We finally did it! We ate at The Squirrels! Since we love old-school diners and restaurants, it’s always exciting to add another to our growing list. We have been driving past this coffee shop in the cozy East Bay enclave of Lafayette, California for several years now.
The very family friendly Squirrels Coffee Shop, is just off the main street of Mt. Diablo Boulevard. Walk inside and you’ll immediately notice an enormous horseshoe counter, with shiny mustard colored vinyl stools circling it. Choose one of those or one of the many booths that line the walls.
We decided to go with lunch items but I think if we return, we will try the breakfast menu. Close to each other Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda are all towns that are known for having many British expatriates. Maybe that’s why California Shakespeare Theater (locally known as Cal Shakes) is nearby? I wasn’t surprised then when I saw Cornish Pasties offered on their lunch menu.
Whoever made this Cornish pasty added a spin that reminded me of school lunch. For $7.50 my Cornish pasty was served with peas, hash browns and brown gravy. Yes, gravy. Now it wouldn’t be my first choice, unless I was a kid again, when I loved gravy on everything. The hash browns threw me off too since the menu didn’t mention those.
My husband had the 1/3 lb. Hamburger with all the fixings for $6.75. His burger also came with hash browns. We could only figure that they didn’t have a deep fryer to make fries. He said it was just okay. My pasty had ground beef inside which seemed like an additional American twist.
The waitress was really nice and we saw lots of kids excitedly hopping around the counter and in a few of the booths. Our lunch was a little disappointing but we would try the Squirrels again for breakfast. Cash only but the prices are low enough that you only need to worry about change for the parking meters.
The owner tells us that customers have to use only the metered street parking and not to use the parking lot in front. Parking wasn’t a problem when we stopped in about an hour before closing on a Saturday, but I expect it might be during their busy breakfast hours on the weekends.
998 Moraga Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549
Tue-Fri 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sat-Sun 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Photos by Sharon Castellanos