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Thanks to ALL the Veterans!

Rod's Lamplighter on UrbanspoonFurthering our quest to find the best breakfast in Long Beach, today we tried Rod’s Lamplighter. The Lamplighter is actually in Seaview, but because the two towns bleed into each other with very little division, we’ll call it all Long Beach for ease.  In truth, two of the other breakfast joints we’ve tried, the 42ND Street Café and Laurie’s Homestead Breakfast are also technically in Seaview.

The Lamplighter consists of a bar and restaurant in a run-down looking motel.  This place would be perfect for any Hollywood scene that needed a nondescript and non-corporate motel. The restaurant area looked like an after thought; the room reminded me of an unloved daylight basement where all of the mismatched furniture that isn’t good enough for the upstairs, but is too good to throw away, is stored.  Robert Irvine would have a field day with this space.

We were the only two patrons in the restaurant (never a good sign). Or in the bar.  I wished that we would have sat in the bar though; there was a lot more natural light in there.  We sat ourselves over by the windows and tugged open one of the thick, heavy, and dusty curtains.  Our server was doubtful that we’d want to open the curtain since there was no view (true story!) but the natural light at least made it less doubtful that some supernatural being would sneak up to make a meal out of us since we were obviously stupid enough to enter an establishment that no one patronized. This restaurant gave me the creeps. Can you tell?

The menu was simple and I ordered biscuits and gravy and Boyfriend ordered the chicken fried steak.  I think I’m starting to get bored with the same breakfast choices.  Bacon, ham, or sausage with eggs, Eggs Benedict, Chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French toast.  Here and there you can find a scramble or omelet with unusual ingredients, but no one seems to be going out of their way creatively for breakfast except maybe the 42ND Street Café.  The Lamplighter was no different, but we waited for the food and tried not to squirm at how awkwardly the space was appointed. At one point, I began to play music from my phone to add a little positive noise to the weird whirs, buzzes, hums, and thunks being made by the various appliances.

The food was definitely better than the atmosphere. The gravy had nice big chunks of sausage in it, and the eggs were cooked to order.  There were a few misses. For one, the coffee was weaker than any restaurant I’ve ever been to, and there was no cream or half and half available. Instead, they served sweetened International Café creamers. Bleh.  Weirdly, the plates weren’t warmed which made the food that touched the plates cold, even while the food at the top of the pile was warm.  While the flavors were good, the correct order was delivered, and the prices were moderate, I don’t think we’ll be back, at least not to the restaurant section of the establishment.

The menu, since I couldn't find a website

The menu, since I couldn’t find a website

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Chicken-fried Steak

Chicken-fried Steak

A pancake.  I think that the pancake looks bored.

A pancake. I think that the pancake looks bored.

Among the many messages of thanks to veterans past and present, I saw a meme on Facebook today that I really loved.  It thanked the animal veterans who have served.  There have been a lot of stories about service dogs being used to find explosives or track and flush suspects, but there have also been horses, mules, pigeons, pigs, oxen, camels, elephants, dolphins, dwarf orcas, sea lions, bees, cats, chickens, and bats that have been pressed into service (thanks Wikipedia!).  After having a couple of dogs who were extremely sensitive to loud noises, I can appreciate how difficult military service must be to animals.

Our own dog has pressed himself into the service of keeping the neighbor’s chickens, lama, alpacas, and rabbits out of our ‘yard’ in Long Beach.  With the introduction of windows into the cabin, he now periodically patrols the property via the windows.  Eventually, the plan is to put up dog-proof fencing, but for now, our little soldier will remain firmly on-leash.

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