February 14, 2009

What is Althouse doing lunching in this sleazy dive?

DSC09979

I have my reasons.

Onion rings

80 comments:

HelenParr said...

Carrots, anyone?

BJM said...

For the money onions rings.

Father Martin Fox said...

Is it because she is bored with all the swanky bistros she has been visiting and posting pictures of?

JohnAnnArbor said...

Diners can have great food.

Saint Russell said...

West Lafayette, Indiana?

Clyde said...

Yikes! Shouldn't that maple syrup being going the other direction? From the plastic bottle to the carafe? If they're recycling the maple syrup, what else are they recycling? Don't ask about those o-rings, Ann!

Chip Ahoy said...

Waiting for car repairs at the only restaurant in town. I don't even know what heartland means. Does that mean Ohio, or does it mean any state not on the edge?


Northern Pines gold label 15% of pure maple syrup. Silver label 2% of pure maple syrup. Economy label, presumably 0% of pure maple syrup. My jaws just slammed shut.

David said...

What's a dirty little girl like you doing in a nice clean place like this?

XWL said...

Were there kicks being gotten?

(and were those onion rings bought simply as photo props to reference this post, or were they bought as consumables?)

XWL said...

Also, your definition of sleazy may need rethinking.

Downmarket, yes, but hardly sleazy.

Next time you are in the Los Angeles area, I'd be happy to direct you to places that earn the designation of 'sleazy'.

Methadras said...

Well, well. Ann is slumming it today. How quaint. So Ann, what are the unwashed masses of little folk like these days?

Theo Boehm said...
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blake said...

What a saucy tart!

(Or at least a spicy onion ring.)

Donna B. said...

Normally, I am not a food snob. Yet, when it comes to onion rings, I can be the worst!

The best onion rings I find available currently are made by hand at The Wooden Spoon in Foreman AR.

They also have wonderful hamburgers made from premium ground beef formed by hand. Don't forget dessert - a variety of homemade pies.

ohnevermind. I am a food snob, it just doesn't have to be expensive food.

EDH said...

I would not call that fine dining establishment a "sleazy drive."

A greasy spoon in the finest tradition, perhaps, but not a sleazy dive.

Unless there is something else going on that Althouse knows but she is not telling us.

Theo Boehm said...
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blake said...

I put 500 quatloos on the newcomer!

(You were probably being a math geek and not a Star Trek geek, but, what the hell.)

Synova said...

I'd like to add my voice to the objections.

Sleazy dive is not the right term.

In any particular place the food might be fabulous or it might be vile.

The best place for burgers where I'm at is a little place down the road that looks worse than that does. The tile is old and dingy, the curtains don't fit the windows... the walls in the front are covered with pictures of firefighters and popes and all the current local ministers... the walls in the add-on are covered with framed Rodeo posters. The furniture and booths are vintage 1960s chrome and vinyl. But don't mistake me that this offers some redeeming quaintness.

The green-chili cheese burgers are incredible and available in beef, buffalo, or ostrich... with or without green-chili, onion rings and fries.

The only place with better burgers is a resort grill across the lake from my parents, which does qualify as quaint. Mushroom and Swiss, fries in a basket, lake depth maps on the wall, and leeches or night-crawlers in the cooler next to the cans of pop.

Saint Russell said...

To me it looks more like a joint than a dive. I've never been there, but I still say it's West Lafayette.

And speaking of Route 66: nothing against Bobby Troup's tune, but I go for Nelson Riddle's TV theme.

Seven Machos said...

Did you think of Tony Soprano as you ate the onion rings? I always do.

Walt said...
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Walt said...
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T J Sawyer said...

Althouse is at a quality Restaurant in West Lafayette, Indiana. Triple XXX Drive-in Family Restaurant. "On the hill but on the level" since 1929.

One of only two XXX (Triple-X) Root Beer diners left. The other is in Issaquah, Washington.

As the menu says in the lower left corner: "Grab your Route 66 gear and Triple XXX Memorabilia"

Walt said...

Sleazy dive? From what I can see, it looks like just a common small truck stop style diner. Sleazy is a relative term that can best be defined by it's essential nature. If that happens to be in West Virginia then it is a very fine, five-star gem of a restaurant.

I'm posting from a very large computer network, and for some reason this beast has not been responding well to my corrections.

Alex said...

Ouch. Althouse - your arteries are begging you to stop!

rightwingprof said...

Better a diner than a pinkie-up rip off joint. And at least there are no "artistic" pictures of that scum bag John Lennon on the walls.

bearbee said...

Sleazy??!!!

Sleaze degree....as where common folk eat, or as in Chicago politician?

Mr. Forward said...

Secret Valentine Meetup with the blogging cockroach. He picked the spot.

Walt said...

She must be talking about a place where the dirty working class proletariat go to eat.

AllenS said...

When I'm in a small cafe such as the one shown, I always order either a hot beef, or pork sandwich. With a scoop of mashed potatoes in the middle with gravey smothering the whole plate. Yummmmm.

fcai said...

Walt - you have the rhetoric down. How is your brother Ward Churchill doing?

And why are you using the white man's computer? Shouldn't you be sending smoke signals or some crap like that? You are a race traitor.

Walt said...

I don't really know Ward, but he is a distant cousin on my mother's side.

traditionalguy said...

I understand the Professor's need to connect with good everyday american folk after so many years of constant intellectual stimulation from the Internetati. These regular folks will accept her without expecting that she know everything about everything. After a week among the regular folks her vision will return and she will see all the colors without that irritating purple tint.

Pogo said...

I like the duct tape holding up the backsplash on the sink.

Fried is truly the way to go in these joints; those high temperatures will kill damn near anything.

Find a bathroom elsewhere, though. Fair warning.

'Sleazy' has a negative connotation suggesting corruption or criminal activity. So is this where Blago, Rahm and Barry ate?

Walt said...

It is good to get out and see what it is like on the other side. James the Fifth, king of Scotland, often disguised himself and traveled about the land to see how the common people were treated. He was sometimes called the poor man's king because he would travel the countryside disguised as a poor farmer.

traditionalguy said...

I just had a second thought. If this is the fancy restaurant available for the guests late supper and breakfast, than what did the Motel room look like? The chocolat on the pillow would be a Three Musketeers bar, and the mattress would slope everybody together into the middle. I remember staying there once, and the family who ran the place had a shrine to the cow god in the back office giving off incense smells, that at least covered up the other smells.We need to all chip in and buy the Professor a Marriott gift card.

ricpic said...

Greed is good?
Grease is better --
A burger and fries
And coke for the wetter.

Walt said...

She may have been thinking greasy, then again she likes to play with you people's heads. I think she is just having fun.

ricpic said...

Find a bathroom elsewhere, though.

Any bathroom is survivable provided you double-wash your hands and push the door open with your back on the way out.

No soap though and you are well and truly cooked.

john said...
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john said...

Are all the orange tags on the walls and ceiling menus or health department notices?

john said...

ripic -

The worst is when the door opens inward, and there is an electric hand dryer. They u gotta use the toilet paper.

ricpic said...

Not one post from that lothario Meade and Indiana is definitely the heartland. Just say'n.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Are all the orange tags on the walls and ceiling menus or health department notices?

They look like menus, with writing on them. Possible a tradition with satisfied customers?

Richard Fagin said...

Very good to see that Prof. Althouse isn't too stuck up to have lunch in a sleazy dive. Some of 'em have great food. Lankford's Grocery and Bubba's Burger Shack here in Houston are two great sleazy dives. You might even see U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur in Lankford's every now and then.

traditionalguy said...

The success of the diners are not due to the great menue or the food quality (like a fabulous Sonic drive-in?), but rises from the "feel" of eating in the warm, noisey kitchen as a member of an extended family. In other words its comforting for lonely single people.The waitress will greet you like a family member and enjoy cooking up your order at the kitchen stove 10 feet away while you sit at the kitchen table and watch. The little child in us all is affirmed by this social interaction of shared preparation and eating of basic family food together.

