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Coffee at the Joy Bus Diner

~This is not a sponsored post~

There have been a handful of times I’ve been able to travel by myself, almost exclusively for the saddest of reasons. But last week I flew to Phoenix for business, enjoying the silence of my own thoughts, whisking through checkpoints, chatting with an Ethel M chocolatier, waiting with heels propped on my baggage next to a sunny window.

I finally tried Uber. Shockingly, I wasn’t chopped into tiny bits by an axe murderer. Evenings found me at new restaurants, with a glass of wine, in the company of family. French Grocery was my favorite, with its bacon-wrapped dates and a truffle-brie hamburger.


Holy crap, I *need* that steak

Sadly, I didn’t have the hamburger. I had a salad. Because I’m trying to ‘make better choices’, damnit. I think I’d like to spend several years trying each of their varieties of wine, cheese and macaroons.

But all this paled compared to the experience I had Friday morning just looking for coffee. I woke up late, alone in the house, seriously debating whether breakfast was worth getting dressed and walking across the highway to a diner my brother-in-law had suggested but whose name I had forgotten.

Recently, I’d decided that food is not my friend. So I wasn’t really interested in eating anything. But I really, really needed coffee. Google maps brought up a list of restaurants in my area and voilà! The Joy Bus Diner popped up a block away.

I checked out their website, grabbed my shoes, and set out on a mission for the biggest damn plate of eggs in the joint. My sunny, breezy walk took all of three minutes. The place was small and crammed with customers. Lucy*, my waitress, apologized for the lack of seating and explained today was delivery day.

Moving aside a stack of to-go boxes, she gave me a spot at the bar, a cup of coffee and a view of the kitchen. Where they use ALL the proceeds from the restaurant to make and deliver food to cancer patients.


Can I just order everything? I think I’d like to have…everything.

Five minutes later, I watched as another waitress opened 50 decorated paper bags on the counter:


I dare you not to ask who made those.

Apparently, kids do. While they’re eating here. Some take them home and bring them back. Church groups, too. Folks from all over the city come to help deliver the meals.

And this is how I ended up crying, in a restaurant, on a Friday morning, because after all that, OF COURSE I told Lucy about my grandmother, my aunt, my uncle, and my cousin who did his Eagle Scout project in their memory:

Here’s what I ordered:


Roasted Chile Benedict

I ate that whole goddamn plate, y’all.

*P.S. I am terrible at names. I am 90% sure her name was Lucy because she introduced herself and it made me think, “oh, that’ll be easy to remember, there’s a Lucy in my neighborhood.” But…I could be totally wrong. If I am, I’m sorry.

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