Starlite Restaurant & Diner

4090 Wilmington Pike
Dayton, OH 45440
937.293.4000
website

As a restaurant that specializes in just about everything, Starlite Diner will make you breakfast, lunch or dinner with a variety of options on its menu. The esteemed Wilmington Pike destination near Kettering  serves seafood, pasta, barbecue, and steaks and breakfast foods. Does that sound like the same menu as the Perkins chain restaurant that Starlite replaced when it opened in late 2007? Unfortunately, the breakfast can be good, but the whole thing feels a little generic. Far from what I’d hope for in a suburban diner.

Eggs Benedict

So, the menu contains just about everything you can imagine for a restaurant. As I said, everything from your basic pastas to quality steak and seafood. I usually find a place with that kind of menu troubling; it feels like they’re trying too hard to please everyone and the end result then becomes bland and generic. Starlite has a great breakfast menu with great eggs. It’s got very thick, filling pancakes that stick to the ribs, very hearty. I’ve never eaten Eggs Benedict before I tried this place, and man am I impressed. It’s got a simple, small-town diner feel which is very unassuming and simple. The service is excellent, and people keep the experience pleasant. It’s almost as if you’re enjoying a small-town comfort.

Unfortunately, we’re not in a small town.

The crux of my complaint isn’t about how diverse the menu seems; I understand that there are a lot of good ol’ boys who like an old-fashioned place like this to enjoy a simple meal on the weekend, and indeed the crowd at Starlite skewed generally older. The problem I see here is that a diner with a diverse menu like this isn’t suited for suburban Dayton. In a small town, diners are just marvelous. But Wilmington is a major road, and there are dozens of restaurants within a few miles, including very fancy Italian places, nice steakhouses, and some very dedicated barbecue joints. With such a generic menu, Starlite unfortunately fails to find anything to make it special. Its breakfast is great, but the place is going to be out-competed by every other niche restaurant in town if it doesn’t narrow its menu to a smaller number of high-quality dishes that make people come back. As is, the menu here tastes unfortunately generic.

Starlite Restaurant has all the right things going for its atmosphere, and I hate to say it, but the food just does not stand out enough to make me want to come back. I like the breakfast items, but there’s just too many other decent specialty restaurants in town to justify coming here for an expensive dinner. Come out for a relaxing meal, but just watch out for what you order.

Recommendations

  • Breakfast foods here are very filling and quality, indeed.
  • The atmosphere is very friendly and definitely seems to attract an older crowd.
  • I would advise against the specialty pastas, seafood and steaks. There are plenty of better options down the street.

Starlite Diner on Urbanspoon

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