the selection (Stone IPA and a rotating local selection from Aviator Brewing Co.) more than lives up to the restaurant's "Good for What Ales You" motto. And, given the price constraints, a surprising number of items are in fact made from scratch, among them the hummus, soups, deli salads (tuna, chicken and vegan chicken) and black beans on the appetizer quesadilla. Not to mention the tempting assortment of homey pies, cakes and brownies - some of which are vegan, not that you'd know it from the taste.

The desserts are baked by the mother of Angie Holder, who owns the restaurant with partner Scott Williams (he does the cooking, she runs the front of the house). The couple opened their first restaurant in March in the historic Delany building, and named it for the doctor who practiced family medicine there for more than 30 years. The space has a more contemporary urban vibe now, but for many who walk through its doors, the experience is still just what the doctor ordered.