I thought the hotel was under attack this morning. Standing in the shower three large booms rattled the walls. Sopping wet I ran into the bedroom and looked out the large window to see the last of three iconic smokestacks tumble into a pile of dust. My shower cut short by progress I dressed and headed out for some breakfast. I decided to visit Lester’s Diner, a local Ft. Lauderdale legend. Real diner fare is something noticeably missing from the Tallahassee area, and the greasy spoons of my youth ran through my head as I made the short drive to the iconic restaurant.
A large neon sign caught my attention. A coffee cup balance on top of it and advertised Lester’s as the home of the 14 oz cup. A light rain fell as I pulled into the parking lot and found a spot near the street. The original Lester’s was renovated and the current restaurant is a large structure trimmed in red with a large script Lester’s attached to the front facade. Red metal roofs flanked either side. I walked up a short ramp, opened the glass door, and into a classic slice of America.
The hostess greeted me with a gruff voice and instructed me to sit wherever I liked. I took a place at the counter. It was black and gleamed under the bright blue neon light that circled the diner’s ceiling. Grey vinyl seats trimmed in red stretched the length of the counter. Polished metal shined and two dessert cases were stacked with cakes, pies and other treats. A steady stream of customers came into the diner and waitresses whirled around slinging coffee cups and plates of food. It bustled with a hectic chaos indigenous to the northeast.
A waitress with a red apron called me hun and asked me what I wanted. I asked for a cup of coffee and paged through Lester’s extensive menu. If you can think of a diner dish it is on Lester’s menu. Burgers, sandwiches, Greek specialties, seafood, Italian specialties, desserts and breakfast items all were all offered. I ordered the three egg breakfast (over easy) with sausage, home fries, and toast.
Lenny, the shuttle driver, sat next to me and started chatting. He told me he had been coming to Lester’s for years and in his opinion there was no better place for breakfast than Lester’s. He was a character and simultaneously held conversations with patrons on both sides of him while contacting his days bookings and destroying a plate of corned beef hash. He was a trained professional.
After a short wait my breakfast arrived on a oval plate. Three perfectly cooked over easy eggs were surrounded by a pile of home fries and two large sausage patties. The toast was on a separate smaller plate and before departing my coffee was topped off. The home fries had pieces of green peppers and onions and were delicious. The sausage patties were slightly crispy. The toast ended up taking a swim in the yellow egg yolks and by the end of the meal nothing but crumbs remained.
While it may not be fancy, Lester’s does an honest breakfast right. The service was also fast and the restaurant was clean. Lester’s is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The diner can be found online at lestersdiner.com and on Facebook. Lester’s Ft. Lauderdale location can be contacted by telephone at (954) 525-5641.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: