Occasionally, we end up at a spot to eat and Jo won’t get out of the car. On more than one occasion, she has been right. When we arrived at Brown’s Diner (which was on my original list – from Hamburger America) I understood completely what George meant when he wrote:
“To the untrained eye, Brown’s appears to be a dump – an unimpressive double-wide with drab grey / beige exterior.”
Convincing her that it couldn’t be that bad, we parked on the side and walked up to the front door, which opens on the bar (above). As we entered, the impression didn’t improve. The bartender (who is apparently the only person capable of pouring a soda, based on refill issues) was carrying on an EXTREMELY loud conversation with the guy sitting at the bar about being in Denang and visiting the coroner there during the Vietnam War. We walked through the bar into the dining room
which was empty save for two guys sitting in a booth to our immediate right. The door on the left in the picture above leads back into the bar (through the door in the right corner of the previous photo).
The restaurant is a T-shaped combination of two mule-drawn trolley cars that have been sitting on the site since 1927. And the burger has been on the menu that whole time.
Our waitress (standing in front of the window to the kitchen) seemed really annoyed that she was having to wait on us. She had to refill our glasses, which might have held six ounces, repeatedly, even though it was Diet Pepsi, which is an abomination on par with Hunt’s Ketchup. Every time, they sat empty for an extended period before she came back. And it wasn’t because it was crowded. When I needed a refill, as she picked up the money for the check, she actually asked, “Do you want MORE Pepsi?”
There wasn’t an overwhelming feeling of cleanliness about the place, but they did get a 98 on their recent Health Inspection (Jo had checked that out before she was deciding if she was ordering anything). But I was there for a burger, so I ordered a cheeseburger and fries, with tomato and mayo
When it arrived, the first two things I noticed were how red the tomato was and that the toothpick that was stuck through the burger was barely sticking out of the top of the bun (needed to take that out quickly).
The burger is a five-ounce-ish patty, that was cooked medium just as I had requested. The fries were frozen shoe strings. While we ate, several other folks came in (a group of Vanderbilt students, a trio of older women coming from church and a table of hipsters).
It was a good burger – but not great. I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to return.