The Original Tops is a classic countertop-style diner in Pasadena that would probably evoke nostalgic memories if you were from the area. As someone who is not from Pasadena, I at least get excited over the prospect of a new burger spot, especially a no-frills type of place that has stood the test of time like The Original Tops.
Greasy spoons are some of the greatest restaurants in the country – giving people access to hearty food and the gamut of surly to humorous waitstaff. One place you may not expect to find such a place is Ojai, California – which is more known for a level of spiritual pretentiousness than greasy food, yet I found myself at Bonnie Lu’s – a quintessential greasy spoon right on the main drag. Of course, it was next door to a paleo-vegan-gluten-free vomit factory, so I knew I was still in Ojai.
Las Vegas (and particularly The Strip) is a place of excess, and sometimes this only translates to excessive prices for subpar food. Yet, if you know where to look, you can find hidden gems much more common than winners in Black Jack. Fat Choy is one of these, located in the classic Eureka Casino, which seems to be a place made only for locals.
Throughout the LA area are places called Tom’s, Tommy’s and any other variety of that name. They all specialize in chili-covered food and while Tommy’s is supposedly the original, Tom’s has done pretty well for itself. Tom’s just opened up a Pasadena outpost that is pretty much a diner, but also claims to have Greek roots. Thus, I was hoping this could be like the Coney Islands of Detroit in my youth.
If you’re familiar with my blog, you know about my long-standing feud with mini burgers masquerading as sliders. You also know that real sliders require a very specific cooking style involving a griddle, onions and steamed buns. And finally, you know that Detroit has some of the best. Yet, sliders are not exclusive to Detroit, and New Jersey is known as a bastion of such burgers. Perhaps no location is more famous than White Mana in Jersey City, which has been making the things since 1939 (although not at the Jersey City location because the slider making began in the New York World’s Fair).
In Los Angeles, there are supposedly really only two breakfast burritos. One is at the Corner Cottage in Burbank and the other is at either of the two Lucky Boy locations in Pasadena. I visited the newer location on Walnut Street and vowed to take down the “Famous” burrito (it’s literally the name of the burrito).
There are places in this world that can be relied upon to provide food at any time of day. Such places are perfect for people looking for a late-night snack or an early bite (or both depending on the night and time), but I went to Steak ‘n Egg in Washington, DC for the latter. It was a beautiful Fall day, so we sat outside and got ourselves ready for some delicious diner food.
Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dive’s is about as close as it gets to an unvegan TV show. This, of course, does not mean any endorse any part of Guy Fieri, but the show nonetheless has been my guide on a number of food expeditions. The most recent of which is Kelly O’s, which can be found in Pittsburgh’s North Hills or in the Strip District. Considering the Strip District is generally a better and closer place to go, there I went for breakfast.
In a world filled with fancy brunch spots, it’s comforting to know that greasy spoons like Ritter’s Diner still exist. Because after a night filled with too many vinos, I don’t want some newfangled omelet or polenta cake, I want cheese, bacon and a side of grease. And in my head, what better place to satisfy this need than Ritter’s Diner?
In a rare move since moving to Western New York for the summer, I consulted the interwebs to grab a meal at the last-minute. By this I mean that nearly every other spot I’ve hit up so far has been on recommendation from an actual human. On this occasion the interwebs sent me to Savory’s in Hamburg for brunch. We were seated immediately, but not before catching a glimpse of the specials.