Scramblz Diner in Morgan Hill, CA is an interesting place. It used to be a Lyon’s restaurant that was bought by, I believe, an independent owner. The new owners gave the place a new look, as much as they could on a smaller budget – at least that’s my impression. They didn’t redo the mauve and seafoam green vinyl on the booths or the matching tiles on the walls near the kitchen, but they managed to overwhelm these subtle design elements with elements that make you completely forget the muted senior-focused diner it used to be. How? By hanging bicycles and airplanes from the ceiling, of course, as well as repeating a black and white checkerboard theme, and adding a ton of novelty items like oversized chess pieces. Oh, and they painted all the chairs electric yellow….
It’s a little overwhelming until you get used to it. A couple of great points about this place is 1. they serve RC (Royal Crown) cola, which is a nice change from either Coke or Pepsi. It’s still the kind with high-fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar, but still. and 2. their basic burger and fries are excellent, and the least expensive we’ve found anywhere in the area (excluding fast food, but those burgers don’t really count). I think the Scramblz burger is at least 1/3 pound and looks like they made it in one of those burger presses as it’s a perfect hockey puck shape, but doesn’t seem like a pre-frozen patty. Quite filling too.
Another quirk that also adds a bit of rustic charm (and might also be less expensive) is the roll of paper towels on each table, but that might also have something to do with the barbequed items they sell. (And in the mid-afternoon the decor is loud, but the restaurant is pleasantly quiet – LOL.)
Another thing that sets this restaurant apart are the chickens – not on the menu, the ones that arrived one day and decided this was the place to be!
The waiter told us the story of the chickens last time we were there. The wife of the owner is apparently their champion and insisted on putting up a little protective wire fence and a few choice signs as well…
The chickens that showed up have now reproduced and there are little chickens running around now too. Every so often, as you bite into your burger, you hear a rooster crow and wonder if the sound is outside or inside (outside, of course), or part of some quirky sound ambiance being piped into the dining room. Amazingly, although the chickens are obvious once you know they’re there, they’re out of the way enough (usually) so that you can also miss them completely, if you don’t feel like watching free range chickens while you’re in the mood for chicken fingers. 😉
[Tags: restaurant, review, california, morgan hill, hamburgers]