We not only go to restaurants when making our rounds of the Antelope Valley dining scene in anticipation of good food, but we also go to have some fun.
At Katz n’ Jammers you get both — good food and a nostalgia-themed diner that practically shouts “Happy Days” and “the Fonz!”
Enter Katz ‘n Jammers, a restaurant/diner that is situated at the corner of Beech and Milling, and you see a friendly venue named for a long-ago Sunday color comic strip. Named for the mischievous Katz n’ Jammer twins from the strip, the eatery has been operating under that name for a quarter-century, so it has staying power and a home in the hearts and taste buds of its customers. The place is chock-a-block with soda shop signs from the nifty 50s and vintage “Greatest Generation” truck stop diner signage, the kind of bric-a-brac that says American and a comfortable, easy feeling all the way.
Katz n’ Jammers is known for hearty portions of fresh, homemade food and the lunch items have fun names you’d remember, and want to share with your kids or grandkids while you’re at the table. You cannot deny that the Jackie Gleason burger or Patty Duke’s burger is a conversation starter about the golden age of TV, while you’re munching conversationally.
We dropped in on a Tuesday morning because I was in the mood for some breakfast food, however, that changed slightly, once I started looking over the menu. It’s true that I have been eating there for the last 20 years and there’s a reason for it. I have always enjoyed a great meal.
We walked into the bright and cheery 50s-style café, to the toe-tapping sounds of a huge jukebox at the front, playing that good ’ol rock n’ roll. Our friendly waitress came right over and took our drink order — two cherry Cokes, which were cold, delicious and reminiscent of an old-time soda fountain, bringing back memories of drinks I had as a young girl — a green river (lemon-lime soda), which was my favorite, and for those of us who were a little more adventurous, the famous suicide (a combination of all the soda flavors). With that in mind, we also ordered a chocolate malt, which we split. It was thick, creamy and oh, so chocolatey.
We then ordered the Big Bopper’s special (a 6 oz. chicken fried steak made fresh with two eggs, hash browns and biscuits and gravy, for $13.59).
Wow, what a huge portion. I got pretty excited as now I planned to have the rest of it the following day. The chicken fried steak was so tender and flavorful with a nice seasoning and it was on a bed of the most wonderful, creamy sausage gravy, which was generous on the sausage. My eggs were cooked perfectly to order, over medium, just the way I like them. They became even more tasty, especially when mixed with the hash browns, which were crisp. The biscuits and gravy were just as delicious. They were soft and fluffy smothered in the same creamy sausage gravy that was under the chicken-fried steak. This was a meal that was absolutely fabulous and now I get to have another just like it, since I took half of it home. That will tell you something about the portions.
Since Katz N’ Jammers offers Mexican food on Tuesday (Taco Tuesday), I thought I would try the chicken tortilla soup and boy, am I glad I did. It had tender chunks of chicken and flavorful broth with savory and spicy notes, as well as colorful, creamy and crunchy toppings for a delectable experience.
After that, I wanted to try the Patty Duke’s burger (1/2 lb. patty melt on grilled rye bread with grilled onions and Swiss cheese). What an incredible sandwich. It was perfectly prepared and delicious. My first thought was how fresh the ingredients were and how I could taste each one, individually, from the meat to the grilled onions and everything in between. Don’t let me forget those excellent seasoned French fries, which I chose as my side. They were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.
My friend Anne ordered The Rockin Rider (chicken strips sautéed with red and green peppers and onions and Jack cheese, stuffed into a French roll and dressed with homemade salsa, for $10.99. She had a slightly different idea and asked to have it put inside a flour tortilla to turn it into a wrap, which was a great twist on the ever-so-tasty sandwich. The chicken was tender and moist and the salsa was delicious. A multitude of flavors came with each bite and lucky for me, as she only shared one bite. She chose the onion rings as her side for a small up-charge and they were fried to a beautiful golden brown with a side of ranch to dip.
In keeping with the soda fountain theme, we decided to try one of the desserts even though it was still breakfast time. They looked too good, and besides, someone has to do it, right? You don’t go to Katz n’ Jammers to count calories, you go to be satisfied and have fun.
We ordered the banana split, which is three scoops of vanilla ice cream smothered with chocolate, strawberry and pineapple toppings, a generous amount of whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top for $6.99.
Katz n’ Jammers is open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., seven days a week and is located at 44801 Beech Ave., Lancaster, 661-945-6646.