June 12, 2014 Tripoli North Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Fifties': Tripoli's Take on Roadster and Crepaway

3.05 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:61/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 4.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 15/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 6/10

Value for money: Soon

We had enjoyed a long morning touring around the souks of Tripoli and discovering street food until, by pure coincidence, we landed in front of a newly opened diner. A clean looking, American diner that compelled me to go in.

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Fifties' has been opened for four months, offering a real diner experience to the people of the North. What might look like a copy of Roadster Diner is a fresh individual experience, looking exactly like Route 66 diners or close to the Roadster on the Jounieh highway... using the same colors, same designs, same posters... and serving a variety of food similar to Crepaway. Anyway, all diners look the same, it’s not a big issue. What I loved was the cleanliness, the professionalism, the freshness, the perfect details of the decor and the colors chosen to whet your appetite. Grey and orange, the two colors follow you around the place

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The place in few lines:
  • The Fifties’ diner cannot be missed while driving along the road of Ashir Daye Street in the Dam w Farez area, also known as Route 38
  • Outside, a large terrace is filled with stainless tables and blue leather chairs
  • Enter from the main door, which divides the place in two. To the left is the smoking area, to the right is the non-smoking area
  • Facing the entrance is a long bar and behind it a large poster of different colorful, cartoonish illustrations
  • Facing the bar, a long line of stainless high chairs are covered in orange leather
  • All around the place grey leather sofas and light great tables fill in the space
  • There are two LCD TVs, one on each side broadcast sports
  • The walls are all decorated with diner-style items from the States
  • The floor is covered with grey wooden parquet
  • Each table is well lit by two suspended stainless steel lights coming down from the ceiling
The menu:
  • Breakfast at Fifties’
  • Appetizers
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Home Style Burgers
  • The Platters
  • Sandwiches
  • Mexican Corner
  • Pastas
  • Pizza
  • Sweet
  • Crepes
  • Ice cream
  • Shakes, Coffee and Drinks
The menu is so appealing and makes your mouth water. Colors and life join together in the menu to form a beautiful booklet, featuring nice photos and a large number of choices that will please everyone. 
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All was good until we started eating:
  •  The Rolling Stones LBP19,000: An assortment of mozzarella sticks, taquitos, crispy strips, onion rings and breaded shrimp served with dip. Mozzarella sticks are fine, the commercial variety, fried, without being oily. The onion rings are acceptable but a bit smelly; I liked the salty aftertaste they left. The strips were very good; very close to KFC chicken strips, breaded fingers, crunchy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. Dip in some honey mustard and enjoy. The shrimps were fine despite the fact that they don't fit with the rest of the plate and the chicken fingers just needed some sour cream and were crispy and fresh. As an overall evaluation, the sampler is good and enjoyable. Bravo.

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  • Marylin's Mushrooms LBP10,000: Grilled mushroom caps, stuffed with white cheddar cheese and herbs, served over a creamy four cheese sauce. If you love mushrooms, this is something you'll enjoy, but it might be too heavy and creamy. It's too much to have a bath of creamy sauce and a topping of cheddar cheese. Eating those 10 pieces was a lunch and dinner combined. I loved the idea, but the recipe should be lighter.

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  •  The Uncle Sam Burger LBP11,000: Grilled beef patty, onions, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and classic sauce. The fries are great, the bun is from Prunelle, the best bread provider in the country and inside is a mix of shredded lettuce, but the meat was too oily and tasted like Kafta while being tiny when compared to the bun. Don't try to eat the patty alone: It was an unacceptable piece of peppery and fatty Kafta filled with Worcester Sauce. For a place specialized in burgers, the mix should be changed.

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  • Philly Steak LBP9,000: Grilled beef strips, onions, mushrooms and melted cheese piled high on fresh baked bread. I'll call it a Lebanese steak sandwich to be more precise, not a Philly one. A French baguette, a bit chewy, is filled with a fatty and peppery steak mix. Generous and tasty if you don't expect a Philly. I don't recommend it much.
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  • Margarita Pizza LBP10,000: Simply cheese, tomato sauce and oregano. The dough of this large and generous pizza is exactly like a man2ouche and not an Italian margarita. The tomato sauce, on the other hand is too sweet. I loved the size of this LBP10,000 pizza but not the content. After all, it's an American diner, what is a pizza doing on the menu?
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To resume the tasting experience, much has to be fine-tuned if they want to keep the "American" diner name. The burger's meat has to be changed, the bread in Philly was not right, the pizza is more of a man2oushe and the starters have to be perfected. The ingredients are there, but trying too much spoils things. Some finesse is missing.
I loved:
  • The freshness and decoration
  • The ambiance and music
  • The reasonable, affordable prices

What I'd fix to make it even better:

  • Remove the numbers off the tables, we are not in an Arguile shop
  • The waitresses are not welcoming: teach them to smile and to raise their voices
  • Get a dedicated hostess for the entrance to welcome guests for a perfect first impression
  • Draft coke is a must in a diner
  • Eliminate the Arguile option

I felt pride seeing such a clean and upscale take of a diner in the North capital of the country, a place where youngsters can gather away from street food and Arguile. With a bit of fine-tuning, this diner can become a national franchise, why not in Beirut soon? 

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