Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.
After a dozen years at Jeffrey’s, Carol Nation is still something of the new girl—many of her fellow servers have been there a couple of decades longer. The diner on Soquel Avenue is closed only six hours every week, from midnight on Sunday until 6 a.m. the next day.
GT: Is the pink bow around your neck part of the uniform?
CAROL NATION: No, it has nothing to do with any color. We need to wear some sort of tie to work, so I chose a nice, simple ribbon. Some girls wear football insignia, like Giants emblems or whatever. When I get up, I like to be really fast. I’m not really a morning person, even though I work the mornings.
On Yelp, people talk about the barbecue ranch burger. Is that popular?
It’s really popular. I don’t do any of that online stuff, but I probably should. Do they say a lot of good things about us on Yelp?
Because, you know, we have such a following. This restaurant, because of where we’re located, with the hospital across the street, we get a lot of people that fast the night before. We get a lot of people from that. We’re known to be real lightning fast around here as far as food and service, real consistent.
Fried eggs or scrambled?
I like my eggs poached, but I also like them more over-medium. Most people probably order them over-medium, where the white is cooked and the yolk is soft—not too done, but not too light. And we have the best eggs Benedict.
Any new menu items?
We have a couple of new salads. We have a Tuscan chicken salad, which is wonderful. And our salads are very generous, and they’re aesthetically pleasing.
How do you like your burger?
I don’t eat a lot of red meat here, but if I were to crave red meat—medium rare. Every once in a while, I’ll do a little burger patty, but I don’t eat red meat at work, because it makes me tired.
Nice purple nail polish, that’s a color I don’t often see.
I did this in the car before I came into work. People always say my nails look nice. It means you’re happy if your nails are nice. … No, someone told me that once.
Do people ever call you “Carrie Nation?”
No, it’s just Carol. A lot of the girls I work with call me “Carol Ann,” and it’s really just “Carol.”
2050 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. 425-1485. PHOTO: Waitress Carol Nation has been serving breakfast at Jeffrey’s for 12 years. CHIP SCHEUER