Frankfort: Cliffside Diner Delivers Classic Value For the Dollar
Cliffside Diner is certainly well named. Built on a strip of land between a real live cliff below all the Kentucky capital goings-on and a road that hugs the meandering Kentucky River, Cliffside has been serving traditional diner fare for decades.
The current Cliffside is a reboot of the old diner, which went out of business several years ago. This is Cliffside 2.0. You can read about the old diner and the starting of the new one in newspaper articles posted on the wall. Alas, I never ate at the original, but I’m thankful new owners came along to keep it going. A diner in the state capital poised between a cliff and the Kentucky River ought to exist and I’m glad it does.
Cliffside is classic, unspoiled small town diner. Barstools stand in a regimented row against the counter with booths lined up along the windows. A diner veteran ruled behind the counter while a younger waitress glided down the booths with that familiar diner style service.
My friend Dave went for the meat loaf while I ordered the open faced roast beef sandwich. The food arrived quickly with a smile.
When you go to an old-school diner, expect old-school diner food. And that’s what we got. Dave rated his meat loaf as good–above average–and I found my open faced roast beef at a similar level. This wasn’t the open faced roast beef to end all open faced roast beef, but it certainly more than fulfilled the expectation of good-value-for-the-money diner chow.
It’s hard to go to a diner and not end the meal without a slice of meringue topped pie. Chocolate (for Dave) and coconut cream (for me) were the choices. Pies are an area where diners can really shine, and I admit I felt like Cliffside missed an opportunity to end on a wow here. The pies were fine, serviceable, desserts but one has the feeling that with a little love and attention they could raise the level to a flagship dish.
If you find yourself in Frankfort certainly put Cliffside on your list. You’ll be thankful a place like this is still an option. The service will be quick, the food good, and you’ll leave with some money still in your pocket.
Hmmmm. Maybe the folks at Cliffside should consider running state government.
175 Old Lawrenceburg Road
7:30 AM – 8 PM Daily