George’s Diner


The George’s Diner (3536 Hillsborough Rd) parking lot was packed at lunchtime last Friday.  With a steady stream of diners & takeout customers, George’s Diner is definitely open for business.  The kitchen was serving from eight of the menu’s nine pages (pasta & sautées to come soon, maybe even by the time this review gets posted).  The wireless and the milkshake machine are expected to be operational this week.

The grilled cheese + BLT fixings (see the menu item entitled “The Happy Waitress”) contained loads of crispy bacon and was served up quick.  The baklava was flaky with just enough honey.  I will return to eat a meal from the Greek Food section of the menu.  The owners are Greek and the Hillsborough Road George’s is the first location.
The decorations include a lunch counter, jukebox and pictures of Hollywood legends on the walls & tables.  Not much on the website, but it does tell you what you need to know: George’s Diner is open 24 hours serving Home Style cooked meals.


Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 10:07 am  Comments (43)  


  1. A new 24 hour place? Fantastic!

  2. was there breakfast?

    that website really doesnt tell you much, does it?

  3. Huzzah!

  4. there is all-day breakfast galore: waffles, pancake, etc. i think the first two pages of the menu are breakfast options.

    i was hoping for a super cheap two eggs+ option but whatever the pricing was it wasn’t memorably inexpensive. i’ll investigate & give a full report.

  5. so i know george is in the name…

    but is this another George venture?

  6. If you mean Bakatsias, the answer seems to be no. At least according to comments on Chowhound.

  7. the couple who own George’s Diner were both working last Friday, she was out front and he was in the kitchen. he looked nothing like G. Bakatsias.

    • You mean he looked like he could cook?

      • HA

  8. My daughters and I ate at George’s last Saturday night and had a wonderful meal. This “George” is George Papanikolaou and his wife Roula and a son and daughter also work there. The restaurant was PACKED on Saturday night and the (very young) waitress we had was a bit overwhelmed.

    We were overwhelmed by the HUGE menu. There were about 9 pages, everything from pancakes to burgers to full entrees to sandwiches. I had a Reuben sandwich platter, one daughter had a turkey club platter and the other had two hot dogs. Everything was delicious, well presented and surprisingly good.

    We all had the beef vegetable soup (came with meals) and it was obviously homemade and full of veggies and hunks of beef. Very good. My Reuben was the best I’ve had since my last trip to the Carnegie deli. Very high quality corned beef. My daughter’s hot dogs were Sabratts, smothered in sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms and served in gorgeous rolls.

    I got baklava to go and it was great. Nice, flaky pastry, lots of grounds nuts and just enough honey. Yummy! I can’t wait to go back and try the Greek dishes on the menu. It would take months to get through the whole menu!

    I highly recommend George’s and hope they enjoy a brisk business for a long time!

  9. HEY!!!! That’s the old Miami Subs… Miami Subs rocks… what the heck happened!!!

    • Miami Sub’s ain’t been there since at least 2007.

  10. Probably wont go back…Wait staff seemed totally aloof and possibly on drugs..Waitress asked us 2 times if she took our order(she couldnt remember).Our food order came out and was missing items, so it was taken from us while were cutting our food.My wifes ice tea was oooold..The microwave is obviously used quite a bit here…I had microwaved waffles with microwaved hashbrowns! ! ! ! Table next to us was waiting so long and drinking water,they got up to leave and the creepy waitress gave them a bill for water! ! !

    • Hashbrowns? Are you sure you went to the right place? George’s Diner is more of a fusion of Northern and Southern cooking and thats why they have homefries. I had the owner explain it to me at 4:00am.

  11. We had a TERRIBLE meal here. Okay service – we had the friend chicken meal, potato skins, and a salad. After we ordered, the waiter came back and told us that they only had two pieces of chicken left and asked us if that was okay. We asked if we would get an extra side or something. He didn’t know, left, and came back with four pieces of burnt chicken. My potato skins tasted like rancid oil. The salad had a bunch of water at the bottom. The fries were fried in old oil. We complained – after the management saw that we hadn’t eaten any of the food, they gave it to us for free. We left and went to cookout.

  12. we had breakfast saturday morning…and while it was exactly what my alcohol-soaked gullet needed, it was just OK. Really disappointed with the homefries…FROZEN, unseasoned…meh. the only bread chioces were white bread and pita. I love pita and all, but i would have liked a choice of wheat bread or english muffin as well. Service was fine, general diner style. Nice, not over the top.

