South Diner: Lousy Service, Amateur Food

My Saturday afternoon was spent with the boyfriend’s family. We went to Paseo de Sta. Rosa, eager to score good deals that would otherwise be twice or thrice the price when you shop in Manila.

We were in BF Homes, already on our way home when we spotted a new restaurant that looked so inviting called South Diner. From Aguirre Ave., we could see the red and white booth seats. We already drove past it, but drove back when we all agreed to try it out.

The restaurant

We were all smiles when we walked in because of the laid-back and casual atmosphere. I was already imagining how big their milkshakes are. 😀

Based on the interior decor alone, I’d say it would be the perfect hang-out place for kids living in the area. They’re missing a jukebox though, which is very typical in diner joints.


They have an “okay” menu. They have heart attack-inducing burgers and hotdogs, breakfast meals, salads, ribs and whatnot. Typical of an American diner, eggs are included in almost every dish! I like eggs.

We were disappointed that they didn’t have Milkshakes that night. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when you say “diner” pa naman, so it was really disappointing (and sad).


Anyway, remember what I said about us being “all smiles” when walked in? Well, that was the last time we smiled! Seriously. It all came crashing down some 30 minutes after we sat down. I remember we went in at around  7:30PM. We were told that our food WILL be served in 10 to 15 minutes, but you know what, food was served almost an HOUR later–I checked the time. I was still waiting for my food at 8:30PM.  

They had two TVs though, which was on HBO and Star Movies. I guess they did something right by installing those TVs. Imagine how horrific it could have been if we didn’t have a TV to while away the hour! :s

Their staff is completely apathetic of their environment and customers. Whenever we follow-up our dishes, they would just mumble “Yes, ma’am” or “Palabas na po Ma’am”.  Can’t you say something more tangible, like, “Ma’am our kitchen’s a little swamped. I apologize for the delay. Your dishes will be ready in 5 minutes.”

The first to arrive–the Sloppy Joe. Hmm. Is it really a Sloppy Joe?

A family that arrived minutes after us was already enjoying their dinner, while we were frustrated as hell. Then finally, a dish arrived. The waitress said it was Chloe’s Classic Cheese Burger. But one who has eaten a cheese burger would know that this wasn’t a cheese burger. We told her that this wasn’t the right burger, because “classic” cheese burgers don’t have eggs. But the waitress insisted it was the right burger.

Apparently, we were right and she was so wrong. She went back to the kitchen to ask what burger that was and returned apologizing that it was the Sloppy Joe.

The management should train their waiters and waitresses more. Don’t let them work if they still haven’t memorized every single dish on your menu. Whenever one of your staff members fail at something, it’s the NAME OF THE BUSINESS that gets a bad reputation, not the staff.

False advertising?

Anyway, when she said it was the Original Sloppy Joe Burger (Tito Des’ order), we were DOUBLY BAFFLED. Are you seriously telling us this is a SLOPPY JOE? May we remind you of what is WRITTEN in your menu of what YOUR Sloppy Joe is? Who puts eggs in a Sloppy Joe?!  And where are the tomatoes, the mushrooms, the beef and EVERYTHING ELSE?

I bet this isn’t really the Sloppy Joe. I mean, how could they confuse this atrocity of a burger with a Sloppy Joe? Goodness.

The Boring Burdog

This is Ate Debbie’s order, the Burdog. This was listed as a “must-try” so Ate Debbie went for this one. Basically this is supposed to be a cross between a burger and a hotdog. It’s really boring, don’t you think?

Two slices of Cheddar Cheese and a cocktail hotdog sliced in half. How exciting. This burger is so bad it’s so funny. I can totally make this at home and I guarantee it WILL look better than that. Also, you don’t need to touch it to see how dry it is.

Mama Babes Rack? No thanks.

B ordered this dish, Mama Babes Rack (they should write there: no pun intended), in secret because he didn’t want us copying his choice. B was excited to dig in when this arrived, but his smile turned into a frown on the first bite.  

The ribs were so hard! A small meat even flew and landed on the floor when he was trying to carve into one piece. He didn’t like the sauce too. Plus, he had to ask for a knife. Who serves ribs without a knife?

The Classic Cheese Burger, a classic fail.

The “real” Classic Cheese Burger arrived. I was told Chloe’s not a big burger fan so this is a huge leap for a 10-year-old. This simple cheese burger had to blow Chloe away. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The patty was dry as a desert. The fries were so salty. 

I’ve always believed that any restaurant that fails at serving the simplest dish such as a cheese burger, should start tweaking their recipe or *gasp* hiring new kitchen personnel. 

The South Bacon Jack Burger. BLAH!

This is the South Bacon Jack Burger, my order! This was the last to arrive at past 8:30PM (after following up thrice) so I was already expecting the worst since everybody was complaining about their food already. According to the menu, the burger has a grilled burger patty topped with crisp bacon and melted monterey jack cheese. I took note of the description so I know what to expect.

Obviously, we were reading a different menu because, uhm, does that slice of cheese look melted to you? And where’s the bacon? I was expecting a crispy bacon strip AT THE VERY LEAST, but no, it was diced bacon. Those bacon pieces are better sprinkled on a carbonara dish!

