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Coke Floats and a Down-Home Vibe at What’s Up Diner
I grew up in a small town where pretty much all of the restaurants were independently-owned diners. The owners and staff could do whatever they wanted, including making special requests for regular customers or concocting daily specials on the fly. That’s the vibe I got from the owner and staff of What’s Up Diner, a fun little diner located at 5781 South Lakeshore Drive in Shreveport, near Cross Lake. In addition to an old-school approach to service and customer relations, the place makes a $2 Coca-Cola ice cream float that will knock your socks off.
“I make those,” my server told me, proudly. “We were just serving them in a styrofoam cup, but I went out and found these great Coca-Cola glasses. We keep the glasses in the freezer, so when the floats come out, they’re frosty.”
The food at What’s Up Diner is very good, and ranges from traditional diner favorites (burgers, country fried steaks, etc.) to salads (these look great, most customers seated near me were having salads) and daily specials. The best way to keep up with the current list of specials is by liking the restaurant on Facebook. I spoke to some regulars who were raving about their salads, but who were really most excited about dessert. The owner’s mom bakes a variety of pies and cobblers for the restaurant, several of which were cooling on the counter during my visit. I mean, seriously: Pies cooling on the counter? I kept expecting to hear The Fonz‘s motorcycle roar into the parking lot at any moment.
“We always make a few of the pies sugar free,” the owner, Paige, told me. “A lot of folks these days are diabetic. Today, the sugar-free pie options are the peanut butter and the peach and pineapple.”
Remember when people cared so much about one another that they acted like this? When, if a restaurant owner knew you loved pie, but you couldn’t have sugar, they’d make you a sugar-free pie? If you’d like a reminder of what those days were like, eating at What’s Up Diner is a great place to start.
Three Facts About What’s Up Diner That I Couldn’t Fit Into This Blog Post:
1) They have a hamburger named after Patrick Swayze
2) Actual menu item name: “Fried Pickles with What’s Up Sauce”
3) They serve 10 oz. ribeye steaks on the first and third Saturdays of each month
What’s Up Diner is open, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Tues.-Thu. and 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat.