Photo by Kristin Bjornsen
The coolest thing about Lester's Diner isn't the vast menu, although it's an impressive one: daily specials, 70 or so different sandwiches (including such quirky combos as meat loaf and fried egg), nearly two dozen salads, homemade soups du jour, 35 desserts "baked on the premises daily," Greek and Italian specialties, a children's menu, and such mainstay entrées as chicken, seafood, steaks, and chops. And no, the coolest thing about Lester's isn't the equally comprehensive "served anytime" breakfast menu, which runs the gamut from simple (ham and eggs) to snazzy (Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict), or the diner's famous 14-ounce cups of Colombian coffee. The coolest thing isn't even the old-fashioned fountain, which dispenses banana splits and ice cream sodas, shakes, and sundaes. The coolest thing about Lester's? The ambiance, which is part classic diner décor, part clientele. The latter, at least in the case of the original State Road 84 site, has to do with location: Situated as it is, conveniently accessible from both I-95 and downtown Fort Lauderdale, it attracts a mix of locals and out-of-towners that gets only more surreal as the hour gets later. On a really good night, you can dine with truckers on their way in or out of Port Everglades on one side and drag queens from nearby discos the Copa and the Saint on the other.