BEST DINER

Hannah's Gourmet Diner

BEST DINERHannah's Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Boulevard

North Miami Beach

305-947-2255 Judging from the exterior -- a stainless-steel, retro-American diner -- one might expect to walk inside and find the usual menu of meatloaf, milkshakes, burgers, and fries. Granted the neon letters spelling out "gourmet" before "diner" should hint that something a little different is going on inside. But French country cooking? That's pretty surprising. What's even more shocking is just how tasty and affordably priced the cuisine really is (dinner entrée prices start at $9.95 and most are under $20). You can't get anything you want at Hannah's diner, but you can be privy to tender escargots in garlic sauce, gently sautéed calf's liver, lamb shank saturated in red wine, a rare slab of grilled tuna, juicy New York strip, and, for those who insist that a diner in America must offer American food, an excellent cheeseburger and fries. Chalkboard specials are well worthwhile, and the custardy fruit tart is so renowned that patrons call in advance to reserve slices. You don't necessarily have to go that far, but you should order it along with your meal, because it will sell out before the last patron leaves. Best bet for beverage would be one of the medium-priced French wines that dominate the list, but if you're hankering for a Coke, you can get that too. After all, Hannah's is a diner, just one that happens to serve solid versions of rustic French food.

 
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