Stopped by Diner 248 out on rt. 248 (duh) in Palmer last week. We were on our way to look at dishwashers at Sears cuz our old workhorse just crapped out on us and we needed a place for a quick bite. Diner 248 used to be the mediocre Jack Creek Steakhouse. We ate there once and there was nothing remarkable about the menu or décor, yet the place always looked packed on weekends. Not sure why they went out of business.

From what we remembered, the layout was pretty much unchanged. Apart from the dessert case just inside the door, there’s very little about the place that seems very diner-ish. There’s a large barroom on one side of the building and a fairly standard large dining room on the other side. The table spacing, lighting and lack of noise stands in contrast to the more hectic, informal vibe that we find so appealing in diners. The menu did have the range of options we love about places like Key City diner on rt. 22 in P-burg. (How can a kitchen offer 100 options including gyros, eggplant parm, roasted chicken and 6 kinds of soup? And prepare them equally well? Mindboggling.) Diner 248’s menu wasn’t quite that extensive but there was enough to fit any mood. One thing we noted was that they didn’t serve breakfast all day – so no late night short stacks with a side of sausage i guess. Bummer.

The liquor license was definitely a plus though. My wife ordered a Dark ‘n Stormy (they shoulda made it with Gosling’s) and I got a Sam Adams Belgian ale. We were in a bit of a hurry so we went straight to entrées. I went with the pork chops and filling smothered in cranberry chutney. I subbed a bowl of French onion soup for the side salad. My wife got the crab cakes and a salad. Overall, the food was good, the portions and prices were fine, but they could use a bit of plating finesse. Hell, most diners will at least throw down a sprig of parsley.