I woke up with the server mess still on my mind and needed a little down-home cooking to cheer me up. I’d been driving by The Buckboard in Lakeville for years and always wanted to stop in but, like the Windmill Cafe in Savage, I never had the opportunity. Well, at 8:30 AM on a blustery Saturday morning we did and we stepped into the restaurant and my life changed forever.
The inside, much like the outside, probably hasn’t changed much since it opened decades ago. The restaurant consists of a good number of booths, tables and a nice counter many of which were occupied. The counter was only half full but everyone seated there seemed to be a regular; one of whom didn’t eat a single thing during our visit even though he was there when we arrived and did not appear to be leaving anytime soon while we walked out the door. The restaurant itself is not fancy, doesn’t exactly appear to be the cleanest establishment I’ve ever seen either certainly meeting the definition of a “greasy spoon”.
The menu (Facebook photos link) is split between a crudely made whiteboard on the wall (which I didn’t see before ordering) and the menus stuck behind the napkin dispenser on the table. Aside from “Desserts” being spelled wrong the menu is pretty typical for a diner. It ranges from breakfast all day to all you can eat ribs and fish fry on various nights of the week. A $5.95 burger and fries deal at lunch likely brings in business like no other as The Buckboard is really all there is for several miles in any direction.
Our friendly waitress took our orders for a child’s order of blueberry pancakes (1); the Buckboard Special; two eggs, sausage, American fries, and toast; a large glass of tomato juice, a decaf coffee, a milk, and a hot chocolate with whipped cream. While nothing was expensive on the menu by any means, I have to say I’m always still surprised when I see $10 breakfast items on diner menus. Call me old fashioned/out of my mind but eggs, bacon, and toast shouldn’t be more than $7.
Our orders were up quickly, very quickly in fact. The Wife’s eggs, sausage, American fries, and toast ($7.95) was nothing special but was a very large portion. The Wife wasn’t a fan of the American fries but noted it was because she prefers to eat over-easy eggs and use the yolk over the eggs but she eats them scrambled when she’s pregnant. I thought the fries were just fine but the eggs were a bit overdone for my liking–even scrambled.
The Rooster’s blueberry pancake ($3.55) came out the size of a dinner plate and had a cute little face with ears on it. While there was an entire face when it originally came to the table, The Rooster got to the mouth piece before I could take a photo. There were plenty of blueberries and the cake was fluffy. While he didn’t eat much of it, aside from the face, it was perfectly acceptable.
My Buckboard Special (two eggs, American fries, topped with sausage, peppers, onion, cheddar cheese and toast for $7.95) was a metric you-know-what ton of food. While I finished it all, proud member of the 1980s Clean Plate Club you know, I paid for it the rest of the day with an overextended stomach and thoughts of death by gluttony. The sunny side up eggs were a little overdone for my liking but the sausage, peppers and onions were nice. The veggies were fresh and crisp and the sausage had a decent flavor.
My sole complaint came with the cup of decaf. If there’s anything that a diner should have, it’s decent coffee. While I’m usually not picky about my coffee (SuperAmerica’s coffee is good enough for me), this stuff was watery and thin and I’d rather drink the crappy coffee at the office than what I was served on Saturday morning. Next time I’ll stick to my tomato juice and water.
There is nothing at all special by what we were served at The Buckboard but what we received was old-school diner food which was filling, down-home, breakfast items which were relatively inexpensive. However, what was special is that I joined a time honored tradition in Lakeville by sitting down in one of the booths and watching as the staff milled about, sometimes reading the paper or chatting up the regulars at the counter in some sort of Buckboard code I was unable to decipher all the while observing the steady flow of people of all ages wandering in and out. I am really disappointed in myself that it took me all these years to finally walk in the door but I know it won’t be my last time. In fact, I’m ready to go next weekend and I will probably do just that and if you enjoy diner food, you should too.
Have you ever eaten at The Buckboard in Lakeville? If so how long ago and what did you have? Have you been there for anything other than breakfast? Where else around town can you find an atmosphere like the Windmill Cafe or The Buckboard that I need to hit? Whatever you have to say about The Buckboard in Lakeville go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
8455 210th St W
Lakeville, MN 55044
Monday – Saturday: 5 AM – 8 PM
Sunday: 7 AM – 1:30 PM
See all the pictures from The Buckboard in Lakeville on Flickr here.