Last Update
Oct 21st, 2018

Lester's Diner

250 W State Road 84
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33315
(954) 525-5641
Overall Rating
2.6
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
10/20/2018

Details

Hours: Open 24 hours
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Beer and Wine Only
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: No
Delivery: None

Pros

A Real Diner From Head to Toe
Inexpensive Dining
Open 24 hours

Cons

Spotty Service. Some Servers are better than others.
Mediocre Food

Insider Tips

Stick to Breakfast

Critic's Review

I was up early on a Saturday and it was a beautiful morning, so I decided to go out to breakfast. Of course I had no idea that there was some sort of run/event this morning; all of the roads were closed off; they were redirecting traffic. After taking a very roundabout route, I finally found a way out of the city.

These things are a disaster; and all of the construction downtown makes is much, much worse.

My plan wasn't to go to Lesters, but that's where I ended up. On Saturdays if you go out before 9 am you're in pretty good shape, but it was after 9 by the time I got here.

This place refuses to modernize their system here; they have one women who answers the phone, cashes out customers and also seats customers. So you have people on line to pay, on line to be seated; meanwhile the women is on the phone doing nothing that she needs to do.

The trick here is to just seat yourself. Waiting for the woman to seat 3 parties in front of you while there are 4 empty booths in sight just seems silly to me. Of course there are no menus out, but there's no official seating plan and the servers won't scold you for breaking the rules. When the woman went off to seat someone, I just sat down at a booth.

A server offers me coffee, which is what they do at a real diner, and also brings me a menu. The indestructible diner cups have chips but no sharp edges; it's just part of the diner experience.

I unknowingly ordered the same thing I ordered the last time I was here; the broward special; 3 eggs, sausage links, home fries and rye toast.

The food came out very quickly.

The sausage links are a lot bigger than they used to have here. The bread was another matter; usually they ask if you want it buttered, but I didn't get that today.

The toast was dry; they gave me jelly but no butter. Do people still lather sugar onto bread in modern times? As my server sped by I asked if I could get some butter.

When I tried to dig in I realized that I didn't have a fork or a knife. Meanwhile my server delivered water instead of butter, so I had to wait until she came around again. It was a few iterations before I had utensils and the butter.

Apparently they don't have the butter packets here. Finally I was able to eat.

With the sausages twice the size as before, this is too much food. I could have done without the 3rd egg. I usually come mid afternoon and stuff is overdone; the potatoes weren't overdone today. The sausage is obviously pre made as they were luke warm and very dry. Nothing great or bad here; a pretty good deal for $8.99.

Conclusion

I made the mistake of ordering something other than breakfast here once; their breakfast is standard diner fare although I would avoid any complicated recipes (like corned beef hash) here. My server was slammed and flying around so I'm not going to kill her on the service. Although there is a reason I prefer to go out to breakfast during the week when it's not such a rat race.

Review 11/14/15

An a dreary Saturday I was pressed for time and didn't want to do the $20 brunch thing, so I headed over to Lester's at 1:45pm.

I asked for a table and once again a pre-programmed hostess asked if I wanted to sit at the counter with the truckers and riff-raff.

She gave me a bad booth in front of the kitchen entrance, but at least it was a booth. The place was about half full.

Usually when you go into a diner they get you coffee right away, but not today. She asked whether I was ready to order; which I did, and then I had to wait a few minutes for the coffee.

I noticed that every other table had water, except me. I eventually asked for water. The coffee wasn't bad; drinkable, which is better than most places. Certainly better than the junk at the Pancake House.

Eggs came out in 10 minutes.

They have a 3 egg option; $1.50 more for a 15 cent egg, but I went with that. Still a good deal for $7.49. Skinny sausages that lost their fat hours before, unseasoned potatoes that required a LOT of salt and pepper to be brought to an edible state.

No worse than the stuff you get at the "restaurants" for $18. Always leave some calories on the plate.

Conclusion

Lester's is a mediocre diner in a place with few diners to choose from. They're all about the same; This isn't Long Island. Stick to breakfast and you'll be fine. This breakfast was $11.49.

