The first thing I noticed when pulling up to the parking lot of Lamp Post Diner was that there were barely any parking spaces available, which only built up my anticipation.
There was a brightly lit sign with the restaurant’s name and logo on it above the entrance. When I walked in, I wasn’t immediately greeted. After walking up to the little podium where two women stood, I was greeted with a blank stare until I asked for a table. There was no sign for customers to wear masks, although online it says they are required. I found that most people in the restaurant, including the staff, weren’t wearing masks.
I was seated in a dimly-lit corner. My back was against the wall, where there was an extra folding tray behind me that occasionally tipped over, hitting the back of my chair. To the right, slightly behind me, was the kitchen, which was roaring with noises from shattering glass to what sounded like a fire being put out.
The service so far was quick, as the waitresses handed me a menu not long after I was seated. She seemed to have her hands full as she gently tossed the menu on my table, then buzzed around the other four tables where other people were waiting to grab her attention.
While I was looking over the large menu, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses was playing softly in the background. The menu consisted of typical breakfast dishes one would expect from a diner such as all-day breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, soups and paninis. To my surprise, there was also a separate Tex-Mex section.
They also advertised their bakery which featured cheesecakes, strawberry shortcakes and other sweet treats that customers could call ahead to order. Their regular dessert section included apple pie, French apple pie, ice cream, Jell-O and brownies.
The waitress came back after shortly tending to the other four tables to get me a drink and then she was gone in another flash. I went with lemonade which tasted like the Country Time lemonade my mom would get when I was younger.
The Lamp Post Diner was family-friendly. It reminded me of the community center my grandma would take me to when I was younger to serve the elderly coffee and doughnuts. The walls were painted cream with wood trimming around the edges. The décor used was mostly bronze, nothing spectacular.
The waitress, whose name I never got since she didn’t have time to properly say hello, came back shortly to take down my order. I started with their Old Bay Fries like the ones at Chickie’s & Pete’s. After about 30 minutes, my fries came out hot and I almost burned my tongue as I took a bite.
I found that some were overly seasoned, but in a good way, like getting an overly seasoned chip in a bag of Doritos. The cheese sauce was questionable. There was a layer of grease at the top that was dripping from the small sauce dish it came in. It didn’t look like actual cheese but for a college student, it was still food. The huge plate of fries filled me up before I got my actual dinner.
After ten minutes, I got my chicken and Belgian waffles. The plate itself was hot but the food was at room temperature. The four chicken tenders that came on the plate were hard rather than crispy – if you have braces be careful, my wire came loose when I was eating – while the single waffle was nice and soft with crispy edges. After carefully trying a few more bites of the chicken, I was starting to realize it almost tasted like leftover chicken that sat in the fridge for a few days.
“Here you go honey,” the waitress said, placing another cup of lemonade on my table. I didn’t even realize I had gotten halfway through it.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler played over the speakers of the restaurant while I waited for my dessert: apple pie with vanilla ice cream. As soon as the plate touched the table, I was ready to dive in, even though the plate looked too pretty to touch. This time the plate and the food were both scorching hot. There was a perfect pie-to-ice cream ratio. It was the star of the entire experience.
Overall, I would rate my experience at Lamp Post Diner a three out of five stars. The Lamp Post Diner is open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., as well as Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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