Retro Lunch Counter and Diner Foods - Comfortable Calories

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Once upon a time, in the land of Boomer, there was a magical place that served up uncomplicated food to subjects unconcerned over health or calories. This fantastical place was a friendly neighborhood lunch counter or soda fountain that had stools you could twirl on, quarter fed jukeboxes, waitresses named "Flora" or "Ida" and some of the best food memories from the olden days. Alas, just like magic, these mystical meccas of munch-ables disappeared into the mists of time, replaced with mundane Mickey Dee style drive-ins serving the morose masses.

For my Thursday Thirteen this week I have compiled a list of my Thirteen Favorite Things I Ordered at the Corner Lunch Counter:
  1. Chocolate Malt - a real malt, not one of those anemic shakes you get at drive-up hamburger chains, with actual malt powder in it and thick enough that a spoon will stand up in it.
  2. Ice Cream Float or Ice Cream Soda- Floats are something you just don't see much anymore - except maybe a A & W - and they are so great on a hot summer day. These were made with flavored soda water and a scoop of ice cream, simple and refreshing. Some people called them a Brown Cow (probably because along with the ice cream - the cow part - most floats were made with Coke, root beer or Dr. Pepper)
  3. A Club Sandwich - this was one of my favorite menu items. Toasted white bread, crisp bacon, REAL turkey (not that pressed crap from a package), lettuce, tomato - triple-decker of course - and oozing with mayo!
  4. B-L-T - second only to it's big brother, the Club Sandwich, in my line-up
  5. Cherry Coke - nope, not those sad excuses in a can they're trying to shove down our throats these days, a real coke from a soda machine that mixes the soda water and coke syrup together right into the glass AND then they add cherry syrup - I loved them.
  6. French Fries - I loved ordering just french fries - no burger necessary, only ketchup!
  7. Grilled Cheese Sandwich - I used to love a grilled cheese sandwich made on that greasy grill at the lunch counter.
  8. Pie a la mode - my favorite was cherry with a big blob of vanilla ice cream but pumpkin with a ton of whipped cream would do in a pinch.
  9. Cheeseburger - A grilled burger with a slice of American cheese with ketchup, an onion slice (not reconstituted onion chips) and pickles. I'd never seen lettuce or mayo on a hamburger until I got to California! And NEVER serve me a hamburger with mustard!
  10. Egg Salad Sandwich - and it had to be on that white bread that we grew up on, like Wonder Bread.
  11. Meat Loaf and Mashed Potatoes - I didn't care about the vegetable, I wasn't going to eat it anyway, but this was a great old diner comfort food.
  12. Banana Split - This humongous, gooey concoction was a mecca of tastes and calories and I loved them. Only a kid can scarf this down without a thought. I do occasionally treat myself to one now but the guilt that accompanies it almost ruins the experience, lol.
  13. The Blue Plate Special - Just what it implies, it was the special of the day - most lunch counters featured a particular special for each day of the week so if you hated liver and onions maybe you stayed home on a Tuesday, lol.
So, there you have it - a little visit back to the Camelot of Cuisine in the 50s and 60s!

Happy Thursday!

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  1. Awesome stuff. If you read my fiction, I've got a diner named Roach's that serves up this sort of goodness.

    Actually, I don't think any of the Roach's stuff is in print yet. I'd better work on fixing that!

  2. I was never all that comfortable there, but the diner from my childhood is still there. They feature candy.

  3. Do you remember the grilled hot dogs with the split bun, that looked like bread slices? They always smelled so good, and tasted good too!

  4. Thanks for the blast from the past. I'd love an ice cream float right about now. :)

  5. Susan - well, tease me already! Love that name - Roach's. We used to call the lunch truck the Roach Coach, lol!

    Alice - is it only candy now, no food?

    Cindy, I DO remember those hot dogs and they were great! I'd forgotten about them, thanks for the reminder!

  6. Now you went and done it!! There goes my healthy diet!! LOL! I'm salivating like mad for these food now!

  7. I am working on opening a diner that would make people feel just that way again. A spot for kids on Saturday night, that basket of fries you share and a juke box

  8. Patti - that's a great idea for a restaurant one that's all "lunch counter"!

    Please bring back some of my favorites listed above - I'd probably drive cross country to sit and eat there!


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