September 15, 2010 | 7:00am
5. Joe's Cafe, Fort Lauderdale
This is the second coming of the late, lamented Joe Bel-Aire's, a late-night haunt that used to be the first neon sign you'd see when you left Port Everglades. Almost a decade ago, the legendary structure was leveled to make way for another Walgreens. If you remember Joe Bel-Aire's, as it was called back then, rest assured, the Mustang still adorns the wall, and only the location has changed.
4. 84 Diner, Davie
arena-sized diner is actually four gigantic rooms put together, making
it one of the largest restaurants around. And the menu's not messing
around either: You can get almost anything your heart desires here.
Veggie lasagna? Umm-hmm. Gyro omelette? Sure. Bagels and lox? Check.
With room for 400 people and enough choices so's they could all be
eating a different vittle, can you lose? No.
3. Egg N You Diner, Wilton Manors
love this place, and how could they not? This place is so
stereotypically old-school, you expect Mel to be kissing someone's grits
at any minute. And, typically, the waitresses have all the sassy charm
of a classic Florence Jean Castleberry, while the burly men in the back
pump out a steady slipstream of hangover-demolishing breakfasts. Snobby
types may quibble with stains on the booths or whatnot, but you can't
beat Egg N You for authenticity.
2. Rainbow Diner, 2726 Davie Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-792-5860.
Though the ancient Riverland Shopping Center recently underwent a stucco/frosting face-lift, you can bet the Rainbow Diner hasn't changed a whit. This is the place old truck drivers still remember with a tear in their eyes as they slam down I-95. Just seeing that Davie Boulevard exit is enough to make 'em downshift and head down to park their rig at the altar of this Greek hole in the wall. Even on the sunniest mornings, it's dark inside, with church-going, blue-collar patrons tucking into eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Some folks have been eating here for decades
. One of a kind.1. Lester's Diner, Fort Lauderdale
Lester's, a longtime local fave, stays on top of the list because of its late-night quasihipster scene. Its food isn't as fantastically fresh as it was ten years ago, but then, neither are you, doofus. Still, you walk in, fluorescent lights punishing your retinas, the wheel o' cakes spinning slowly, tauntingly, and you're confronted with comfort. Comfort food: fantastic meat loaf, pot roast, all that kind of stuff. Open-faced sammies with gravy. Go crazy! Well, not really -- we're sitting right behind you with a pounding headache.