Dearman’s – Hot Lunch

The spinning rack of grease-stained comic books is gone, and so is the fascinating (to the 10-year-old mind, anyway) array of ancient pharmacy bottles, but Dearman’s lunch counter is still frying up food from a lost era of American soda shops. Dearman’s is unpretentious and honest in a way that can only be earned by years of cooking with saturated fat. And when you are talking about cheeseburgers, milkshakes and hand-cut French fries, why would you want anything else?

Dearman’s lunch counter, now in its third incarnation, has rediscovered its former glory. Where diners formerly huddled around a narrow Formica bar, there now are booths and tables to accommodate the lunchtime rush. The charming but famously surly counter-ladies are gone, replaced by happy table service. There are spacious bathrooms, swept floors, a somewhat expanded menu and—even if the flat-screen TVs are bit distracting—the food is a good as it ever was.

7633 Jefferson Hwy. • 924-1391

Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express

When it comes to Dearman’s sort of food, you can’t go wrong with the classics. So grab a spinning barstool and a copy of the local paper and order a burger ($5.25) with the works and a chocolate shake ($4). Your fingers may be smudging the edges of the business section instead of The Amazing Spider-Man like they used to, and your car may be out front instead of your bike, but Dearman’s still makes the food of summers past, from the time before calories really counted.

For more by Frank McMains, including blogs from his trip to China, click here.