Fred4Pres said...

Sleasy dive? What makes it sleasy?

I could tell you of hot dog stands that rival the great restaurants of this country...and many of the chefs and staff of those elite fine dining establishments know where those hot dog stands are and frequent them late night too.

Fred4Pres said...

traditional guy is right. And by the way, the very best in cusine is a play on lots of factors including ofactory manipulation and memory to produce a memorable experience. You can spend $500 on dinner for two for that, but there are many places that deliver a comparable experience for $20, sometimes less.

T J Sawyer said...

Since no one followed up on my triple x revelation, I will!

What is she doing here? She is no doubt on a nostalgia trip. She likely had her first job at a Triple x. Trying to stimulate her personal economy - perhaps to buy a poodle skirt.

At any rate, she is thus likely to be the only U of W Law Prof to have worked at an XXX drinking establishment.

somefeller said...

That place doesn't look sleazy to me. I don't see anyone passed out on the floor or obviously under the influence of narcotics. Though you can get sometimes get good meals at some of those places too, if you can stand the scenery.

In fact, it looks like the sort of place where you can get a great meal of bacon and eggs, with a side of toast and good strong coffee, 24 hours a day.

jeff said...

Sleazy? Are there hookers and drug dealers and pimps just out of site of the camera?

jeff said...

site=sight. Just woke up. Not my fault. I blame Obama.

Lawgiver said...

Embrace the sleaze Althouse. It's what we do in middle America.

Jason (the commenter) said...

In fact, it looks like the sort of place where you can get a great meal of bacon and eggs, with a side of toast and good strong coffee, 24 hours a day.

And ten years from now it will probably still be in business and be just as comfortable. Whereas the cafe Althouse visited in America's heartland will probably be out of business in a few years. Places like that don't look so nice once they get normal wear and tare. Someone will build a newer place that looks more in the fashion or the unconventional seating pattern will turn out to be unconventional because it was unprofitable.

Virginia said...

So?

Is she ever gonna tell. (Although I think someone has already guessed.)

I'm about to lose interest.

The link to embrace the sleaze doesn't work.

William said...
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TRO said...

What's sleazy and divy (divey?) about it?

William said...

The waitress looks like she's got a low center of gravity and the ability to survive any number of shocks and dislocations. Bad marriage, lousy tippers, extra shift on Sunday: bring it on, motherfucker....She goes home with aching arches and the smell of grease in her hair. And for all that she is probably 20% less pissed off about America than the average Obama voter.

William said...

The waitress looks like she's got a low center of gravity and the ability to survive any number of shocks and dislocations. Bad marriage, lousy tippers, extra shift on Sunday: bring it on, motherfucker....She goes home with aching arches and the smell of grease in her hair. And for all that she is probably 20% less pissed off about America than the average Obama voter.

Virginia said...

Or you

onparkstreet said...

Wasn't this place showcased on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (that food network show)?

AllenS said...

Althouse, do you know what those things are on the ceiling and walls?

James Wigderson said...

Sometimes an onion ring is just an onion ring.

Isn't that the restaurant where Solozzo got killed?

jdeeripper said...

What is Althouse doing lunching in this sleazy dive?

You are an elitist, Obama voting, cafe lurking, snobby college professor who wants the thrill of a little socializing with your social inferiors.

Psychedelic George said...

slea·zy

1.
a. Shabby, dirty, and vulgar; tawdry

b. Dishonest or corrupt; disreputable nature.

2. Made of low-quality materials; cheap or shoddy

3. Thin and loosely woven; flimsy

Clearly, friends, the professor is using the second and third definitions. Surely there is no disagreement that the food is inexpensive, if not of the lowest quality, and the establishment itself is of a ramshackle nature. One might also contend that the diner is shabby and dirty, as well, if not tawdry.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Clearly, friends, the professor is using the second and third definitions.

