It might be your "lucky day" when you step into jour faste restaurant near Tsuruoka Station. Just a 2 minute walk will take you to this no-frills restaurant in the city center.
The interior is plain in brown colors and without much decoration. The focus here is on getting your food or drink intake when meeting up with friends or having a quick business meeting near the station.
The restaurant's trade-mark symbol of two figures with fork and knife holding hands definitely promotes the eating & meeting aspect.
There are different menus for lunch and dinner.
The lunch menu comes as A set or B set offering the "dish of the day". When I went there, it was a curry. Part of the A set is a portion or rice, a small salad, a "soup" (consommé to drink from a cup), dessert and a drink. This will cost you yen 850.
If you want to add an appetizer, then this becomes B set which will cost you yen 1,500. I wondered what expensive appetizers will be served up but forgot to ask.
The dinner menu features steak, fish, hamburger and Japan's famous "omu-rice", a fried rice omelet topped with tomato sauce.
The drink menu features an extensive list of cocktails. There are about 20 cocktails with alcohol for yen 600 each and 10 cocktails without alcohol for yen 400 each.
Food arrives fast and the staff are friendly, although they do not speak English. Since the menu is written in Japanese and there are no photos to point at, it might be a little tricky to order if you don't speak Japanese. If in doubt, just order "pasta lunch".
My dessert was a green tea chiffon cake with some strawberry and I ordered a hot coffee to go with it. I don't remember having eaten chiffon cake in Europe somewhere. It is a cake that is made without butter but just with eggs, sugar, flour, water and vegetable oil.
Since this place is so near the station, you can even go there when you have just an hour or shorter before your onward journey.
If you look for accommodation nearby, then try Tokyo Dai-ichi Hotel Tsuruoka, which is just a 3 min walk away from the station.
I had lunch there before catching the local bus to Mount Haguro, one of the Three Mountains of Dewa and I was fully satisfied with my lunch set.