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The simple pleasure of a local greasy spoon

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DigMe, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    A short story.

    Saturday - 1pm. I'm out tooling around, taking a look around my local animal shelter, when I realize it's lunch time and I'm hungry. Fate has brought me right to the Health Camp - a local, ironically named, greasy spoon burger joint that has inhabited its current location for almost sixty years. I walk into the rickety, cinder block shack that is barely bigger than my living room, making sure to walk around the buckets on the floor that are collecting the dripping rain water from the ceiling.

    I stand there purveying the menu, staring at the little tattered list of combos with a constant drip of water splashing between us on the counter. I practically giggle with glee on the inside as the counter waitress stares at me from the other side of the counter with her head cocked sideways and a look that says "I've got a million other things I could be doing this day (or this minute) instead of standing here waiting for your slow ass to choose the proper combination of meat, bread and potatoes." It just wouldn't be this place without this waitress giving me this look.

    After placing my order I proceed to the bathroom to wash my digits, although it seems almost absurd to wash anything in a place like this, where some of the dust alone is apt to be considered an antique. I step into a 2 foot by 2 foot closet. Imagine a phone booth with a toilet in it...and no phone. Never mind, don't imagine a phone booth, just a really tiny bathroom.

    After I emerge, my number is called and the disillusioned waitress hands me a tray, careful to hand it around a steady drip of water. I take the tray containing my drink, a burger and a small, paper dish of steaming fries and have a seat in a booth by the door.

    I unwrap the burger, pause for effect and take a bite. Mmmm. Near perfection. What makes this burger so good? Is it 50 years of "seasoning" on the cook top? A whole lotta grease? Maybe it's just history. Who cares. As I make my way through the mass of grease and beef, occasionally pausing for ketchup-slathered potato input I watch a steady stream of people of all types coming in and out. There's the blue collar family, the workmen on lunch break and then the four college boys come in, preppy and fresh-faced. They pause inside the door, give one sanctimonious look at the buckets on the floor collecting rain water and the broken down intererior of this old joint and immediately decide among them to head over to the nearest chain restaurant. Fools, all of them.

    I finish eating and sit a few minutes, enjoying the superb, finely crushed ice in my cup and the satisfied feeling of a belly full of food that tasted great on the way there. Then I rise, throw my trash into a silent trash can that once activated an automated voice that would thank you for throwing your food away (a solitary attempt at modernization that came and went) and head out the door.

    I would have been hard-pressed to find better lunch plans this rainy, Saturday afternoon.

  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Better than mine!

    I was working at Wegmans (grocery store) and I just grabbed a few samples...wasn't really much for eating today I guess...until I got home.

    2 really big plates of rice and Kung Pao Chicken...
  3. rjny36


    Jan 29, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    I like Wegmans Chinese, too, but would definitely prefer the greasy burger.
  4. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I love places like that. Just consider yourself lucky... they're getting hard to find around here. The yuppies have taken over, and they'd rather eat at Friday's.
  5. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    haha, cool story.

    me and my friends have been looking for a diner type place to claim for our own.

    chains suck for claiming as your own.
  6. theres a couple places like that around here, Jenny's Lunch Box, its always fun to eat there, cause when people ask you can say you ate jenny's box for lunch :p
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    "Remember that Chili's way back when, dude?"
    "Yeah, that was our place. Chili's. One of a kind."

  8. rjny36


    Jan 29, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    There is a little hole-in-the-wall breakfast diner that a few of my buddies and I would go to religiously after work (we worked a night shift), and there would usually be somewhere between six and ten of us... we'd go in, and the waitress/owner, Nadia, had ten extra-large coffee mugs that she kept especially for us all ready, with freshly poured coffee on the table at exactly 7:20 every morning, we'd sit back, enjoy a cheap but excellent meal, and literally fill the place with smoke... then they banned smoking in restaurants, and a lot of us stopped going. :(
  9. Reminds me of a couple of places.......minus the leaky roof and the mute talking trash can.

    One is Stanley's restaurant. Everyone in and around RI knows about the Stanley burger. If you die before having a Stanley burger you just haven't lived life to it's fullest. It's one of those places that has been there for a long, long time. It's small and always crowded.

    Another was a pub in Attleboro, Massachusetts. One of those places that always had old men getting their liquid lunch around noon time. I can't remember the name, but they had "The Special Burger" Nothing all that special about it. It's just a burger with a slice of ham on it, but the taste can't be duplicated anywhere else. Rumor was he never actually cleaned the grille.

    Ya gotta love those places. A place for the locals that have built up a tolerance for that particular strand of ptomaine. :D
  10. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Which Wegmans?

    I work right down the street fron the Culver-Ridge store.
  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Yep, we have a couple places around here that fit that bill. We had a few, but most are gone.
  12. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    No idea where Culver-Ridge is.

    I'm at the Hylan Wegmans, in Henrietta...

    And the Chinese food...tasts like buffet stuff to me (basically it is, but yeah :p) - I'm so spoiled for havin parents who both cook good stuff
  13. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX

    EDIT: I wasn't trying to correct a grammar mistake, I just felt like hi-lighting the way stuff can read oddly.
  14. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Cool story Brad. In the town where I live, it is a place called The Shipwreck Cafe. They recently remodeled, before then it was a shipwreck inside.

  15. Very well written, I had a similiar experience on my way to Yosemite to do some backpacking. Last real meal for 9 days, so I ate up. I can't remember the name of the place, but the buiilding was all the kitchen, you ordered at a window and ate in a pseudo-room. It was like a room with no walls, just posts in the corner (patio I suppose), with a giant net draped over it, like a screen. Lawn furniture to eat on, nothing could be bette.
  16. Chris M

    Chris M

    Oct 23, 2005
    Littleton, CO
    Man Dig, now I'm hungry..

    In Lakewood there's a place called Davie's Chuck Wagon Diner. It's one of those aluminum diners that was trucked out here in the late 50's when US 40 was the main east-west route through Denver.

    You can get a plate of steak, eggs, hashbrowns and toast as well as a cup of coffee for around $5 there. Man, it's good..
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    all the greasey spoons are being eaten up by Starbucks in NYC. :(

    thankfully, cheyenne diner will never change. dammit.
  18. We have a couple places like that out here:

    Lew's Drive In. Well, it's really no longer a drive in, but the burgers are EXCELLENT, and every year they have the Lew's Cruise In. Lots and lots of Classic, Sports and Muscle cars. Last year's recorded 312 cars, including a Diablo and a MATCHED PAIR of Aston Martin DB5s!! No rice burners, please.:D

    Lumberjacks. This is on Hwy 26 out to the coast. The 'Jacks Burger has 2 half-pound patties, 2 slices of ham, 2 fried eggs, plus the usual lettuce, tomatoe, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo. You cannot order is any other way. The whole thing weighs just over 2 pounds!!:eek: If you eat it, plus the platter of fries (platter is the correct term here. Think along the lines of what is under your turkey during thanksgiving) in under 20 minutes, you get the whole thing free. I've done it three times.:D

    Alices Resteraunt. Yep, just like the song, but on the Oregon Coast with a beautiful view of the beach. No burgers, but lots of seafood. I don't want to offend anyone from New England, but I think their clam chowder beats anyone's hands down.:D

    Rock on
  19. one of the greatest italian sausage subs in the world....a place called no name pizza in Beufort NC (yes, NC, not SC). my grandad and his freinds go there every day for coffee and when im up there i'll go with him and order one of these to go......its amazing, just the right balance of sauce and meat/peppers
  20. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York