Court Street Dairy Lunch

I've never heard the tough food critic in our lunch group from work rave over a meal--until now.
Usually when we have an in-service day at school, it gives the 4 of us the opportunity to bond over lunch at a local restaurant. I suggested Court Street Dairy Lunch instead of our usual.  Finally (!) a chance to try this Monday-through-Friday, closes-at-2PM cafe! I was giddy with excitement!

I loved the unique layout.  In the center of the restaurant, there's a long rectangular counter area that provides opportunity for stool perching on two sides.  In the center of the counter area there's a smaller rectangular space for the server to work from, while several booths line both walls. All of the furnishings were very well tended and spotless. What a great way to make customers feel welcome and cared for!  I could've spent my entire time taking in all of the photos and memorabilia covering the walls, but decided I should visit with my dining pals instead.

The four of us slid into a booth towards the back and passed around the menus tucked behind the table's condiments.  So many delicious choices!  First I was drawn to the meatloaf sandwich, or maybe the Dairy Burger, OR . . . whew!  It was a tough decision and I'm usually fairly quick when it comes to ordering.  Since I was in a classic diner setting I went with one of their classic diner sandwiches--a club.  For my bread I chose sourdough and potato salad for my side.  Kim ordered the halibut sandwich with fries, Laura picked the guacamole burger with fries, and Jennifer decided on a cup of chicken noodle (Monday's soup) and the roast turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce and a side salad.

It didn't take long for our meals to appear.  My club featured what tasted and looked like fresh sliced turkey breast, thick crispy bacon, and a sweet tangy mustard sauce.  This was definitely one of the best club sandwiches I've ever eaten.  Great potato salad, too.  Kim said her halibut sandwich was, "Good!  The coating was light so I could taste the halibut--always a plus!"  Jennifer commented, "The soup was the high point.  Low point--iceberg lettuce salad.  Fresh!  But average.  The turkey was a little dry but the lettuce was good and fresh. The cranberry sauce wasn't canned.  I should have picked a different bread.  The wheat was cracked wheat, I not likey that kind."  I didn't have to ask Laura's opinion about her lunch.  She told us more than once that it was one of the best burgers she's ever eaten.  And she loved the guacamole!  The fries were a hit, too.  As far as appearances go, they reminded me of Thompsons'.

I doubt if the popular Court Street Dairy Lunch needs anymore fans, but they've definitely made 4 more.  Mental note:  make a "date lunch" with N during the summer months.  :-)

347 Court Street
Salem, Oregon
(503) 363-6433
Hours M-F 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Breakfast until 11:00 a.m. followed by lunch


Anonymous said...

Yes Court St.Dairy Lunch is really a treat. Everyone needs to try there lunches

Vegan's Nightmare said...

Court Street Dairy is my all-time favorite greasy spoon. I almost always get the ranch burger with fries and a side of their "secret sauce" for dipping (the waitress whispered that it's just thousand island dressing).

The food is good, but not great, and the prices are reasonable, but not cheap, and the atmosphere makes the entire experience perfect.

Anonymous said...

Yes the food there is great. The secret sauce is like thousand island but they make it themselves.It truly is a treat to go there, wish I could go there more often. Even the governers have ate there. I too like their ranch burger and homemade fries

Anonymous said...

This is a hidden gem in downtown Salem. I hadn't been there in years and stopped in last week. It's like walking into the 1960's. Old school.

The service was attentive and friendly. The food was good, nothing earth shaking, but just good old fashioned breakfast. The vibe made me think of years gone by, going out to breakfast with my grandpa.

There aren't many places like this left in Salem. I was lamenting how White's had went downhill (food quality down and prices through the roof), so it was great to find a nice old school diner breakfast.

Highly recommended.