Is the smell of sausage grease, brewing coffee and pancake syrup reason enough to get out of bed on the weekend?
I think so.
You can shake off the slumber of the methodical work week and the demands of shower, type, write reports, repeat with that first sip of diner coffee, cradled in a ceramic mug.
Today I tried Deerwood Diner for the first time. It’s right by my house in the Publix shopping center. A tiny storefront with a big personality inside. The theme is retro movie and lots of bubble gum pink. It’s casual and cozy.
There are those vinyl and metal type chairs, square tables and a nice row of booths – that was packed full this morning. That means no booth sitting, which was sad, but at the same time the occupied seats hinted that the food here just might be delicious.
My friend was having a post birthday night out meal, so he was ready to bring on the food and lap up some coffee. Although, in his sleep-induced haze he order orange juice first. I’m sure a little vitamin C wasn’t a bad idea.
Hangover Food or Just Plain Tasty?
I ordered my second cup of coffee for the day and was met with a bold, slightly bitter flavor – dinner coffee that packed a little more punch than your average restaurant Joe. I added a few creams, sprinkled the sugar shaker and reached for a menu.
The menu was full of all those breakfast staples that make the weekend friendly. I knew I wanted pancakes and honed right in. I took a peek at the side options and found the hash brown option.
Yep, with these low prices and yummy treats, it would be a nice Saturday. My friend searched the menu and landed on a protein sampler of sorts, getting sausage, eggs and toast. Our waitress who was awesomely accommodating even offered to substitute basic toast for sausage gravy. It was a solid trade. We sat back and waited for food.
Disco Balls and Retro Walls
The walls of the diner are covered in old movie ad and movie star pics, resting in aged frames. Simple black rectangle borders with gold rusting edges on some, and even 3D box type frames. My favorite one held a gumball machine and even had little round gumballs filling the bottom of the contained frame. We were surrounded by the greats. Judy Garland stares forlornly into the distance. James Dean smolders from a bench. Marilyn Monroe crouches by the street. Elvis slouches with handsomeness. The decor oozes nostalgia.
“Judy Garland stares forlornly into the distance. James Dean smolders from a bench. Marilyn Monroe crouches by the street. Elvis slouches with handsomeness. The decor oozes nostalgia.”
And the food arrived, barely fitting onto the tiny table. My pancakes were fluffy and that perfect level of almost undercooked. Butter played slip and slide on all three of them. I added just a dab of syrup and dug in. The hash browns were better than the Metro Diner’s (gasp!). The potatoes tasted fresher, less greasy and perfectly salted. They were browned on the top and I ate every last one.
My friend enjoyed his sunny side up eggs (eww, I don’t do runny yokes), and dipped the side of rye toast our waitress brought to add to the stand alone plate of sausage gravy and biscuits. The gravy was tasty, but I couldn’t tell where it ranks, because I’ve only recently started sampling this Southern sensation. Maple Street had thicker gravy, but I don’t think the same size of sausage bits mixed in.
I saw a stack of books on the counter and a bar perfect for solo breakfasts.
Maybe soon I will return for some crossword puzzles, reading and french toast.