Review: Ari’s Diner

My husband and I are always looking for breakfast spots, because if there’s one thing we enjoy on the weekends after going to the farmer’s markets, it’s sitting down with each other for a nice hearty breakfast. A big plus is if it’s on our side of town. Ari’s opened over a year ago, and we pass it almost every day, but had never gotten around to going in to eat – mostly because until recently, they had very abbreviated hours and were closed in the evenings. One day, on a whim, we decided to stop in and give it a try.

The ambiance, if there is any, is truly austere. Mostly just white walls everywhere you look. It has a very utilitarian feel about the place, almost like a cafeteria. The place was dead, but we figured that was normal, given it was in between lunch and dinner. Our waitress directed us to sit anywhere, so we picked a nice four top in the middle of the room and settled in.

They have a fairly extensive menu, with all types of breakfast combinations, soups and salads, gyros, and burgers and other sandwiches. We were both feeling a bit brunchy, so decided to go for a mix of breakfast/lunch items.

My husband started with a cup of the broccoli-cheese soup ($1.75), which tasted as if it were right out of a food service bag. To add insult to injury, they poured olive oil and dill on top of an already greasy soup, which made it darn near inedible.

I went with a side salad ($1.99), to which I had them add a bit of feta cheese. It was fairly decent but nothing outstanding – mostly iceberg with huge chunks of veggies that I had to cut into smaller pieces, with a standard oil-based Greek dressing.

For my entree, I went with the Greek Breakfast Gyro (served alone for $3.99, or with home fries for $4.99), which was 2 scrambled eggs, gyro meat, feta cheese, cucumber sauce, lettuce, red onion and tomato served on pita. The best way to describe it is messy as hell, because it didn’t want to stay together long enough for me to eat it. After taking a couple of bites, I turned to my husband and asked “are they using rye pita or something?” – it wasn’t until much later that we figured out that they use caraway seeds in their tzatziki sauce, which gives every dish that includes tzatziki the overwhelming flavor of rye bread. Especially so, since they didn’t season a single thing on either of our plates in any discernable manner. The gyro meat seemed to be pre-cut instead of freshly cut when the sandwich was made, because it was a bit crusty like it had sit out in the air for a while. The home fries were barely cooked (they were done, but didn’t seem to have spent any time on the grill frying, as I would expect with something called “home FRIES”; but then again, I like my home fries brown and crispy so it may be a subjective thing.

My husband fared a little better with his selection – the House Breakfast ($6.99), which includes 2 eggs, marinated chicken, gyro meat, home fries and a pita. The chicken was pretty tasty, but his gyro meat had met the same fate as mine – it was a bit dried out. Although the eggs were cooked to his specifications, they and the home fries were definitely underseasoned and not as crispy as he would have liked.

The best I can say about the place is that the food is mostly edible – nothing I had was anywhere in the realm of “good”, but the food is dirt cheap. If you’re on a really tight budget and not too picky, you do get a lot of food for the cost. However, given that there are plenty of other breakfast choices in Columbus that are just as cheap, but with much better food, I don’t think we’ll be back for a second visit.

If you’d like to go: Ari’s Diner, 1425 Frank Road, Columbus, OH 43223, 614.274.7747, M-F 7a-7p; S&S 7a-2p.

Ari's Diner on Urbanspoon

14 thoughts on “Review: Ari’s Diner

  1. Christine

    I was pleasantly surprised to discover that you listed my blog on your Food Blog Directory for Canada. Thank you very much! You did a lot of work to compile the directories. You have a great blog, your pictures are excellent!

  2. Alan Woods

    Sounds like a thoroughly undistinguished place. We could all do so much better to cook at home — much more efficient, much less time, and the food would be edible! But thanks for the warning. Clearly a place to be avoided.

  3. joe michaelson

    clearly your wrong …i myself am a regular customer at ari's diner and their food is great quite honestly they buy NO PRE-MADE food everything is fresh. honestly u seem like the white trash kind of person that should stick to mcdonalds and buy yourself some CRISpy fries….. aris diner happens to be a very comfortable relaxing place where people such as myself can go and enjoy a WONDERFUL ,FRESH,DE-LIC-IOS food and i will continue to go there while you drive your fat ass to mcdonalds

  4. johanna

    who r u …….aris is great!!! best place ever ….whats wrong with you u oubviously cant see smell taste u suck not only for this resterant but all your reviews suck what r u some fat cat lady?? im a regular customer and 10 tv eye wittness news staff happens to love that place along wit the nbc 4 staff and radio casters from 610 wtvn ……..this place is great cat lady get a day job…

  5. swampkitty05 Post author

    Amusing. 3 abusive comments on a year-old review, all originating from the same IP address. Since you’re spamming the comments by leaving more than one comment under different names, I’m wondering what your stake in Ari’s is. Anyone with a casual interest wouldn’t be going to so much trouble, or be taking my valid criticism as personally.

  6. tawnia

    i go there to one of my fav places he use to work at tommys diner witch is anther good place

  7. G&C Wolford

    I and my husband, just visited here yesterday. I find the owner, Ari, extremely nice and outgoing along with the servers who seemed quite pleasant, which says something about the management. I am retired from the City of Columbus, my husband is retiring from Pepsi Cola, I also, am an Ordained Deacon. First, I totally disagree with the extreme negativity from Swampkitty05. Mitchell's Restaurant is downtown, maybe you are confused. This is a diner. The food is tasty, affordable and nice quantity of it for the money. It is a diner atmosphere, something Columbus needs!!!!! I was quite impressed with the variety and found Ari to be quite humble and very customer oriented. That being said, I will definitely recommend to anyone and everyone. How many owners go around to greet their clients. Here you are paying for the food, not the lease for the establishment. Pepsi recently had a large breakfast here for about 30 to 40 people and they too thought highly of Ari's Diner!!!! Thank you Ari for your individual attention to insure that we received everything we wanted and to "our" taste. Great Restaurant!! We will be back soon!

  8. thebyrdhaus

    Ari's is one of the best places in town to eat. Their food is delicious! Yes, the gyros may be messy, but they are huge and full of goodness! The Wed. meatloaf special is the best I have ever had. The breakfast are wonderful! I just wish they would keep the sweetener on the table.

  9. BadgerHat

    Ari's is a good place to eat. For one thing, Ari keeps it up… This is not a "greasy spoon" establishment. In fact, I'd say the dining room is almost ridiculously high classed looking, considering that the restaurant is sandwiched between a Goodyear and some other kind of business. The service is very good, and the food is everything one should expect. I generally get the Greek Gyro, without the feta cheese or cucumber sauce, and have them put Ranch dressing on it. I also do not pick it up to eat it, opting instead to use my knife and fork, in order to avoid the mess of the vegies falling off. I think the review above was made by someone that's just too finicky of an eater to enjoy anything that costs less than $50 a plate. Snooty, is the word I'd use for her. I agree with thebyrdhaus that sweetener on the tables would be good.

  10. d.j.

    i think the food is very good and cheaply priced and its always fresh. if u want a 2 dollar breakfast take ur fat ass to mickey ds for 6 or 7 bux a plate the food is awesome and ari isa nice guy and the place is clean and quiet i really enjoy eating there. Ive been eating there since he opened

  11. Julia

    Was just here today!! Definately my favorite place. Can't say theres anything I've tried that I haven't liked. Owner is very nice, waitresses are attentive. Food is just AMAZING! and so cheap! They recently remodeled and I like to just go and enjoy endless refils of coffee (best coffee I've had in a restaurant) and read or work on my laptop, as they now have free WiFi. Great place, much improved since when I first started coming here…disappointed and surprised blogger didn't like it!!!! Just a favorite. Will always be coming back for more!!! YUM!!!

  12. Ayron

    I am a waitress there and we try to treat everyone good and make them feel like they are welcome and not just a customer a friend as well. Ari works hard on his diner and does a good job of it. Sorry that when you went you had a bad time, but everyone that comes in we make sure leaves with a small and is happy with there meal. For everyone else thank you on the good reveiws. Hope to see you all soon 🙂 Thanks
    Your Aris Waitress

Comments are closed.