Restaurant of the Week: Roady’s

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Roady’s, 160 W. Bonita Ave. (at Monte Vista), San Dimas

Roady’s is an old-fashioned diner in downtown San Dimas. It was introduced to me years ago by reader Gene Harvey and I’ve gone back a half-dozen times since then. I even had a birthday lunch there with friends a couple of years ago.

This time I invited blogger Mike Tanner of the Dinerwood site to meet me there. I’d never met him, but I like his stuff and he’s proved he’s willing to drive out here, producing reviews of Flo’s, Brandon’s, Red Hill Coffee Shop, Stevie Dee’s, Joanne’s Cafe, Corky’s, Mission Family Restaurant and maybe even a few other local staples among his usual L.A. fare. He was game and we met at Roady’s last weekend.

I asked Mike his definition of a diner. “First off, It has to have a counter,” he told me. It ought to have breakfast all day, or at least through lunchtime. It ought to have pie. Whether newfangled or original, the diner ought to have a certain diner vibe. And there can’t be any seafood, Tanner said, unless it’s fried, or unless it’s on the menu but no one orders it.

Roady’s meets all his definitions. There’s a counter when you walk in, and a pie case. Breakfast is served all day. With the comfortable booths, giant windows, wood paneling, experienced waitresses and American Indian art, the vibe is near-perfect. As for fish, I wasn’t paying close attention, but I’m pretty sure no fish escapes the kitchen unbattered.

I ordered a patty melt ($6.85) with cole slaw as my side. The vinegary slaw was above average, the sandwich superior as well: burger, rye, grilled onions, cheese, pickles on the side. Mike had the chuck wagon breakfast ($6.45), two biscuits atop two scrambled eggs, gravy on top and, riding shotgun, two pieces of bacon and two sausage links. He liked it.

For the day’s pie selection, Roady’s had apple, cherry and lemon meringue pie. Mike had a slice of apple and I had lemon meringue ($3.45 each). Darn good pie.

It was a hearty lunch, a chance to exchange views with another blogger, make a new friend and, for a few moments, share the self-consciousness that comes with snapping photos of your food.

If you dote on diners, Roady’s is a must. And so is Dinerwood. Here’s Mike’s piece on Roady’s; we timed our reviews to coincide. Synergy and pie? Wow.

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