As most you that read the blog know, I am a sucker for Good Food, Stiff Drinks and Fast Women. Not in any particular order. (PS This is NOT The Weekly Flyer. This is the Captain speaking. The rambling, incoherent drivel contained in the post below, may or may not offend you, but is guaranteed to be more entertaining than 76.92% of the blogs on boarding area.)
Anyways, I live in Northern Palm Beach County. An area, amongst many in the Sunshine State, that has seen drastic changes over the last 25 years. When I was growing up we could throw a raging party on the beach with a bonfire that would torch your nose hair from 20 feet away. Today? Hell, if I take my dog to the beach and light up a Marlboro while sipping a PBR, I’ve somehow broken 3 laws. As a Florida Cracker, I’d like to personally thank the States of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for bringing all of these “improvements” down South. We wouldn’t have made it without you.
Occasionally my Yankee friends get something right and the re-opening of Lighthouse Diner falls squarely in this category. Lighthouse was a focal point of our community growing up. Initially connected to a Truck Stop in the 50’s, it was a beacon in the night for weary drivers headed south on US 1.
By the 70’s the diner had become the place for a rapidly growing beach town to get sober from a long night out, catch up on the towns latest gossip or simply fill the belly before a hot summer’s day in the waves. While other restaurants came and went, this little hole in the wall stood the test of time. Then came the “Great Recession” as it was dubbed by the super geniuses over at AP and the once thriving establishment started to suffer. The truth is that hard times had started years earlier. Trucks no longer traversed North to South on US1 as the state had finally finished the missing link of I-95 between Ft. Pierce and Palm Beach Gardens. Locals found themselves cheating on the old diner with younger, sexier establishments. The food and service wasn’t what it once had been after changing hands several times over the years. Eventually the unthinkable happened…and one day the doors never opened.
For the last couple of years, whispers of a resurrection could be heard around town but nothing ever materialized. That is until April….when the holy trinity took shape as 3 brothers from New York. Armed with a completely remodeled building, a menu that could double as food porn, and a community yearning for a chance to connect with their past, it didn’t take long to pack the Lighthouse Diner again.
While it will take me all year to sample the entire assortment, I do have a favorite thus far….. the Shrimp N Grits. They were amazing. The OJ is also really good and freshly squeezed every day from Florida Honeybells. My least favorite item so far, believe it or not were the scrambled eggs. Let me give everyone a lesson out there. You put the damn cheese in the eggs when you scramble them, before cooking. I don’t want to see a pile of melted cheese on top of my eggs simply because you’re lazy and don’t want to scrub the residue from the pan. You’re not doing it right.
Next time you are in the area for vacation, visiting family or just passing through on your way south, stop in the Old-New Lighthouse Diner. Grab a seat at the horseshoe shaped bar, order some Biscuits with Sausage Gravy and wash it down with a Gnarly Barley from the tap. If you happen to look across and see someone in a Points, Miles and Martinis shirt…I will take a glass of whatever your buying.