While there are dozens of restaurants across town trying to achieve a nostalgic vibe via kitschy decor and booth seating, the Lakeview Lunch isn't one of them. Not that the humble Lakeview doesn't have both those things and more, but it just has never had to try . It's been this way since it opened in 1947.
Hanging our jackets on a pair of chrome coat hooks, my friends and I file into a U-shaped, art deco style wooden booth. Avoiding a couple patched spots, we get comfortable and start things off right with a few bottomless cups of coffee ($1.45) and a chocolate milkshake ($4.95). The milkshake is so thick it remains motionless when picked up, the straws having to be coaxed into leaning over. Nice.
For dinner: Banana Pancakes with Eggs, Home-fries, Toast and Baked Beans, the Avocado Cheddar Burger and Mushroom Swiss Burger, a Hot Open-Faced Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and a Pesto Chicken Pizza ($7.95-$9.95).
The pancakes (pictured at the top) are more weighty than fluffy but delicious never-the-less. Stealing the show were the accompanying home-fries. A crispy kind of wonderful, these were promptly robbed by others at the table. Mental note: Come back for brunch.
That Avocado Cheddar burger on beef proves a tangy choice. We order the patty medium-well and it arrives totally cooked through yet juicy. All Lakeview burgers can be made veggie, so we switch up the Mushroom Swiss to veg and are pleasantly surprised! The patty is savoury and made of real, visible veggies (i.e. peas, pepper, corn, etc) - would definitely order it again.
My fave diner classic is the Hot Open-Faced Sandwich, but this one isn't quite up to par. The mashed potatoes are fantastic, but the boring white bread is stale, bringing down the whole dish.
Finally, the Pesto Chicken Pizza. Going with pesto (from distrust in the tomato sauce at most non-Italian eateries) proves a good call. While a little heavy on the cheese, the pesto cuts right through and the crisp thin-crust holds up well, making this delicious (and totally sharable) dish a worthwhile pick.
Coffees are filled for the *insert much too high number here* time as the sun goes down and the red neons in the window are flicked on. No room for pie tonight... but there's always next time.