    I might go back, especially for the 24hrs. but it’s not exactly around the corner from me. I still am really digging breakfast at Pan Pan, AWESOME homefries, good sides selection, but they dont open until 930-10am…

  13. I gotta say, I had the worst milkshake of my life here. It was like lumpy chocolate milk, totally undrinkable.

    The food was ok I guess, it took forever though.

  14. Had breakfast here this morning…decor is nice, people were nice, but food was below average. French toast was good, but I found it strange that the syrup came in individual packets (like at Burger King) especially since they serve pancakes, waffles, and French toast 24 hours (I expected the little syrup dispenser). The ham was ok and bacon was ok…both were kinda rubbery. But the sausage patty might have been the worst I have ever had. It LOOKED so perfect and tasted so bland that I expect that it was frozen. No taste at all…had to add salt, pepper, and syrup, and even then I couldn’t finish it. I’ll give it another shot because I really want to like the place.

  15. The food was great and the service was a little slow. Understandable for a local restaurant that has just opened 2 weeks ago. The menu is huuuuuuuge so I guess I will have to go back there until i try everything. However the atmosphere is truly a throwback. You can tell that everything is homemade from the decor to the food. Nice little getaway for a coffee, slice of pie and homecooked meals.

    The coffee is dynamite!!!

    • Any chance you know where the coffee comes from? At least you can always get a good cup of joe at Elmo’s.

      • well, i wouldnt say it was awesome, but definately much better than your average diner brown water. Honestly, i think its probably just folger’s or maxwell house done with appropriate measurements

      • i dunno…i think beans

  16. Wow so much bashing. No forgiveness for a place that just opened from local people? I went there and personally I prefer the individual syrup because its more sanitary. The food still needs some work but at least it comes out fast and its supercheap for everything that you are getting. I will definently go back there with my wife and our children because of the kids menu variety. Its about time we got an old style diner in Durham that has everything in it!!!!

    • Turning on the “Open” sign and collecting money from customers is not a “soft opening,” which it sounds like they needed. I find it hard to go back to a place that gave me a bad deal simply because they weren’t ready to hold up their end of the bargain but weren’t willing to disclose that fact.

      • Turning on the OPEN sign buddy and collecting money is how you do a soft opening. How else would the people know that you are open if you do not inform them? Also the way you do a soft opening is not with a limited menu but by letting people know at the door. After all have you seen their prices? What “bad deal” did you get? Overpriced eggs? Stick with waffle house bud

  17. I wasnt bashing…i just wasnt gushing praise. there were things i was fine with, and things i thought needed work…i understand they’ve only been open a week and am looking forward to giving them more chances, because this town needs a real diner, and nothing in this town passes for one…

    and yes, i mean Elmos and Honeys…bleh


  19. Just made our first and only visit. The food was mediocre at best, and I found a bristle from their grill-scrubbing brush in my dijon burger. The people were friendly and very apologetic, though.

  20. I was there this morning. Food was good, priced fairly and a lot. Place was packed though and it took our waitress maybe 10 minutes to bring our food. I will go back there since its just 15 minutes from my house, their menu is huge and I wanna try one of everything at least.

  21. Went today after church for brunch. it was a packed house which was expected for the amount of food that they give and the prices on the menu. I will be back, my only complaint was that i got white breat instead of wheat, which they corrected immediately.

  22. this shit was a waist poor everything, Poor owner and his look

  23. Kinda friendly but utterly clueless (and slow) service + not-very-good food = probably not going back. It’s a shame; I had high hopes.

  24. Personally i have been there about 5 times since it opened, and the food is reasonable for price. There are some wait staff who are rough, but i would expect them to learn, or get canned as is the nature of the restaurant business. The owners always come around if they are out to ask how was my meal, overall i will go there again, and the chocolate chip pancakes..mummmm

  25. I went twice. The staff were really TRYING, but they really did seem to open “too soon”. The menu is really long, but if you look at it carefully, two of the pages are almost identical (same foods, different order). There are lots of items on the menu that, when asked, they don’t have available yet. The service is rather amazingly slow- I went on a Saturday dinner (where it was understandable) but also for a weekday breakfast (where it really wasn’t).

