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When judging the quality of a diner, how important is the coffee?

In reading this thread about our favorite diners (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888336), there was nary a mention about coffee.

It was mostly about food (and rightfully so, no doubt), but I am wondering if the quality of the coffee ever comes into play in how you view or judge the quality of a diner, or diner experience.

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  1. I spent the first 32 years of my life living in New Jersey and put in a lot of time in a lot of diners. To my recollection, the coffee was usually tolerable, never excellent, and sometimes just plain nasty (Royal Diner on Rt.22 in Somerset County).

    2 Replies
    1. re: grampart

      So, I'll take that as a "doesn't matter"?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Especially at 2 a.m after the bars closed. Very true of the Royal Diner which was across the highway from a favorite watering hole, The Shamrock. DUI's weren't so common back in the early 1970's, but it didn't hurt to sober up a bit before heading home.

    2. Hey, I mentioned coffee on that thread: "The coffee is always fresh and strong." Not necessarily great, but strong ;)

      2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I had to check the other thread myself as I was thinking "Really, I didn't mention the coffee?" :)

      1. Very important to anywhere I dine, but esp. important for me with breakfast at a diner.

        1. Frankly, not very important. Any coffee neither burnt nor watery is as good as I'd dare expect. I rate diners more on their egg and toast technique, and sausage quality. Bonus for waitresses who call me "hon'" every so often.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            I'm with you, Bada Bing. Brown crayon water is de rigeur to the diner experience but the eggs, toast, hashbrowns and bacon better be spot on. "Hon" is great, beehives optional :-).

            1. re: grayelf

              Well, yes--the beehive is generally a home run...

            2. re: Bada Bing

              What Bada Bing said. I can deal with meh coffee; I want my over-easy eggs done over-easy. Not over-hard. Not over-runny whites. And bacon should be crisp. And please... PLEASE make sure you toast the English muffin?

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Untoasted English muffin is about as edible as leather shoes.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I ditto your ditto. Funny that I, too, am an over-easy eggs fan, and that's one of those styles that can go way wrong when a place is not on its game. And the toast is crucial in going along with it.

                2. coffee is very important in a diner. It must been hot, fresh and full bodied. IMHO

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: golfer1

                    I agree with golfer1, it MUST be hot, fresh and full bodied at a diner or it will ruin my meal. And if the coffee fails to deliver (and lately diners have) I order a milk shake or a tall glass of grapefruit juice and get my coffee fix elsewhere.