You can recite the menu by heart, but you peruse it for a bit so you don't look like a weirdo. The glassware shows its wear from years of being tossed around in the overfilled dishwasher. The table is clean, but it still resembles a fly trap in certain areas that catch the palm of your hand. The greeting from your server is "Are you all set to order?" You order your usual, and survey the packed house with a level of contentment that can only be brought by your neighborhood restaurant.
Their Facebook page has as many likes as the one you created for you dog 3 years ago. The only difference is you've updated your dog's page more recently. With 2 posts in 3 years it shines like a bat signal saying "We are what we are, and we aren't going to try too hard to be anything else". The page is sprinkled with upset comments from people who ventured in from outside the neighborhood. Each comment feels like a personal verbal attack on a loved one. "They just don't get it" I think as I stop myself from writing a snide comment back that I'll regret.
While we're waiting for our food the table is turned into a train track for the Thomas toys we brought. They careen off the table and loudly hit the floor. No one hears or cares. The food arrives. You quickly push your junk aside to make room. "Do you have everything you need?", you would normally utter some condiment, but not here, it's on the table. "Looks all good, thanks". This will be the last time you see your server until you've danced your french free through the last bit of ketchup on your plate.
It's refreshing that they don't fawn all over you and coddle to your every demand. If you ordered your burger medium well and it comes out medium, toss it in some ketchup and suck it up. This spot doesn't have to try too hard because it's real.
This place isn't going to get reviewed (It's last review was in 2007) You're not going to take pictures of your food to share with your friends to make them jealous that you dine at the hippest places. It's going to be here when those places are gone. Desserts in plastic wrap, burgers cooked to any temperature besides the one you request. This only adds to the charm. You overlook the faults because it means more to you than food. It's your neighborhood spot.