    That said, the food quality was pretty good, prices very fair, and quantities large. So, I’m willing to give them another shot in a few weeks when they’ve hopefully worked out the kinks. My hope is that they don’t alienate too many people by bad experiences early on such that they don’t survive…

  26. I love this place, the food is reasonably priced, and it is 24/7!!! The 3rd shift wait staff are pretty decent, and free WiFi..near duke need i say more??? PLus the food is yummy..philly cheesesteak……

  27. Good food decent price college students delight!! toss in the 24 hours and the wifi once it is up and running and i will be spending time there where it is smoke free and closer to school then honey’s

  28. Alright, took 2 weeks off and tried again (see earlier post). Unfortunately, they still don’t have their act together. This time, I ordered the moussaka, and as the server brought everyone else their food, she THEN informed me that they’re out of it. So, everyone was completely done eating before I got my meal. Then, she said my alternate choice came with soup OR salad (I actually got neither ’til I was almost done), when I insisted that it said soup AND salad, and even had to have her get the menu to look. Someone else in my party didn’t get one of their side-dishes either. I should note- they were NOT busy: there was only one other table of customers, and there were tons of staff hanging around chit-chatting.

    I think I’m done with George’s Diner- at least for a few months…

  29. I had lunch there yesterday. Good food, big quantities, the wait staff needs a little work though. Everyone seemed to be enjoying being there and the soup of course was amazing. i was surprised to see that you get so much food with the prices being so cheap. Will definently go back and try the breakfast. i hear great things about their breakfast special.

  30. I read the blog posting and looked forward to going for a few weeks. My kids and I went shopping for their moms birthday presents and we stopped to eat there on the way home.

    1. As soon as we were in the door, some girl yelled “3”, “3 of you right”. Kinda rude and rushing us to our table, I ignored it but when my 7 year old asked what was wrong, It made me realize it was not my imagination.

    2. The server as someone else put it seemed to act like they were on drugs. She did not seem real clean and rushed everything.

    3. We ordered coke and 2 chocolate milks. The milks were luke warm and milk was dripping down the sides of the cup. My coke was flat.

    4. She delivered soup to me that spilled all over upon delivering and it appeared to be microwaved since the sides of the cup had caked on liquid.

    5. My daughter who is 3 had to pee, we asked where the bathroom was and she said it was out of order. She told us our food would be up and could she wait. I said no! She has to go bad, she is 3. The girls or mens room both had issues at the same time??? She told me we could walk across the parking lot or street and go in another place and come back for our food.

    We left in a hurry to find a bathroom and found the restaurant next store open and VERY nice and clean. Some seafood place start with a P (you should blog about that place). I explained the issue and they were very nice. I promised to come back to eat there.

    As I walked back my kids said they did not like the server and wanted to just go. I agreed when I saw 3 roter rooter trucks and hoses across the parking lot going into the building. So we left and found a fast food place to eat insteadBut mad we were looking forward to chocolate chip pancakes at 3pm.

    • Place next door is Pergamon II. It is quite good, though certainly pricier than George’s.

      • I was there that same exact day. The bathroom thing can happen to anybody at anygiven time. I have lived in new york for a long time and I gotta admit georges is the best and closest thing down here. You can tell that the food is homemade and the soup is not microwaved b.c YOU see the servers taking it and bringing it to you. I bet anything that if you went to georges at a time when their not busy the restaurant would be spotless. We should give them a chance their a new restaurant and are in an old building that was vacant for a long time.

        BTW the Reuban was one of the best I’ve had in years.

  31. I was there too when all the commotion was going on. It seemed that the bathrooms actually were clogged because the building was closed for 2 years and now all of a sudden started to see activity again.

    I’ve seen worse places for sure, at least though everyone was trying to make the best of it. I did not have an issue of cleanliness with the place. if anything i saw a lady that her sole job was to clean the restaurant constantly. its kinda ironic for a place to open with such great expectations and then this accident to happen while they were packed.

    i did enjoy my apple cinnamon pancakes and my friend enjoyed her chocolate chip hotcakes.

    • I am glad you enjoyed the food, I may try it again in a few months. But, if I see the same server I am walking out.

      Maybe the lady cleaning was on the other side of the place, our table was not wiped off until we sat down and my kids got liquid on their arms….

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