In need of breakfast in Chicago, we took a walk to Elly’s Pancake House in Old Town. It turned out that Elly’s was a lot more than a pancake house and was actually a lot like a greasy spoon diner given its plethora of choices. Nonetheless, something caught my eye immediately and didn’t let go despite my perusing of the entire menu. It was the Breakfast Burrito and I intended to see if this pancake house could handle it.
What do you do when you arrive in Seattle’s Belltown in the middle of the night hungry? Why, head to Hurricane Cafe of course! And why Hurricane Cafe? Because that’s the only place Yelp said was open in walking distance. Seriously, after eating there I can’t think of a better reason to go.
Hurricane Cafe is definitely not lacking in character. It has all the charms of a greasy spoon and with a bar attached has subtle, yet distinct scent of stale beer and vomit.
In addition to Primanti Brothers, Pittsburgh’s other claim to food fame is Pamela’s Diner, a spot that POTUS himself makes sure to hit up every time he’s in the steel city. Breaking away from the diner norm, Pamela’s specializes in a little something called Crepe Hotcakes and they are supposed to be the cat’s meow.
I can probably be said that any visit to Atlanta without a stop at Waffle House is a failure. This breakfasty 24 hour diner is a staple in the Atlanta area. Furthermore, any trip to Waffle House without has browns is also a failure. Before going any further, I have to admit that I failed at the latter. Be that as it may, take this review with a grain of salt. It won’t be a bad review, but likely won’t be as good as it could have been. Also, I didn’t eat any waffles.
Driving around Buckhead, Atlanta aimlessly attempting to find dinner on a Sunday night, we happened upon Buckhead Diner. Looking like it was pulled straight off of Route 66 in the 1940s on the exterior, Buckhead Diner’s valet-style parking lot betrayed something a little grander indoors. We pulled up to check out the menu and learned that this was nothing like a greasy spoon, and much more like upscale dining.
In Sherman Oaks and a few other places in LA, there is a breakfasty-dinery type of restaurant called Jinky’s. But it is no ordinary breakfasty-dinery joint. I mean, sure, it has pancakes, eggs, burgers and sandwiches, but it also has something you don’t really see on too many menus – chili. Twenty different kinds of chili, in fact. Not every variety is available every day, but there is always some sort of chili and Jinky’s finds all sorts of ways to mix it into its extensive menu.
Like its cousin in Farmington Hills, The Hunter House in Birmingham is home to a true slider. It sits in a building reminiscent of White Castle with simple black lettering proclaiming its specialty: Hamburgers. But not just any hamburgers, these sliders are the stuff of legend. Skinny, greasy patties with buns steamed on top while cooking at The Hunter House were enough to get them named the best hamburgers in Michigan in 2009 by the Food Network Magazine. But for a place that’s been around since 1952, the accolades were hardly necessary.
When I think of Serbia, things like Darko Milicic and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It’s just about never that the mention of Serbia gives me thoughts of food, but a little place called Metro Diner (or Cafe) in Culver City might just change that for me. Metro Diner is situated at the bottom of a Travelodge, and judging it by its cover, it would appear to be a dilapidated old diner. But while the majority of the menu items are reminiscent of a diner, it has a touch of Serbian.
In secret corners of Los Angeles, there are places that just scream, “Old Hollywood.” You know, the Hollywood before organic Whole Foods soy milk took over, when hot dogs were chock-full of nitrates and the only conceivable burger was of the “ham” variety. Vestiges of this near-forgotten time still exist, as proven by Irv’s Burgers, which I visited a few months ago. But Irv’s is not alone, as I recently discovered a similarly classic-looking place called Papoo’s Hot Dog Show in Toluca Lake.
Over in West LA, there is a burger place called Hamburger Habit. As I habitually consume burgers, the place sounded just perfect for me. The exterior of the joint loudly displays an award given to it by KABC as the best burger in Southern California. The interior is also full of awards, but unfortunately the most recent date back to the Clinton Administration. Still, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Did Hambuger Habit start churning out terrible burgers or did they just get left in the dust by newer LA burgers?