Review 6/30/14

I usually think of diners as a place to get breakfast; whether it be in the morning, 3am or mid afternoon. But today I thought I'd try some diner food.

Lester's is one of those places that looks like a diner; I'm not sure if they're going for that look or it's just old. Lots of booths, which is good thing.

I ordered a tea while I pondered the menu. It was delivered without extra lemon, so I had her go fetch me some more, which she delivered in a styrofoam cup.

I was running a bit late, and it was just after 3pm when I sat down. As it turns out, Lester's twilight dinner starts at 3. There are a bunch of choices for $13.49 and some for $15.95; I decided on the "greek 1/2 chicken" which comes with 2 sides. The twilight deal also gives you soup or salad and dessert. I almost ordered the soup, but then decided to get a salad with blue cheese dressing.

As delivered, the salad was not appealing. I almost snickered at the tomato; who would serve a tomato with so much inedible core? I removed the carrots (the cup came in handy) and performed the necessary surgery on the tomato. It was a decent dressing; the salad was almost enough for a meal in itself.

I was about half done with the salad when my server dropped off the chicken. I worked hard to hide my horror.

Wow. Really? When I think Greek 1/2 chicken I'm thinking of a nice broiled chicken with lemon and oregano. This was cut up pre-cooked pieces that was sprinkled with feta and thrown in an oven to melt the cheese. It was the kind of chicken that you get at the buffet at a bad event. The beans had been cooking since breakfast most likely, and the "cucumber salad" was far from what I expected. This was just cucumber slices in vinegar.

I ate some white meat and maybe half of the beans; Its a good thing that I had the big salad. When I said I was done the server asked if I wanted to take stuff home; uh, no thanks. But I was getting dessert.

No key lime pie among the choices, but they did have rice pudding and bread pudding. I went with the bread pudding.

Usually cakes and pies are pretty good at diners; this tasted like rice pudding without the rice, which is probably what it was. Not very sweet. I took a few bites, dropped a tip on the table and headed to the register to cash out.

It seems like a good deal on paper, but it's not a deal if you can't eat much of it. I'm glad I didn't get the Eggplant Parm or the chocolate pudding.

Review 1/26/13

Lester's is the diner that everyone raves about and it's all you'll hear when you first get to Fort Lauderdale. There's five dozen places like Lester's on Long Island; it's a diner; but it's one of the only real, 24/7 diners in the area.

Inside Lester's has faux granite tables and space age vinyl booths. It truly looks like a diner.

I rarely eat anything other than breakfast in diners, and today was no different. I ordered coffee as I made my choice.

Lester's is one of the few diners I've been to down here that gives you a saucer with your coffee cup. Very classy.

I decided on the London Broil and Eggs; something a bit different, over easy, medium rare with home fries and rye toast.

Music here reminds me of the 70s in more ways than one. First, there's interference. Remember AM radio? The sound system sounds like it's playing through a crystal set or something. Starting with some old and not so good Rod Stewart; followed by some Spin Doctors, Elton John, REO Speedwagon and Creed. Could be worse I guess. The food came out quickly.

This isn't what I expected. London Broil should be flank steak, or maybe a marinated top round. Im not sure what this was, maybe a bottom tip, but it was tough. It had a garlicky flavor; not terrible but I would have preferred something that I could slice better. The potatoes were bad today; end of the day home fries are hit or miss.The eggs were fine; not the best breakfast I've ever had; I wouldn't order the london broil again.

Rounding out the experience was my server becoming consumed by a table of 4 ordering dessert; I sat with an empty cup and empty plates for more than 10 minutes before I got a chance to ask for my check.

Lester's is fine, but Today wasn't so good.

Previously, I had a standard breakfast that was quite good:

On my first visit here, I made the mistake of ordering the "spanish omelet", which is not a Spanish omelet. it's peppers and onions that aren't freshly cooked. It's awful; don't order it.

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John
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Lester's is only good at 3 am when the bars are closed and you need something to hold you over after a night out.

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