Step back to the time when Elvis was King for a taste of good homemade cooking at Nelson’s Diner in Pompano Beach. Famous for its friendly service, great food and hometown feel, Nelson’s Diner is adorned with Elvis memorabilia including a life-size cutout of the King. Sports pennants cover the ceiling, and the diner decor is reminiscent of a 1950’s soda shop.
Nelson and Elvis
Owner Greg Nelson grew up admiring Elvis. “I loved his music, especially his gospel music,” said Nelson. As he began acquiring records, photos and other novelties, it only seemed natural to display them where others could enjoy them too. And having played some semi-pro baseball in his youth, Nelson also incorporated his love for the game.
A local gathering spot since 2009, Nelson’s Diner is tucked away in the Garden Isles Shopping Center at 438 S. Cypress Rd. and is open for breakfast and lunch daily.
The menu features themed comfort foods. Their breakfast items fit for “The King” include a “Memphis Platter” of corned beef hash and eggs, a “Vegas Strip,” with N.Y. strip steak and two eggs any style, or the “Graceland” breakfast with country ham straight from the mountains of Tennessee, and all are paired with hash browns, grits or oatmeal and toast or biscuit.
For Lunch, bite into The “Hound” Dog, a quarter pound hot dog with sauerkraut and onions or a “Hunka” Burnin’ Love, a half pound Angus burger seasoned with secret spicy sauce. One of the most popular items on the menu, however, is Nelson’s Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich. You’ll also find daily specials featuring Owner Greg Nelson’s homemade Recipes.
Raised in South Carolina, Nelson’s father was a barber and his momma worked in a cotton mill. So how did he get into the restaurant business? “I started bussing tables when I was 12 to help my momma over the summer, and then they moved me into the kitchen where I was washing pots that were bigger than me. The Capri family (owners of Capri’s Italian Restaurants in South Carolina) took me under their wing and I learned the business front to back,” he said.
Occasionally Nelson returns to these roots, adding his homemade Chicken Marsala to the daily special.
From purchasing food to running the kitchen, Greg Nelson is very hands on. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s passion I have, and I really enjoy when I get to come into the dining room,” he said. A comfortable family diner, Nelson’s is a gathering place for the community. “People are waiting to get in because you see everyone here from Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher to the man working on the street,” said Nelson.
In addition to serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week, Nelson’s Diner averages close to 70 deliveries a day. They also cater special events, parties, church functions, graduations, recovery groups, men’s club meetings and other community events. “From girls scouts to synagogues, we are so involved in the community; that’s how we’ve grown,” said Nelson.
To learn more about Nelson’s Diner, visit nelsonsdinerpompano.com or call 954-785-3646. For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/