Cindy’s is a strange diner. During the mornings and afternoons it’s your standard home-grown, greasy spoon diner that every town in America, no matter the size, has at least one of. Eggs, pork, and pancakes in the morning and burgers, fries, shakes in the afternoon. At night though the place becomes a Thai restaurant. I have no idea if it’s the same cooks working in the back or there’s a swap at between 2pm and 5pm when the place is closed.
I’m mostly familiar with Cindy’s breakfast menu, having frequented it often during my college years in Davis on weekends with friends. It tastes pretty much as you’d expect a greasy spoon to taste. They do know how to cook a runny egg and make white gravy though so I’ve never had any complaints.
I ordered their house burger w/ cheese with a side order of curly fries and a strawberry milkshake. The cheeseburger and side was $8.35.
Patty (8/35) – Came out done. No spices. I can’t even detect any salt or pepper in this patty. Hard to detect any flavor either. Very dry as well. This must be very lean ground beef.
Cheese (6/25) – One slice. American, I think. Hard to tell. There is nothing to taste here.
Bun (8/15) – Decent. Has some stiffness, ‘crunch’ might be too generous a word. I don’t think it came from toasting. The bun was denser than most of the ones so far. Not a lot of flavor.
Toppings (7/15) – Three or four pieces of lettuce. A single tomato slice. Seems to be a lot of water on the toppings. Sliced pickles were on the side. The taste and appearance of the pickles reminds me of the ones you see on the shelf of your local grocers.
Condiments (0/10) – No condiments on the burger?! They did bring mustard and ketchup to the table, at least. With how bland the burger tasted mostly of mustard.
Ambiance (7/*) – This is a hard one for me. Cindy’s appears to be a sit-down restaurant from the movies and TV shows I remember as a child (late 80s, early 90s) the ones whose decor was already decades out of date. Wood booths and paneling, hanging stained glass light fixtures, vinyl booths in that burnt red/orange. I find this kind of decor equal parts compelling and repellent. I suppose I was feeling nostalgic.
Total (36/100) – I don’t recommend ordering the burger from Cindy’s. That’s okay though because they sell breakfast all day! I recommend the biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon!
I can’t say much for the burger or the curly fries, which appeared to come from a giant bag you can probably buy from Costco, the shake was a different matter. Cindy’s Strawberry shake came with fresh strawberries in it and tasted phenomenal on a hot summer day.