In the most peculiar and serendipitous of ways, I found myself spending some very, much needed, precious time with my son this morning. The cool, morning air was brisk, and the clouds gray, loomed high above.
He had a routinely scheduled dentist appointment, and I elected to play a game of hooky with him afterwards, American Diner style.
In the North Park region of San Diego, there is a charming place that we adore, tried and true and simplistic in every way.
This tiny little breakfast eatery has been in operation since the early 1950's. It's open Monday through Saturday from 9am-1pm, without fail, and has a long, winding coffee bar top which meanders in two distinct "U" shapes within the facility. No booths on site.
It's a chinese decor laden corner, with golden dragon and singing bass artifacts, quaint, with no frills, and the food is at best, average and greasy-spooned. But there is a real sense of kindness, of belonging, and of a real community here. The kind of place where you walk in and heads nod your way as a welcoming greeting.
It's the sort of place where you can fine a hearty, filling breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, pancakes and coffee for about $5 dollars, including the $1 OJ.
You won't receive a bill.
You won't receive a bill.
And then, there is Lucky.
Lucky, is the adorable, elder, Asian gentleman who owns and operates the diner. He will memorize your order, pour your Folger's coffee, head to the back, cook to order your hearty breakfast while helming the kitchen, serve it up with a honest to goodness smile that makes it up to his eyes, then he'll happily give you a second serving of hash browns, before he takes your cash to make change.
Yes, Lucky is a one man show.
He runs this entire operation solely, and has always done so.
There is a certain something about this place, though quirky with its gaudy furnishings, it bears the feel of a real sanctuary, a bona fide respite from the real world, with comfort food and comforting company. The outside world feels like a safe place inside here.
More importanly, it's the sort of place where you are left to count your blessings and actually feel lucky.
I know I do tend to get a little sentimental about breakfast diners, but this one here is a real, kitschy, heartwarmy treat. Bring cash, and be prepared to wait. In fact, I highly recommend you pay Lucky a visit during the week
And in spite of all that's going on in the greater part of the world, I can truly say I do feel lucky, and not just because of the complimentary fortune cookies.
Don't forget to hug your littles and loved ones extra tight. Oh, and make certain to count your lucky stars now, you ridiculously likable creatures, you.