Best Lunch Counter

Spencer's Grill

How quintessentially American is the humble lunch counter — content, comfortable, devoid of pretense. It comes with no surprises. The patty melt you had last week will be the same patty melt you'll have next week. Populated with happy yet harried waitresses ("More coffee?") and loyal hungry patrons who breathe in the sizzle of morning's bacon and the greasy afternoon aroma of hamburgers, a good lunch counter transports us back in time. It is the anti-Denny's, the anti-Applebee's. Certainly, the world has changed since William Spencer opened these doors 60 years ago, but Spencer's Grill might make you forget. In operation seven days a week beginning at 6 a.m., it's a cuddly little eatery: five wooden booths, a dozen seats at the counter, where beckons a cookie jar and a fresh chocolate cake under the glass. The neon sign still glows, its clock still ticking after all these years. Bacon and eggs are $4.75, a double cheeseburger $4.50. A buck buys a side of applesauce. Come and get it! It'll make you glad to be an American.
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