CLOSED!! Breakfast @ Lushe’s SONO Diner

Stephanie Webster

In my household, Saturday morning means one thing… no work, no school, and a trip to the local diner. This week we decided to try the Norwalk newcomer, Lushe’s SONO Diner, opened by the owner of Habana (and actually in the same location, conveniently located next to the movie theater). We were greeted warmly by Lushe herself, and slid ourselves into a retro red vinyl banquette, bathed in sunlight by the large windows to the outdoor patio. Two adults, three kids… stomachs grumbling... it was a tough crowd.  However, a glance at the menu revealed turkey sausage, breakfast burritos, crepes, and oats with warm cinnamon apples.  We realized this was not your average diner… this was going to be good.

For the diner lover, the standard repertoire is all there, but we noticed that many of the traditional items had been updated with added sophistication. The kids chose Charlotte’s pancakes, which are not pancakes at all, but crepes, with a wonderful chewy interior and thin crispy edges. They come loaded with fresh berries and bananas, dripping over the sides of the plate, and are large enough for three kids to share. My husband ordered a Western omelet, which was cooked to perfection… not overdone as in many diners, and accompanied by home fries that were crispy, but not greasy. The multigrain toast nestled on the side was perfectly textured and ready for a thick butter application.

Photo: Stephanie WebsterOn the lighter side, I opted for the lo-fat yogurt special, which arrived in a bowl with sliced fruit, blanched almonds, and fresh honey. It was delicious, but still hungry, I continued on to the oats with warm cinnamon apples. I appreciated the fact that neither was overly sweet, and all of our selections boasted exceptionally fresh ingredients.

If you end up at Lushe’s in time for lunch, we noticed some surprisingly inventive items for a diner menu, including the healthful mango salad boasting mixed greens, blackened chicken strips, fresh mango slices, toasted walnuts and a balsamic dressing. The China Town Express, combining teriyaki chicken breast with mandarin orange segments, sliced almonds and tortilla chips, served over mixed greens in a sesame-ginger vinaigrette is a serious contender for my next visit. If you are looking for heartier fare, The New York Times recommends the BB-Q shredded pork served on a hard roll, SONO’s famous chili, served in a crock, apparently deserving of the name, and the signature pork souvlaki sandwich. My husband eyed the souvlaki, and wondered if we should come back for lunch after our trip to the Maritime Center.

Lushe’s will also make your kids smile, and not just because of her happy face pancakes. Eleven kid- friendly options cover anything a person under 4-feet could possibly wish for. Our dining experience was further enhanced by the very friendly and attentive wait staff, who made great recommendations regarding portion sizes, and specials. We walked away pleasantly surprised with our $40 tab, and very satisfied. Lushe’s SONO Diner offers up interesting diner food at reasonable prices. Next time we’ll go back for lunch. Stay tuned…

Lushe Gjuraaj is also the proud owner of Parkway Diner in Stamford (a CT Bites Favorite), Spazios and Quattro Regale in Stamford as well. Lushe’s SONO Diner is open 7 days a week, Sunday through Thursday 7a.m. to 11p.m.; Friday and Saturday 7a.m. to 3 a.m.

Lushe’s Sono Diner 70 North Main Street, South Norwalk. 203.354.9474