brewed awakening: l&s diner.

L&S diner signOn March 18 it was freezing and snowy. I was in clunky boots and a sweater and my old gray coat AGAIN. This day, a Monday, was a snow day, and snow days are really nice for teachers, yes, but our children are SICK OF US. They are bored and antsy and we are becoming less cool by the second. I couldn’t imagine that four days from then it would be nice enough to do yard work, and two days after that it would snow again, turning the piles of leaves I had raked (but not hauled away) into frozen leaf cakes. Where they still sit, thawed now, and wet.

We had to get out. It just so happened that I needed a new (new to me anyway) piece of furniture for my dining room, and it happened that we were also hungry and in serious need of coffee. So we headed to L&S Diner, which is just a few snowy steps from Hess Furniture (post coming!!).

L&S is a Harrisonburg favorite. The boxcar diner has been downtown for decades serving up breakfast necessities like eggs, biscuits and gravy, grits, omelets, pancakes and French toast (and for all you early risers, they open at 5:30 am during the week). For lunch they’ve got choices like sandwiches, pan-fried chicken, salads, oysters, and salt fish.

L&S diner coffeeWe found six stools in a row and climbed up. Cal had a little trouble getting perched up there, and I realized that low-rise jeans have made diner stools awkward.

L&S diner stoolsOur waitress poured steaming coffee in our cups and we started talking about summer. Dresses. Sandals. How good it feels to get in a hot car after you’ve been in the air conditioning all day. Pools. The river. Sitting on the deck with friends til midnight. The beach. How good it feels to shower off all that beach grime and then stuff yourself with lobster and shrimp. Meanwhile, our food sizzled on the flat-top grill and the kids wrote little notes to each other. It’s become a tradition of sorts… today the notes said, “I love your hair.” “I love your pancakes.” And this one:

L&S diner noteAs usual, we all shut up when the food came. We had French toast, pancakes, rye toast, and an egg/ham/cheese sandwich on white. All fresh and delicious. They’re no strangers to breakfast in there.

L&S diner collageThere’s a train track RIGHT behind the restaurant. A train went by and Bree asked, “Are we moving?” No, honey. We’re in a restaurant. She also had the sensation we were moving one day in the car wash. When the sprayer arm thing moved around the car, she suddenly yelled, “Mom! We’re moving backwards! Do something!” Sorta like when you stand on the beach and a wave crashes on your feet and washes back out… it feels like you’re rushing backwards… and there we are talking about summer again. Oh summer. We are soooo ready for you!

You can thaw out at L&S Diner at 255 North Liberty Street, about a block north of Hess Furniture and a block south of the Local Chop and Grill House. They’re open seven days a week.

L&S diner spoonCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

8 thoughts on “brewed awakening: l&s diner.

  1. Just sayin’: I love your blog!! Thanks so much for the wonderful promoting you do of all these cool little places around town, and for, “in this episode”, stirring up some nice summer memories. I really like Brandy’s photography, too. Great job all around. I’ve lived in this area off (some) and on (mostly) since 1968, and I have a few suggestions for more area “institutions” if you’re ever looking for any places to check out and write about. Thanks again for a really enjoyable read.

    • we love our city so much :) I’ve lived here 20 years in August, and Brandy’s been here her whole life… so much has changed, good and bad, but mostly good. I’m really proud of our community. thank you so much for your continued enthusiam!

      • So, in response to your response to taking suggestions: I can suggest some “Harrisonburg Institutions”, similar to L&S Diner. These are not in town but are part of Hburg lore.

        If you head out Rt 11 North, first is “The BBQ Ranch”. They’ve been around since at least the 1950s and serve some of the best BBQ around. If you head out North 11 a little further, you get to Lacey Springs and “The Bluestone Inn”, which has been around since the 1920s, first I believe as a gas station, store and motel, then as a restaurant and motel, and now just a restaurant (great steaks and seafood!), but has been in the current family who runs it since 1949. Both are really interesting places from an historic perspective, and still in business.

        Out on 11 South you come to The Village Inn (look for the white buildings, just past the Fairgrounds) another historic Hburg Institution, which has also been around since probably the 1920s, at least.

        On 33 East is Gale’s Market—they’ve been around and in business for a long, long time, maybe 1950s-60s, and have some of the best VA cured ham in the area!

        And on 33 West, another place with history is Rawley Springs and Blue Hole (the swimming hole in Rawley). In the 1800s the spring waters in Rawley were thought to have healing powers and there was a resort and hotel built there which eventually burned down. The spring house at the top of the hill is all that remains.

        Anyway, those are my suggestions of some historically interesting places in the area. A few among MANY! Thanks again for your wonderful blog! :)

  2. P.S. I know you don’t just focus on “history” either, but you have featured a couple of historic landmarks in town, which brought my suggestions to my mind as places of interest. Thanks for your time.

  3. I’ve actually thought that BBQ Ranch would be really fun to photograph! And I remember my granddaddy Jim taking us to Gale’s market for eggs when I was little. Great suggestions Lauren! :)

  4. I am having dilifcufty keeping up, but am not sure I can afford help. I like the fact that you service seniors needs. Would you please let me know of the costs involved in home cleaning? I live in Madison, VA. Thank you for your reply by email.

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