I want to be a table crumber when I grow up.

Cincinnati Bites
Bibimbap from The Korea House

Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Note: the following review is for a restaurant that has since closed.

Great Scott Diner, located in Amelia, Ohio, is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati. With chrome to spare, the large restaurant super-sizes the Steak-N-Shake, 50's diner concept, peppering its interior with wall-to-wall, checkered tile floors, Elvis posters and vintage, old-time gas pump globes all aglow.

We'd stumbled on the place by accident: our original objective was to locate one of the last remaining Rax Roast Beef restaurants in Ohio, allegedly located in Georgetown. Turns out what remains there is a Long John Silvers that just so happens to serve a very limited line of Rax Roast Beef-branded sandwiches, placed in bags still brandishing the old 80's Rax logo. This weekend, it seemed, was all about the nostalgia.

When we first walked through Great Scott Diner's doors, I noted that two outdoor wastebaskets are too near the entrance, allowing the accumulating flies to enter the restaurant and get trapped in the small room between the first and second set of doors. Amid the buzzing insects, a painted likeness of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley greeted us inside, seated together in a red convertible.

It was a slow weekend afternoon at Great Scott: a whole section of the restaurant had been roped off, unused. Several small groups filled the remaining open section of the dining room. A number of tables had not yet been cleared off, making it more challenging to find an available seat. We finally discovered a clean booth and sat down.

Despite the initial service lag, a friendly, young waitress arrived fairly quickly to take our drink orders while a busser caught up on cleaning all the neighboring tables. I ordered a chocolate milkshake to accompany our water.

I Drink Your Milkshake!

The milkshake soon arrived and appeared to be everything I'd imagined it would be. A vintage, stemmed glass was filled to the brim with thick, chocolatey, calorific wonder, topped off with whipped cream and a cherry. My girlfriend quickly dispatched the cherry as I took a long draw from the glass. A red and white-striped flexi-straw would have perfectly capped off this obligatory moment of icey diner bliss, but we had to settle for a straight one.

After taking turns polishing off the milkshake, we scanned the extensive menu to see how best to further clog our arteries. Great Scott Diner serves classic burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and both breakfast and dinner entrees. Some of the more notable items include the gigantic Dagwood sandwich, the Amelia Hot Brown and a hamburger they call "The Big Nasty," which sounded a lot like a Frisch's Big Boy.

I chose the country fried steak dinner, which the menu indicated came with mashed potatoes and gravy and a mildly health-redeeming side of green beans. My girlfriend chose the "White Omelette," with tomatoes, onions, spinach and mushrooms, but was later told they were out of mushrooms. Her entree came with a side of wheat toast and home fries and she added a side of cheese grits.

When our food arrived, I immediately noticed that my dinner was prepared with a side of crinkle-cut french fries instead of the advertised mashed potatoes and gravy. I mentioned it to the waitress, who replied that the menu had since changed (I guess between the time I'd seen it on the menu and the time it arrived?). She offered to take it back, but we'd already waited about 15 minutes for our meals and I had nothing against french fries.

My girlfriend's mushroom-less egg-white omelette looked unnaturally and disturbingly white to me, but she didn't seem to mind. She never touched the toast, but enjoyed the flavor of the omelette and the crispy home fried potatoes. The cheese grits lived up to their name and we both loved their flavor.

White Omelette
Country Fried Steak Dinner

My country fried steak was ok, a little light on the meat but heavy on the breading --and there was a lot of it. I thought the white gravy had a little bit of a raw flour flavor and lacked the peppery creaminess of country fried steak gravies I've enjoyed elsewhere. The french fries and green beans were well seasoned.

Portion size seemed to be the emphasis more than taste at Great Scott Diner: neither of us could finish our meals, nor was there much incentive to really try. We didn't dislike our food, but there was nothing particularly outstanding about our entrees, either.

We encountered a bit of confusion on whether to pay at the table or at the cash register up front. After waiting a while, we decided to take our ticket up to the register, where we waited another 10 minutes to get our change.

