The playful marquee out front is the only hint that a boxy Best Western houses the 101 Coffee Shop, a bright midcentury throwback. The decades-old diner hadn’t aged so gracefully, by all accounts, until a 2001 renovation sent it back to the ‘60s. The results are tremendous: spherical pendant lamps line the rear rock wall while natural light floods in against the blue-trimmed, earth tone tiles. A contemporary playlist and Hollywood clientele keep the vibe contemporary and cool, but in all other ways it’s a straight up time warp.
You’ll pay a pretty penny (in diner terms) for the food at 101, but there are some definite stand-out dishes here. For someone who wants it all at breakfast (served all day), the Mikey Fitz includes two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage, and three silver dollar pancakes or one piece of French toast; we recommend the sausage, generously spiced and not too greasy. The sandwiches have a Southern slant (po boys and blackened catfish abound), but a solid pick is the BLT, which comes with a heaping pile of crisp sweet potato and regular fries. Save room, though: 101 is known for their soda fountain specialties, among them the 50/50 Shake made with orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream. As we noted on a recent visit: “It almost tastes more like a creamsicle than a creamsicle.” And that’s a good thing.