This is the first in a series of restaurant reviews as reported to me by Mallory Petersen, Harry Reznik, Lori Campisi, and others featured in my three books. We start with Mallory Petersen, 4th Degree Black Belt and private investigator.
Pleasant Hill Diner
5015 East University Avenue
Pleasant Hill, IA
On this Sunday morning, private investigator Mallory Petersen has had a long night.
I wanted to just be home and sleep the entire day. No appointments, no commitments, no scheduled workout with my taekwondo instructor.
Some weeks at the office are nothing but routine paperwork, background checks, completing class planners, and enjoying the time with my office manager, Darren. There are periods where there seems to be several weeks in a row like this.
Then there are times when I accept some serious case such as looking for my landlord’s missing daughter or tracking down a stolen piece of jewelry.
However, I also get my fair share of… goofy clients. Or if not the clients, the cases themselves fall over the line into inanity.
I spent the whole of Saturday night trailing a man suspected of infidelity. The entire night. He led me around the metro to no fewer than four houses. I managed to get photographic evidence of every dalliance and wondered at his stamina.
Mine was just about shot. I never expected to come crawling home after seven Sunday morning. I planned to turn right at the light, three blocks from home, when I noticed just past the Casey’s convenience store the Pleasant Hill Diner. I’d been wanting to check it out and even though I was exhausted, I figured a good breakfast would keep my stomach from protesting long about mid-morning.
The diner was decorated in a 1950’s motif. Pictures of Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, and others hung on the wall. Each booth had a small jukebox with flip-panels of songs. However, all of the quarter slots were taped over. There was a tall jukebox in the middle of the floor and the sound system played Buddy Holly, Elvis, and Johnny Lee. (That last one confused me.)
The menu offered a breakfast special for $5.29, a choice of omelets, a meat and eggs combination for $8.29 and skillets for $9. Lunch and dinner meals were an array of burgers (which the waitress said were de-lish), several cold sandwiches, and other entrees like meatloaf and chicken pot pie. I ordered tomato juice, water and the French Toast combination that came with one egg (I ordered over medium but the yolk wasn’t quite as cooked as I like it) and bacon. A full three slices of French toast.
Everything was bright and comfortable and the music made me want to get up and dance even though I was tired. I watched a woman in the next booth practically bounce in her seat to each song.
The Pleasant Hill Diner is open every day at seven and I will definitely be back to try the burgers.