It’s official: Shakers American Cafe is a bonafide Orlando Classic. The College Park breakfast and lunch diner will celebrate its 26th anniversary next month.
But there’s more to Shakers than just longevity; it’s become a local institution for being a go-to place for friends and business associates to meet, but with a more casual agenda in mind.
What’s the opposite of a power lunch? It certainly isn’t powerless. Look around the room during a busy lunch hour (which is to say just about daily) and you’ll spot community and business leaders at several tables.
But here the agenda is less about the deal and more about the meal.
I chose Shakers to have lunch with an old friend recently. I started with a cup of the soup of the day, Hungarian Beef and Cabbage. It featured a hardy beef broth with tenderly simmered cabbage leaves, ground beef and the occasional carrot. It was sort of like a cabbage roll in a soup. Delicious.
For my entree I chose Mom’s Meatloaf, a sandwich fashioned out of house-made meatloaf with melted provolone cheese, generous slices of juicy tomatoes and fresh lettuce between thick slices of toasted bread. I was full just eating half of it (and enjoyed the other half later).
My friend chose a special of the day, a Summer Peach Salad with chunks of grilled chicken, glazed pecans, blueberries, crumbles of goat cheese and greens. The dressing was a light peach vinaigrette, and the peach slices themselves were at a just-right ripeness. Greg Granda, who owns and operates the restaurant with his wife, Terry, stopped by the table and told us he personally goest to the store to pick out the peaches.
By the way, daily specials are kept up to date on the restaurant’s website. I always appreciate having current information on hand.
The Grandas are ever present at the restaurant and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Their able staff of servers and cooks see to that, too.
The atmosphere at Shakers is stuck in time and that’s just fine. The hundreds of eponymous salt and pepper shakers on tables and shelves add a bit of whimsy. But after a while they fade into the background. The real focus here is the food and the comity enjoyed throughout the restaurant.
Shakers American Cafe is at 1308 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. It is open for breakfast and lunch daily. The phone number is 407-422-3534.