Sherman's Food Adventures: Lil' Jon Restaurant & Lounge

Lil' Jon Restaurant & Lounge

Gosh, we haven't met up with Lola and Scout since pre-Covid times.  You see, they live in Seattle and well, during the border shutdown, it was a bit difficult to head down South.  Yes, I have been across the border a few times since it opened up, but just didn't get a chance to meet for eats (hey that rhymes...).  Finally, we made plans to do so and they suggested a classic diner in Lil' Jon out near Factoria.  With vinyl booths and counter seating, I would say that this place has diner written all over it.

I was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable pricing given that food costs are out-of-control these days.  Taking advantage of that, I went for T-bone steak, that came with a choice of soup or salad to start.  I went for the Cream of Potato Soup and it was a hearty with lots of tender potato cubes.  I found it having the right viscosity being thick, but not so much that I couldn't drink it.  Flavor was mild, but was well-seasoned.

Behold, my 16oz Choice T-Bone Steak.  I asked for it to be prepared medium-rare and it came exactly like that.  Of course the tenderloin portion of the steak was a touch more rare, but that was expected and frankly, welcomed.  I found the seasoning to be spot on as it was flavorful on its own.  I found the meat to be quite tender.  The side of mashed potatoes were smooth and velvety while the brown gravy wasn't too salty.

As for Viv, she went for the Bacon Cheeseburger with 1/3 lbs patty, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle, American cheese and bacon.  This looked impressive, but ultimately was quite average.  Despite sporting a large meaty patty, it was dry and somewhat chewy.  However, the bacon was crispy and the produce was fresh.  On the side, the fries were not bad being crispy with plenty of potato texture inside.

My son decided on his favorite with the French Dip featuring thinly-sliced roast beef on a French roll with au jus on the side.  The best thing to describe the roast beef is that it resembled Arby's.  So if you are familiar, the roast beef at Arby's is marinated to the point where it is very tender and almost ham-like.  Now I'm not saying this was necessarily a bad thing here if you enjoy that texture.  Just be aware it wasn't very meaty.

My daughter had the Turkey Melt with roast turkey breast, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on grilled sourdough.  I thought this was fairly standard and definitely serviceable.  I liked how they didn't slather the bread with a stick of butter.  Hence it wasn't overly greasy and oil-soaked.  It was still crunchy though.  Nice balance of ingredients and it ate rather moist inside.

Scout went for one of the classics here in the Chicken Fried Steak featuring breaded cube steak topped with country gravy.  He has had this before and enjoys it partially due to the gravy.  It has a nice consistency where it is creamy while not being too greasy nor floury.  As for the steak itself, the coating is crispy while the meat is moist and tender.  This was also served with a side of mixed veggies.

We ended things off with a few orders of their pie.  Although they are frozen pies, we found them to be more than acceptable.  Of the ones we ordered, I enjoyed the Cherry Pie (pictured above) the most as it had a nice tangy sweetness.  The crust was not exactly flaky, but it had a nice firmness to it.  We also had the peach, which was just sweet enough, however, the chocolate cream pie was too sweet for me.  Overall, Lil' Jon is a no fuss, ol' school diner that serves up predictable eats.  There are a few gems such as the T-Bone Steak and Chicken Fried Steak, but the other items were pretty average.  Yet, for the reasonable prices they charge, I think you will be satisfied (especially if you pick the right items).

The Good:
- Well-priced
- Surprising food if you pick the right dishes
- Excellent service

The Bad:
- Pick the wrong dishes, and they are pretty average


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