Also, being the last one to be served, I knew it would be hot and juicy. But no, like Chloe’s cheese burger, it was cold and dry. It was as if they left this burger on the counter for 15 minutes, forgot about it, then remembered to serve it 20 minutes later.

Tita Lisa’s Tuna Melt, the only decent dish on the table

The only dish that passed was Tita Lisa’s Tuna Melt. I’ve nothing bad to say about this because everybody thought it was good.

Although Tita Lisa had the “best” meal that night, she was the most annoyed because she couldn’t take the look on everybody’s pissed faces. They just opened so I guess that’s why they have such bad food. But the service? There’s no excuse for bad service.

She called the waitress serving our table and told her that the burgers were dry and the fries were salty. The waitress just nodded and left.

When a customer tells you something bad about your food, the least you can do is tell your manager or whoever’s in authority so they could pacify the angry customer, right? But no, nothing happened. We asked for the bill, which arrived fast. But of course! When it’s time to pay the bill, service is fast!

We were looking for a customer feedback form, but there was none. So Tita Lisa just wrote on the paper mat on our table. I don’t remember what she wrote but it was something like, “This lousy service? Never again!”

B and I went outside to smoke our bad vibes away. Everybody followed a couple of minutes later. I was told they really waited for the waitress to hand the paper mat to their manager. They wanted the manager to come up to us and apologize for our HORRIBLE experience. But no, nobody approached our table. That was what annoyed everybody the most. They were either scared to face us or too proud to acknowledge that they serve bad food. 

Some restaurants have great food but terrible service, others have great service but so-so food. But South Diner? Never have I imagined to experience terrible service and forgettable food under one roof.

Eating is supposed to be a happy activity, right? But that night was just full of negativity. We were forcing down food down our throats. 😐

If you’re living down south and have seen this new restaurant, skip it. I swear. Go to McDonald’s or Jollibee or Charbroiled Burgers instead. You’ll get better service and food there. It’s my (and I’m sure everybody else’s) worst dining experience.

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  • EPIC FAIL! never again!

  • Julls

    Wow that sounded absolutely horrific. *makes mental note to avoid that place if I ever am in Paseo* I would’ve left and not paid for some of the food lol.

    • It was terrible. South Diner is in BF Homes pala. 🙂

  • JunB

    Ate here at around 4AM. Nobody around except me. The waitresses are so masungit. It’s as if waiter lang pwede ngumiti or else may magseselos na cook.

    • Clearly they need to train their staff more. Siguro they were exhausted to still be working at 4AM, but that doesn’t mean they can take it out on their customers. How did you find the food though?

      • JunB

        Well after reading this, blog, I kinda gave it a second chance. They might have improved.

        Tried the Sloppy Joe, it was bad. For P155 they should put more meat and cheese.

        Why is it that these restaurants need to put attractive waitresses? It doesnt work because you cannot bring your girlfriend or wife without them thinking “hmmm, you’ve been here before, haven’t you?” . They will suffer the fate of Luv’s Cafe along Aguirre Ave. All male customers trying to pick up the waitresses at closing time.

        • Probably to compensate for what they lack in taste and kitchen skills. Some friends went there too and they think the food is terrible as well. I hope they do something about their food and service, the bad press they’re getting will kill their business.

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  • daichi

    What an experience :l

    was planning to eat at “South Diner”..thanks to your blog wont even try anymore!

    Try Big Daddy’s instead (Beside Central BF Homes) WAY BETTER FOOD AND SERVICE!! 🙂

    • Yeah, stay away! I do hope though that they’re working on improving their food and service.

      Have you tried Big Daddy’s? I’ll check it out soon! Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  • daichi

    Yup!! Delicious Buffalo Wings and BB Ribs!! 🙂 also Customer friendly staffs!!

    • Sige, I’ll take note of that. Thanks! 🙂

  • major fail. the fries looked so dry!

    • It’s even more terrible in person. 🙁

      • Nicole

        I’ve been here a couple of months ago, and their food isn’t that bad. Maybe they’ve changed. The cheese in our burger definitely did not look like that.

        My boyfriend and I are actually going back tonight. We’ve been there twice before. You should try them out again. 🙂

        • Yeah we might go back here again sometime soon. Hopefully they’ve already ironed out their service and menu kinks. 🙂

  • Yvettemarie_mendez

    We ate there on Easter Sunday, and yeah.. The food was so disappointing! Even my yay as didn’t like the food. jollibee and Mc Do is way even better. funny I saw a number of reviews and they kept saying it was yummy… Only to find out they were friends with the owners (the Isidros – I also just read from a review). The burger buns to begin with was so ordinary. The cheeseburger was so bland- id rather have mine from Minute Burger!

    •  It’s true what you say! I bet even though their friends don’t like their food, they HAVE to say they like it for PR! I haven’t returned to this restaurant since this instance. I do hope they’re taking notes of the bad feedback.

  • @madzsablada @christin3grac3 I think they did something about the bad reviews they got. Read: