Lou Mitchell’s-My Dad Would Love This Place

Um… This place is hilarious.  It’s a super old school diner that’s been around since 1923.  I think there was one re-vamp since then… sometime in the 60’s, I’d assume… but clearly nothin’ much has changed since then.  Not the food, nor the signage, nor the counters, nor the staff.

And not its popularity either.  That’s right.  We waited in line, following strict orders given by the drill seargent…. er, uh, lovely hostess, in order to experience this movie set-like restaurant.



The most interesting thing about this place are all the little freebies they’re handing out along the way.  Really, kind of odd.  First it’s the delicious, freshly fried doughnut holes while you stand in line.  I guess if you’re being bossed around and have to wait, they have to distract you.  It worked.  Then, when you’re finally seated, the hostess hands you a little box of milk duds as if it’s normal  Huh?  Well, sure.  Why not, I guess.  Soon after that arrives a nice, fat orange slice and a single prune.  I guess that explains who their target market is.

In general, the food isn’t anything to write home about (or a write a blog post about, for that matter).  It’s diner food in the true sense.  Eggs a million ways, sausage, bacon, steamed yet burned potatoes that require lots of ketchup.  You get the idea.  The kind of breakfast where you keep the salt shaker within quick reach.



Except the pancakes, that is, because they were FABULOUS!  This is my favorite kind of pancake; really thin and kinda tangy.  I think they call them “meltaway,” which makes perfect sense.  There are a bunch of other kinds on the menu, too, (buckwheat, banana, pecan) but I’m not sure I could bring myself to ever order them.

And wait a minute!  We ordered ONE pancake on the side… not two.  Is this ol’ bird trying to pull one over on us?  Is this the way they make their money?  Just serve and charge people for more than they ordered?   Sneakily adding things to customers’ checks?  I got my eye on you…



The big, fluffy “Greek” toast was pretty good, too.  But that could have also had something to do with the healthy schloping of whipped butter applied with a spatula straight from a heaping, massive mixing bowl.  It’s texture was very airy and light, allowing for extra butter absorbsion.  Mmmm…

The poached eggs were poached eggs (along with some extra water that could have been drained).  Hey!  Wait!  My ‘2 poached eggs’ has 3 yolks!  ‘Three eggs’ wasn’t even an option on the menu!  Really, are we being dooped?  That’s when we check the skillet.  It, too, had 3 eggs!  What’s going on here?…



But when the check arrived, all was in order.  Two eggs, 2 eggs, one pancake.  AND, when she presented it, she also offered some complimentary ice cream, which one of us happily accepted.

My astonishment must’ve been conveyed in my facial expression because our waitress (and yes, waitress, not server, is the proper term in this case… trust me) laughed at me and offered, “That’s just how we do it here, honey!”


So, in all, FOR FREE, Lou Mitchell’s gave us:  2 doughnut holes, 2 mini boxes of Milk Duds, 2 fat orange slices, 2 prunes, 2 eggs, 1 pancake, 1 soft serve ice cream.  Heck of a deal, I’d say.
The service was friendly and fast, though obviously not fancy.  Bus tubs sat in the center of the room collecting the mess from the efforts of who I imagined to be “Betty” and “Phyllis”.  It isn’t hard to see what Lou Mitchell’s was like in its real heyday… probably very similar but with a younger “Betty” and “Phyllis”.


The Short Version (Out of 10)…

Food:  7

Service:  9

Ambiance:  9

Overall impression:  8

Would I go back?

Yes.  Next time my dad comes to town!


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