We needed another meal idea while in Branson, so I yet again ran to Google to search the best reviewed restaurants in the area.
I couldn’t believe it when a placed called Mel’s Hard Luck Diner appeared near the top of the list. Not exactly an appetizing name, right? I took a look at the menu and it appeared as though everyone would be able to find something to eat. The restaurant’s concept also sounded kind of cool — the wait staff will sing to you as you eat!
We agreed to give it a try. Secretly, though, I felt a little nervous. Singing and dancing makes me feel really awkward if I’m too close to the action. I worried that the staff would literally be singing to us. Looking someone in the eye as they sing directly to you — yikes.
Another confession — as soon as we walked in I wanted to leave. Honestly, the place did not look all that nice at first glance. Getting seated wasn’t a super warm experience, either. Worst of all, the place was practically empty. How good could it really be if we were practically the only ones there?
However, our waitress immediately proved very inviting and even play-sang for us a little as my wife and children mentioned that they were looking forward to the music. I thought, “Oh, they just sing kind of goofy for you as they talk about the food. I see.”
I was wrong.
At that moment, the real music started and it all made sense.
The waiters and waitresses actually stroll along the restaurant with a microphone in hand belting out classic hits. They take turns with one of them singing about every ten minutes. One woman actually patted customers’ heads and rubbed their chins as she sang, but most were content to simply walk around while showcasing their talent. Most impressive, though, was a man who actually carried several plates with the microphone tucked under his chin before placing the food in front of his customers while singing exquisitely!
Our competitive juices got flowing a little bit. When our waitress sang, we made a point to cheer for her as loudly as we could and let the place know we had the best. Nothing about the setting encouraged us to do so, but no one discouraged us, either.
Seriously, we heard about five different people sing while we were there, and they all had beautiful voices. Each one of them also had a CD available in the gift shop, which they each made sure to mention at the end of their song. Hey, who can blame them, right? I imagine these folks are hoping to get discovered.
All in all, we had a really fun time. The singing was excellent, our waitress was superb, and the food pleased us all.
Oh, by the way, by the time we left, the place was packed.
Here are some pictures from the Grand Village Shops website. This quaint little shopping center is where the restaurant is located. You can also visit Mel’s Hard Luck Diner directly HERE.
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