By David Jones
It’s time to get ‘old school’ this week. If you are from just about anywhere in western Chester County it’s almost a certainty you know of The Little Chef. This is one of the longest running restaurants in our area, so they must be doing something right.
I decided to find out on a recent Tuesday evening. For those who may not be familiar the Little Chef is on Strode Avenue in the West End of Coatesville, just south of the West End Fire Hall. It’s been in constant operation at this location for more than 50 years!
They offer daily specials each day of the week that are posted on a sign board inside the front door and on the menu. Tuesday’s are for Liver and Onions and Salisbury Steak. Both meals go for $8.99.
I know liver and onions is an acquired taste for some, but I acquired that taste years ago and still find it satisfying. I hadn’t had any though in quite a few years. That made our visit to the Little Chef perfect timing. I got it with a side of mac & cheese and a side of stewed tomatoes.
Every bit of this meal was good. Let’s be clear, we’re not talking gourmet here, but what I would classify as wholesome or comfort food. For $8.99 this was a lot of good food.
Lin went for the chicken cordon blue. Again, a very substantial portion that came with steamed broccoli and a baked potato. The chicken and broccoli were both done just right and very good.
Lin couldn’t make it to the potato so she took that home. While the rolls that were served came with ‘real’ butter, it was a bit disappointing to have margarine served with the baked potato.
This is another ‘old school’ example for me. I grew up in a time when we were expected to do something to earn money and establish the beginnings of a work ethic. As the saying goes, “After all money doesn’t grow on trees.”
I really appreciate seeing those traditions being passed on to the young people of today.
Back to the meal. For dessert I went with a favorite, carrot cake. It was obviously not homemade, but for $3.99 it was quite tasty and a nice size portion.
The Little Chef has several rooms and a mix of tables and booths. There was a nice crowd, but it wasn’t packed or noisy at all.
As I looked around I noticed some of the old timers from Coatesville and spoke to some folks I hadn’t seen in a long time. The Little Chef is just that kind of place. It is a frequent stop for many.
The staff at the Little Chef are friendly and good at what they do. I was a little disappointed to see a waitress sweeping the debris left on a table on the floor rather rigorously. Although you ‘clear’ the table everyone picks up these crumbs and redeposits them all over the place, including the kitchen.
This is really my only criticism of what was otherwise a very enjoyable meal. The Little Chef is open from 5:30 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. during the week and they close at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
If you haven’t been to the Little Chef before, give it a try. If you’ve been there many times over the years like me I hope you agree with my assessment.
Our total tab was $36, including tax and a 20% tip.
152 Strode Ave in Coatesville