Lisa’s Coffee Shop catches my eye often, when I travel east on San Bernardino Road to an assignment or have lunch somewhere else.
I was in the mood for a warm American dish and decided to satisfy my curiosity for what’s inside this little diner that’s surrounded by auto shops and industrial buildings.
The cozy restaurant, with its small town 1950s feel, has lent itself to a few movies and commercials. The vintage Coca-Cola signs and the many state license plates hanging on the walls helps add to this old style diner.
Open everyday for breakfast and lunch only, Lisa’s menu offers a selection of classic American dishes, with some Mexican plates thrown in for good measure.
Although steak and eggs sounded good and Lisa’s serves breakfast until closing, breakfast for lunch didn’t feel right this time and I went for the Texas-style sirloin steak lunch instead.
My plate came with mashed potatoes and gravy and two halves of a dinner roll buttered and thrown on the grill for a bit, and a choice of cup of soup or salad.
I went with a cup of the soup of the day – albondigas, a Mexican meatball soup with chunks of potatoes and carrots.
I can’t help but compare my mother’s Mexican cooking to other Mexican dishes, and though this albondigas was slightly different than mom’s, I liked it better.
The broth wasn’t as greasy as I’m used to. It was very light and the meatballs were soft and seasoned just right.
The sirloin steak can be rubbed with chipotle sauce or blackened for only 79 cents more. I love spicy food, so I went for the chipotle rub.
Now I can’t recall if I asked for a small cut of steak or a large cut, but if what I got was a small cut, the large cut could have fed me all day and then some.
My large piece of steak came medium, just as I asked, juicy and colorful with the chipotle on top.
From just a few bites of the mashed potatoes, I could tell they were freshly mashed with skin and all. They were great.
The gravy was good, not too syrupy and not too thick. But it was a little too salty for my taste. The soft dinner roll was perfectly buttered and toasted.
With the soup and a good helping of mashed potatoes and steak, I was full and had to throw in the napkin.
But there was still plenty left for dinner, which is good since Lisa’s is closed for dinner.
There was only one waitress at the time and she patiently tended to the locals and regulars stopping in for a good hearty lunch, so be patient for her to come around and help you too.
Once she took our order though, my and my lunch companion’s meal were out in about ten minutes, fresh, warm, and just what we ordered.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be around the area early enough to have breakfast at Lisa’s, but I sure will be back sometime to have breakfast for lunch.
Lisa’s Coffee Shop is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and located at 1530 W. San Bernardino Road in Covina. Visit www.lisascoffeeshop.com or call (626) 339-2014 for more information.