This past Saturday afternoon I had driven Lynda to a planning conference way out on the west side of town. After the meeting and after the torrents from the sky had abated somewhat, we decided we were getting famished and needed to eat before we headed back to the house. Last fall, a former colleague of mine at the insurance company I used to work for introduced me to a small diner down Dixie Highway in the Valley Station area. With the high water and nasty traffic, it took us about 30 minutes to drive the 4 or 5 miles out Dixie to arrive at Christi’s Cafe.
Christi’s is in an old cinder block building with old metal awnings over some wide windows, right on the west side of Dixie Highway, about a mile south of the Gene Snyder. They have a tiny blacktop parking lot (which is usually full — usually a good sign of good food) in front and a large gravel lot to the side. We got out of the truck and trotted in so we wouldn’t get too soaked by the heavy drizzle, but not so fast that Lynda wasn’t able to notice the artwork on the windows (a soda and a milkshake as Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With the Wind, a sunny side up egg as Marilyn Monroe holding down her dress over the subway grate from The Seven Year Itch).
The place was packed, but we found an open table over by Marilyn’s painting. The tables and chairs are just simple ones that you would find in your usual diner that cares more about good food than creating some sort of faux ambiance, although one could have hoped for a bit more padding on the seats, but then, the service is very fast so that doesn’t really become much of an issue. The movie theme from the murals on the windows is continued on the walls with several framed pictures from various movies on the walls.
The waitress brought us a couple of laminated menus that had had several item marked off to reflect recent changes to a menu that is in want of a new printing. After bringing us a couple diet sodas, she took our order. Lynda opted for breakfast and ordered a short stack of Pecan Pancakes along with a scrambled egg and some bacon. I went for late lunch/early dinner fare by ordering a double cheeseburger (dressed) and a side of onion rings. After a very short wait our order was brought out to us.
Lynda’s eggs looked very nice and she said they were done just right, done all the way through and without any of that lacy crispness that a lot places do to their eggs whenever they let someone on the grill who doesn’t know what they are doing (most places fall into this category unfortunately). Her pancakes were a bit of a disappointment for her though. Even though they were a ginormous stack for a short stack and actually tasted wonderful in her opinion, they were just a bit too dense for her liking. I tried a bite, but I think just a little more butter and syrup would have helped out quite a bit, but they weren’t bad. She ate more than half the stack which was impressive considering how huge the portion was.
My double cheeseburger came out much larger than I anticipated. It was two very thick patties smothered in American cheese, served open-faced with an ample amount of lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and mayo sitting on the bun. Had the onion rings been paired with a lesser burger, I might have thought the portion a bit on the skimpy side, but as it was, I was hard pressed to finish it all. I bit into the burger and am pleased to report that it was very fresh and beefy tasting, done all the way through but very juicy. It was very nice to get a well-done burger that wasn’t a dried out hockey puck. As many of my readers know, this is a pet peeve of mine and I get upset with restaurant managers telling me it can’t be done when I run into proof it can all the time. Those onion ring I mentioned earlier were perfect by the way.
Our experience was very pleasant. Even with the place being full, the noise level was such that a good conversation could be had with out shouting. The waitress was fast, attentive and friendly. It may not be trendy or chic, but the food was great and VERY reasonably priced considering how huge the potions were. Lynda and I are looking forward to going back soon.
Lynda gave them 8 out 10 stars.
I gave them 10 out of 10 stars.