I think she's using the first definition. It's humor.

David said...

Are all the orange tags on the walls and ceiling menus or health department notices?

Flypaper. It's flypaper.

Trooper York said...

There are no sleazy dives.

Only sleazy diners. One of whom must be a cheap date.

Glad to see you in the game. Welcome to the NFL.

Kurt said...

It certainly doesn't look like it will win any awards for cleanliness, but it's also not too bad, and in fact it seems sort of bright and cheerful to me.

William said...

Yes, Virginia, there is a malaise. Just as surely as the earth moves from the sun in winter, there is a sadness that marks and scars our journey. We idle in traffic, take circuitous detours, and do the final fifty miles on broken springs before we reach our final destination--a sudden plunge off a high cliff. All of this pisses me off, but I blame the wretched infrastructure not on America but on God.... I admire the waitress for the patient way she recycles cheap syrup to put on indigestible pancackes. That's a metaphor for something. It's not the journey or even the destination that's important. What gives our trip significance is the rest stop and the tip we leave behind.

bearbee said...

Orange paper could be menues such as that which is shown in the foreground or at least I assume that it is a menu. There is a picture at the top of the menu and underneath it looks to show 'Take a Drive Along America's Main Street

The ones hanging appear to have been written on.

Maybe it's the eatery of choice of celebrities when passing through.

jayne_cobb said...

As a general matter I don't consider any restaurant a dive unless it serves alcohol.

blogging cockroach said...
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blogging cockroach said...

hi professor
sorry i didn t have anything yesterday
to say about your road trip but i ve
been feeling a bit under the weather
which is understandable as i usually
am under something unless
i m hopping on tommy s keyboard
tommy is the boy whose computer i use
i always say that for newbies
anyway someone mentioned that i might like
such a dive sleazy as it is depicted above
but i ve got to tell you i never liked
such places even when i was a human
geez i have to explain it over and over that
i have the transmigrated soul of a professor
and in my day there weren t shi shi little
cafes such as you see today near the state u
no there weren t
most of the places looked like
the above sleazy dive because we were
in the midwest not to mention
most people students and faculty smoked
which added to the trans fat i got in these diners
is one reason i m a cockroach today
i don t get to dives like this much today anyway
as they just aren t around harvard sq that much
but the big reason i have to avoid them in my
present configuration is that even though they
hold things together with duct tape and
employ pudgy help and seem a little grimy
from all the wear n tear if not cleanliness
those plastic pails and the general look
of the place tells me they probably make
liberal use of the dreaded i word
which cannot be mentioned in polite company
along with sarin and mustard gas sorry to say
just think along with the ketchup on your
onion rings there s probably a bit of chlorinated
organic neurotoxin that won t do you any good
and don t ask what it s supposed to do to me
i really prefer those cute little cafes you usually
take pictures in as they are usually very green yay
but frankly i don t have to go out much what with
mom here at the house being a fabulous
and sloppy french cook ooh la la
and jayne a restaurant that doesn t serve wine
is ipso facto a dive unless proven innocent
had to get a little legalese in for the sake
of professor a s reputation as a law blogger

rhhardin said...

All the flavor is in the counterman's hands.

ricpic said...

Those cute green cafes that don't use the i word?
Eventually one of your cousins pops out of the salad.

Bob W. said...

I'm going to ask, because it's a pretty decent setup: is that a diiner ideally positioned in a rest stop along the road to serfdom? Forgive me for the embarrasingly bad self-link, I could not help myself, although I am in a program now and the people there are very supportive. . .

dick said...

I have to laugh when they talk about the clean diners. My ex-mother in law was the public health nurse and one of her duties was to inspect the cleanliness of the restaurants in the county. The cleanest restaurant was the lunch counter in the Kresge's 5 and 10 cent store and one of the ones that came closest to failing was the best restaurant in town. She was surprised at how clean the diners were by comparison to the restaurants.

fcai said...

Hold it - the earth moves from the sun in the winter? Who's winter?

Theo Boehm said...
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