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Fagins Diner is Definitely NOT Criminal
Fagins Diner (Hastings)
Member Name: anonymili
Fagins Diner (Hastings)
Date: 21/07/09, updated on 06/08/13 (1000 review reads)
Advantages: Friendly staff, decent food at reasonable prices
Disadvantages: narrow entrance to the toilets
Fagins Diner is a delightful American themed restaurant in which we visited on a sunny Saturday afternoon in July 2009. It's not far from the main road in Hastings and has been running for over 15 years now.
The menu includes quite typical diner style food such as steak , pizza, pasta and various chicken dishes as well as omelettes and other vegetarian options.
We found this quaint little eatery shortly after 4.30pm on a Saturday and there was only one other customer at the time. We were seen to straight away; the waiting staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and it all seemed very sincere. We were seated at a table by the window and given menus and the specials menu.
As there were 5 of us, we went for quite different items on the menu, including steak and chips, cheeseburger and chips, omelette which all which came with chips or jacket potato, whilst the steak also had the option of croquettes instead. The 2 children in our group had different pizzas. To give you an idea of prices, our bill came to under £55 for five of us, we all had soft drinks and just one person had a starter. The steak was about £13 with the pizzas costing around £7 each and the burger and chips about £8, so I felt we got a really good deal on the food and with exceptional service throughout. They even offer thin crust or deep pan options for the pizzas which you normally only see in pizza restaurants as far as I'm aware. The steak, omelette and burger meals all came with plenty of side salad too and one of the kids ordered leek and potato soup for starters with came with a rather large chunk of warm French bread and butter. I should also mention that the food itself was very tasty and well prepared too.
When I asked our waitress for some ketchup, I was delighted when they brought over a condiment tray with about 8 bowls of different condiments in there; including finely chopped onions, sweetcorn relish, a mild chilli sauce, mayonnaise and thousand island dressing. This might not be a big thing to other diners but to me, it's just that little extra that made our dining experience even better. During the meal we asked for some English mustard and were given this in a small pot - my greedy husband is a bit of a mustard addict, so it was finished halfway through his steak, but the staff were more than happy to give us a another full pot to keep him happy (and quiet).
What I did also like was the fact that the staff did not hover around the table trying to rush us to finish our food nor did they keep coming up to us during the meal to repeatedly ask if everything was all right with the food (as happens in quite a few restaurants which can be quite intrusive). But even saying all that, it was very easy to catch the eye of a staff member if we needed anything. I get very frustrated in some restaurants where the staff don't even look in your direction so it's impossible to get their attention without going up to the counter to ask them for something. This was not the case in Fagins Diner - the staff really do deserve a pat on the back for being so amenable!
From what I understand this is a very popular place for local people to dine before they go out for the evening in the evening, they have a full bar and due to the food being so reasonably priced I guess it would be popular to have a cheap bite and saving the rest of your money for drinking or night-clubbing. Added to that, the staff were all so very cheerful and nice, I can see why it's a popular place. Every customer that came in was greeting with a very warm welcome and when we left we were wished a very cheery goodbye.
If I had to say anything negative about the place it would be that the entrance to the toilets was very narrow, I didn't notice a disabled toilet but the normal ladies and gents toilets had very narrow doorway and a large person might find it quite difficult getting through. I also felt that the actual entrance to the restaurant was rather narrow but the two partitions either side of the door seemed to be very portable so I imagine these would be moved if someone came in with a wheelchair.
The exterior of the restaurant had just been painted and there were "wet paint" signs positioned quite clearly to ensure that people did not get paint on them whilst walking by or entering the premises.
It was interesting to note the memo board by the bar in the restaurant which had signed photos of various celebrities - the only two I can remember right now are Chris Tarrant and Brenda Blethyn.
Another nice touch was the mints given with our bill along with lollipops for the kids, of which, of course, I stole one for myself which the staff found very amusing and were happy to give us another one.
All in all, I'd be happy to give Fagins Diner a strong 8 out of 10 for good service, decent food and decent prices. It just loses marks for the narrow entrances to the toilets.
Fagins Diner is situated about half a mile from Hastings Station.
73 George Street
Tel: 01424 439319
NB: If my title confuses you, I'm referring to the Fagin of Oliver Twist - not that I'm even aware of any connection with the restaurant name and the fictional character from the Dickens novel
Summary: A charming little diner in the heart of Hastings
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