HOLLYWOOD DINER 400 E. Saratoga St. at...


HOLLYWOOD DINER 400 E. Saratoga St. at Holliday. Hours: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Closed weekends. (410) 962-5379. Free delivery with $10 minimum order. The Hollywood Diner has a new role. After the title role in Barry Levinson's "Diner" and an appearance in "Tin Men," the diner was renamed the Kid's Diner and was staffed by young people as part of a vocational training program.

The young people are still working the restaurant, with new direction, name and menu by Bill Staffa under the auspices of the Chesapeake Foundation for Human Development.

The decor has a '50's flavor, but the menu is a cross-section of hearty American counter meals and some Greek and yuppie fare.

Our hearty three passed on the "healthy choices" list, which includes an assortment of green, fruit and pasta salads, and veggie sandwiches such as the Jane Fonda (Monterey Jack, sprouts, tomatoes and mushrooms at $2.99).

We went for the hefty choices. Big Joe's meatloaf platter ($3.99) came with mashed potatoes, green beans, roll and butter. It was big and tasty and way too generous for a quick lunch, although a good choice to take home and heat for dinner. The spanakopita of grilled onion and chicken ($3.99) was served wrapped in a pita with shredded lettuce and tomato. The Reuben ($3.59) was a Reuben and tasted just fine.

For a treat we had homemade apple pie a la mode ($1.75). It was truly homemade and brought back memories of the '50s when this dessert was all the mode. We split homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yum.

The Hollywood Diner is closed to the public on weekends, but is available for private parties and catering.

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