It was barely 9 a.m. on a Saturday, and all the pink vinyl booths in Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner were full. Hungry patrons kept pushing through the restaurant door. “Motorcycle riders welcome,” it says on the glass, and from the looks of the parking lot, many of those customers were.
Stacks of buttered toast waited to go out with orders of pancakes and eggs, and a cook pulled a train whistle whenever hot plates started to pile up under heat lamps. Waiters and waitresses swept in, dipping their shoulders to slide by one another without impact and busing abandoned plates in balletic formation.
But at Mr. D’z, housed in a converted 1940s gas station, breakfast isn’t the only meal on offer. It wasn’t so long after a family of three perched on some bar stools that they were quietly burrowing into scoops of vanilla ice cream in a hot fudge sundae, a banana split and a float with root beer made in-house. “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts,” a nearby sign seemed to have reminded them.
The menu is prolific, with pages of combinations of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and pizza. There’s chicken-fried steak and fresh pie, meatloaf and chili if somehow you have the willpower to abstain from the golden fried onion rings that Oprah herself ordered on a mid-aughts road trip.
Farther down the bar counter, a woman asked for the check. She was on her way to Texas, and she still had hours to go. But she always stops at the diner when she passes through town, she said. Usually she orders the club sandwich but this time, her fourth time, she went with a burger. “Both are good,” she said, eyeing a platter of French toast dusted in powdered sugar. “I didn’t know they served that.”
Maybe on the next trip.
105 E. Andy Devine Ave.