Upon arrival, The Oinkster looks promising. The neighborhood diner boasts its local acclaim by having a line that stretches through the front doors and wraps around the building, filled with an assortment of people eager to order.
There are no fancy gimmicks at The Oinkster. Its simple concept of “slow fast food,” coined by Chef Andre Guerrero, needs no flashy signs or a dancing mascot. The diner on Colorado Boulevard has minimalist décor, but exhibits high-quality food that earned it airplay in local commercials and even the “Diners, Drive-ins, Dives” show on the Food Channel.
Although busy during dinner hours, the laid-back environment features friendly service by servers who deliver the food to wherever customers are sitting, two flat screen televisions on each side of the building and outdoor seating for up to 50 people. The setting seems especially fitting for watching sports with friends.
Many things set The Oinkster apart from its fast-food counterparts. Despite a menu that offers popular specialties like house-cured pastrami, slow cooked pork and rotisserie-roasted chicken all for under $10, the diner also cooks the American classic burger-and-fries meal like nobody’s business.
Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m., where a meal of cheeseburger, fries and a drink are available for $6. The cheeseburgers are cooked to the customer’s preference with American cheese melting off the patty and it is twice the size of a cheeseburger offered at other food chains. The fresh-cut fries, which are also available Belgian-style, are fried to crispy perfection.
The little flourishes are the most alluring part of the diner. All of its sauces for dipping are made in-house, and have the most distinctive taste that one will ever have in any restaurant or food chain. The most popular is the garlic and aioli sauce that seems essential with the fries, or anything that is edible for that matter. The Oinkster also makes chipotle ketchup and spicy mustard handmade, and it only seems to make the local diner more inimitable.
The diner supports local breweries surrounding the neighborhood, so patrons can have their meals rounded out with original or premium beer and quality wines for $6 a glass. One particular favorite is “Heavenly Hef,” a German-style beer called Hefeweizen that is sweet and fruity, which distinguishes it from most types of premium beers.
Customers can top off their meal sweetly with The Oinkster’s range of handmade cupcakes and desserts. Their peanut butter and jelly cupcake, which, needless to say is exceptional in its own kind, won second place in the 2009 Los Angeles Cupcake Challenge. There is also an assortment of brownies and milkshakes that are available for $2.45.
The Oinkster is located on 2005 Colorado Blvd., Glendale and is open Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.