Granville's Aladdin Restaurant.

Wanna find out if your kid has the stomach for college? Well, you could pay for expensive SAT-prep courses or you could just take him to a greasy-spoon diner. We opted for the latter, sending our intrepid mom-and-kid team to a beloved classic: Aladdin Restaurant in Granville, home of Denison University.


The Mom Says:
I will admit to a passing familiarity with the style of greasy-spoon food consumption. So it was with some trepidation that I approached this assignment.

Bottom line? Aladdin might have the worn linoleum, chipped china and bent cutlery that one associates with the very best of diner-based cuisine, but it also has the cheap and gratifying food and drink that one expects from an establishment frequented by college students.

We went for an early dinner on a Friday evening, opening with a strawberry-milkshake apertif ($3.50). The shake was delivered in its oversized metal mixing cup with straw, spoon and another cup to pour it into. The thick shake was tasty with a few chunks of vanilla ice cream still left in it.

The entree was a bacon burger with cheese ($5.25). The four slices of real bacon were generous and a tad overwhelming, but delicious, and thankfully I do prefer my fromage Americano because that's your only option.

For a vegetable side, I went with the onion rings ($3.25). I suspect they were not homemade and would give me gas for hours (they did), but again, they were tasty.

Regretfully, I did not have the appetite for the fudge cake advertised on the front door of the establishment. (Aladdin's is the "Home of the Fudge Cake," which is also known as the "Yum Yum," a fusion of fudge cake, ice cream and hot fudge that goes for $1.79.)

The bathroom (one single-sex closet) was strongly scented with something odor-masking. Though clean, its tiny size would preclude diaper changing. Service was pleasant and unobtrusive.

-Jane Hawes

The Kid Says:

I didn't think good thoughts at first about this one. The restaurant didn't smell pleasant and it looked a little run-down. But the milkshake was good. It was fruity. You could definitely taste the strawberry. There was enough to satisfy me.

For dinner I ordered a hot dog with french fries off the kid's menu ($4.25). The food was very filling. The fries were good and salty, and the hot dog was cooked to perfection. I think it was boiled, which is how I prefer it.

The service was nice. I never went to the bathroom so I can't talk about that.

My mom said this kind of place is called a greasy spoon. It makes sense because the fries are greasy and the smell was of grease. I would go back because the food was really good.

-Colin Hawes