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When locals tell me that I have to check out something food-related, I listen.

I had a trusted foodie friend tell me about Lane 33 and then I began to see locals posting on Facebook, sharing photos of simple diner-style foods that got my attention, and got my taste buds tingling.

What also got my attention was the fact that folks were enjoying a great lunch for two for less than $20. Now, that’s a deal in Napa. Here’s a place where you can feed a family of four without breaking the bank.

Simple foods that people are excited about at a reasonable price and in an historic location that’s survived for 72 years, as of July 30, 2019 — what’s not to like?

So, I made my way to Napa Bowl on Soscol Avenue. Yes, we still have a bowling alley.

I sat at the ‘50s-style dining counter and chatted with new partners Jessica Pfeufer (pronounced Fy-fer) and Marie Rossi about their new adventure.

Official as of May 1, Jess and Marie have not really caught a breath since they took over Lane 33 Café. The activity in the café is continuous, and I saw lots of familiar faces. It was obvious that Napans working in the many businesses nearby are supporters.

Lane 33 Café originally opened on July 30, 1947, so this is genuinely a Napa landmark.

It feels like a diner from that era, both the look and the menu. Black-and-white checked floor, a pop of red color on the counter, with the grill in plain view. Counter seating, check! A few tables for four, check. Family-fun friendly, check. Oh, and did I mention the vintage collection of salt and pepper shaker sets?

Burgers and fries, of course, but you will also find a classic patty melt, bowls of chili, club sandwich, BLT, steak sandwich and more, available for lunch and dinner.

What’s been added to the menu may not be classic ‘50s diner fare, but these great choices of interesting salads only serve to enhance the menu. Caesar and chef salads are offered, but you may also choose a Mandarin Salad, Fajita Chicken Salad, or Friend Chicken Salad. Fresh ingredients and freshly prepared.

Breads are delivered daily from our local Sciambra Bakery.

If you are craving an old-fashioned breakfast with country potatoes, made with fresh potatoes, or a short stack, they’ve got you covered. You just can’t beat the price.

Marie and Jess have lots of great ideas for future menu additions, but plan to keep it simple and affordable. I am sworn to secrecy on the new ideas, but there is a specific sandwich we discussed that is on my to-do list.

Like most diner-style eateries, the burger is king. This being said, on its heels are the hot dogs. A simple hot dog, grilled or steamed, is offered, but you need to go rogue and consider changing it up. Ever had a true Chicago Dog, complete with celery salt? No? You don’t know what you are missing. For me, it’s all about the Hot Damn! Dog with bacon and jalapenos to taste and topped with Chipolte Aioli Slaw. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

The sauce for the slaw is homemade from one of Jess’s recipes. In fact, all of the sauces for sandwiches and the salad dressings are homemade and from recipes created by Jess and Marie, barbecue sauce to a cilantro ranch salad dressing, interesting creations and always fresh.

Make sure you try the Crusty Bread as a side or to be used for your sandwich. You’ll be glad that you did.

If the name Jessica Pfeufer seems familiar to you, it may be because she is also the owner of Rebel Dog. Created eight years ago, Rebel Dog is an onsite catering cart that specializes in specialty sausages and hot dogs. It is perfect for everything from kids’ parties at home to winery events. Visit www.rebel-dogs.com for details.

Jess swears by Casper products and that’s why the hot dogs at Lane 33 are giving the burgers some competition because they are “a la Rebel Dog.”

When Lane 33 closes for the evening, there is a late-night menu they offer to bowlers and their friends. When the bowlers are doing their thing, local friends come in to watch and specifically to enjoy the foods being offered. Hot dogs, pizza and a variety of finger foods are on the “After 8 p.m. Menu.”

There is also a Kid’s Summer Specials menu, and daily specials for lunch and for dinner for grown-ups.

Lane 33 is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, so you can enjoy a breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sundays you are welcome from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

You’ll find Lane 33 at 494 Soscol Ave., Napa. You don’t have to walk through the blowing alley to get into Lane 33. There is a separate entrance from the parking lot.

Step on in and you will be greeted by these ladies and their staff who enjoy chatting with their guests and hearing your stories about Lane 33 and the bowling alley “back in the day.”

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Diane De Filipi lives in the Napa Valley and leads cooking tours to Italy and Burgundy, France. Visit letsgocookitalian.com or letsgocookleboncuisine.com for more information.

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