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A Little Nostalgia: Salt and Pepper Head to Jukebox Diner

Foodies travel back in time for great food.

Name: Jukebox Diner

Cuisines: American

Payment: Cash, Credit

Alcohol: No

Price: $

Location: 8637 Sudley Rd, Manassas, VA 20110

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Salt Says:

I thoroughly enjoyed Jukebox Diner. I came on a Monday night and usually when I visit restaurants early in the week, I'm the only one there.  But this particular night, there were at least 15 people dining. From the minute I walked in the door, I felt as if I had been transplanted back to the 1950s. From the fire-engine red convertible hanging from the ceiling above the counter to the memorabilia on the walls and the period music topped off with a genuinely-friendly staff, I had truly stepped back in time.

Like every good period diner, the food was the star. I'm not sure a typical American diner would have offered souvlaki or wraps back then, but there were plenty of other diner-food classics. Stuff like dozens of breakfast offerings, burgers, hot dogs and, of course, there were fountain drinks. Jukebox offers cream sodas and milkshakes and my waitress talked me into a Oreo shake, which was absolutely amazing. I'm not a huge fan of Oreos, or milkshakes for that matter, but this shake, made with premium ice cream, was dedadance at its finest. You know, one of the best parts about eating at a diner is , sometimes, you get to have dessert first.

For dinner I ordered the cajun chicken and pasta. The chicken was very tender and impeccably seasoned. The sauce was spicy, but not so hot you had to have a glass of water on standby. The vegetables were fresh, hand cut and delicious. The portions were out of control. I split my meal with a friend and still had enough left over for lunch the next day. Overall, the food got five stars.

As I said, the staff is incredibly friendly. They go out of the way to make sure you're well cared for.  The restaurant is bright and clean and, above all, the food is amazing. I can see myself coming back many times in the near future and would definitely recommend it to everyone.

Pepper Says:

Jukebox is exactly as I had expected; 50s style with a slightly-modern touch. The hostess was friendly and gave us a seat not too close to anyone else, so it's like we had our very own private section. The menu was not what I expected of traditional American dining.  Kebabs? Asian-style teriyaki glazed salmon?  Uh, they definitely modernized the menu. But whatever.  Let’s just go with it.

I skipped the appetizer and went straight for mains. Good thing, too because the pasta portion paired with my chicken alla piccata was huge.

It also came with a small salad and dinner roll. The dinner roll was so-so, but the salad was very fresh. The lemon caper sauce was phenomenal and they were generous with the capers. The chicken was thinly sliced and cooked very tender.  The pasta was overcooked, but not bad at all.

All in all, I thought they did a great job on the dish. When a place has that many options, it leaves you skeptical.  You think, "Well, they can’t be good at everything."

Our server was very friendly and the food came out in about 15 minutes. They almost talked us in to dessert, but we’ll have to save that for next time.

Speaking of next time, I think I will try some actual, “diner food." Unfortunately, the Manassas location does not deliver, but the Sterling and Annandale locations do.

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