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Taste Buds: Old Willow Diner

Adena eatery still offering great homemade food

September 29, 2011
By EMILY DOMINICI and SHAUNNA DUNDER - The Taste Buds , Times Leader

When the Buds saw a recent print ad for the Old Willow Diner on St. Rt. 250 in Adena, it struck a note of recognition.

After a little research, the Buds confirmed their hunch: the Old Willow Diner is the same eatery formerly known as both Alisha's Country Diner and The Willow. While the sign still bears the name "Alisha's," the diner is in fact under new management. The menu and decor have changed, but the Old Willow Diner lives up to its past reputations as specializing in home cooking.

And if there is something the Buds appreciate, it is good old home cookin'!

Open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., the menu offers a wide selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

Should patrons choose to visit during breakfast hours, they can expect to find all of the usual suspects, including a whopping list of "Good Morning Omelets", Belgium waffles, breakfast muffins with various combinations of eggs, cheese, sausage and bacon, plenty of hot cakes, French toast, hash browns, homefries and biscuits and gravy. They also offer several combinations of the aforementioned components.

The lunch and dinner menu has just about everything under the sun: burgers, sandwiches, platters, salads, pasta and dinners. Whether you are looking for a burger or meatloaf sandwich, or a grilled ham with pineapple dinner, you will find it at the Old Willow.

The Buds decided to warm up with cups of soup while they perused the menu. Bud Em got a cup of the soup of the day, which happened to be chicken and dumpling. The homemade soup was loaded with carrots, celery, tender chicken and yummy dumplings. It was delicious - far more delectable than anything from a can could ever be!

Bud Shaunna went with a cup of their chili. Like Bud Em's soup, this bowl was loaded with beef and fresh veggies and was bursting with flavor. There was a hint of spice but it was the perfect balance-fantastic!

For the main course, Bud Em decided to go with yet another daily special - honey baked chicken with mashed potatoes and carrots which rang it at $7.75. The hearty meal was both tasty and filling. The three pieces of chicken were tender juicy. The mashed potatoes - also homemade - were thick and creamy. Yum! The sweetness of the candied baby carrots on the side was the perfect complement to the meal.

Bud Shaunna had her heart set on a sandwich, but with so many to pick from, choosing was no simple feat. Tempted by the variety of burgers, hot roast beef and pork, meatloaf, fish and ham on Texas toast, said Bud ultimately settled on the Willow's Swiss cheese and mushroom sandwich. Since the menu offered no description, it wasn't immediately clear if it was like a grilled cheese sandwich or something else - but Shaunna took the gamble and was pleased with the result: it was actually a burger topped with Swiss and mushrooms.

The mushrooms were fresh, as was the melty Swiss cheese. And the burger itself was decently sized and not overdone. In addition, the bun was lightly toasted, which made for one great tasting burger. And for only four bucks, the Willow Burger is not something you'd want to pass up!

The Old Willow Diner - although some things have changed, you can still count on great home cookin'!

The Buds may be reached at



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