Aside from the delicious milkshake and the fetching 50's ambiance, Great Scott Diner offered us passable food and an unusually long wait. There still appeared to be plenty of compelling menu items worth trying, nearly all of which were under $10. But unless you live in Amelia, it's probably not worth the drive.

Great Scott Diner on Urbanspoon
Great Scott Diner

Price: Cheap (under $11 per person)
Service: Fair
Rating: 2.5 out of 42.5 stars

Other Recent Reviews

  1. Dinner Impressions: Envision Cinemas Bar & Grill
    -posted Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  2. A Taste of Hawaii: Poke Hut
    -posted Thursday, January 4, 2018
  3. Pizza in Walnut Hills: Fireside Pizza
    -posted Thursday, December 21, 2017
  4. Breakfast and Brunch Review: Wild Eggs
    -posted Tuesday, December 19, 2017
  5. Barbecue Impressions: Bourbon Smokehouse
    -posted Sunday, December 17, 2017
Ratings Legend
four stars = Outstanding
three stars = Good
two stars = Fair
one star = Poor
  • From Natasia Malaihollo about Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop:
    Thank you for the review and background on the restaurant history! I was a huge fan of huit and super disappointed when they “closed.” Was wondering what’s going on with this musical chairs of a restaurant strategy so thank you for clarifying!
    posted: Fri., Jan 26th, 2018 @ 6:50 PM
  • From Jeff about Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop:
    Thanks for the thorough review! It honestly does seem like a new restaurant is opening every other day..but the thing about the wait staff..they might be getting paid a higher hourly rate because they are only open for lunch. I’ve worked at a restaurant where I was paid $10 an hour but the owner kept the tips, it sucked but sort of made sense for the lunch shift.
    posted: Fri., Dec 22nd, 2017 @ 9:00 PM
  • From heather about Wild Eggs:
    we liked it too - things are fresh and made from scratch and high quality - good experiences all around
    posted: Wed., Dec 20th, 2017 @ 10:55 AM
  • From Cincinnati Bites about Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop:
    Thanks for writing, Heather. I definitely like their other restaurants. Lalo's pazole and fish taco are better than Mazunte's, I think. But I agree they are definitely hit-or-miss. I'm still rooting for them, though. There's talent there. :)

    posted: Mon., Nov 20th, 2017 @ 1:30 PM
  • From Heather JOhnson about Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop:
    I tried Huit & Lalo and they were both expensive and so mixed - one thing great - another thing barely mediocre. More of the same it sounds like - hits and misses for a really expensive lunch. Nope on Dope.
    posted: Sun., Nov 19th, 2017 @ 12:41 PM
  • From TJ Jackson about Udupi Cafe:
    I do not know if it is truly a match for the product you remember, but Frostop Root Beer is sold at Jungle Jims and is a personal favorite of mine.
    posted: Fri., Sep 29th, 2017 @ 6:00 PM
  • From Jones about Haru Korean Restaurant:
    As a long time reader, I found this review to be one of your loveliest and most enthusiastically vivid. I can't wait to try this place!
    posted: Tue., Aug 29th, 2017 @ 9:48 AM
  • From Jordan about Grand Central Delicatessen:
    posted: Sat., Jun 3rd, 2017 @ 12:16 PM
  • From Tabitha about Tickle Pickle:
    Haha, love your comment: " If you were deemed "different" in high school, dressed "weird" or regularly got beat up only to go on to have a decidedly higher net worth and confidence level than the rest of your abusive, judgmental peers, Northside is your home away from home." I know I saw a Groupon for Tickle Pickle recently - might have to check if that's still available!
    posted: Fri., Apr 14th, 2017 @ 12:33 PM
  • From Tabitha about Chilango Fresh Mexican:
    This is definitely going on the list. Thanks for posting. Do they also have margaritas?
    posted: Fri., Apr 14th, 2017 @ 12:23 PM
Where The Locals Eat featured blog
Cincinnati Web Design | Cincinnati Mobile Web Design