Best Eugene diner people forget is actually a diner

Brails 1689 Willamette. 541-343-1542; 395 W. 5th Avenue, #2506, 541-342-2075.

I’ve lived in Eugene for a little over a year, and I’d never heard of Brails before. Crazy, right? My editor mentioned that it’s a perennial winner in Eugene Weekly’s Best Of competition, so I decided I had to go and see what it was like.

When I got there, I was instantly impressed by the friendliness of the servers. Soon after sitting down, I got one of my favorite drinks: a strawberry lemonade. As I waited for my food, I took a look around at the rest of the diners. I noticed that Brails is different from other restaurants I’ve been to around here. It has a strong feeling of an old-school diner, from its small size to folks reading a newspaper as they wait for their food.

Finally, the food came. I kept my order classic: cheeseburger and fries. It did not disappoint. The burger’s cheesy goodness made for an all-around great lunch.

It is worth noting, though, that a Brails experience isn’t just about the food, servers and restaurant decorations. It’s also about the people who eat here, the folks who add to the restaurant’s atmosphere. While having my burger, I struck up a conversation with a fellow customer about the Portland Trail Blazers and their upcoming season and why he’s a Beavers fan even though he lives in Eugene. I don’t often have a conversation with a stranger at a restaurant, and it made my experience all the more worth it.

EW readers say Brail’s is a great spot for hangover food. I certainly did not have a hangover when I went there to have lunch. Regardless, it is a great diner, not only for its food, but also its atmosphere.

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