Monday, February 6, 2017

Memories Are Made Of This....
America's Last Bastion Of Free speech!

Last week I had a flashback to forty-seven years ago when I got out of the US Army. I was working for HFC at the office in Kirkwood, MO I always tried to get to work early so I could have biscuits and gravy for breakfast at Spencer's Grill. While driving down Kirkwood Rd, I saw they were still there. It was time for lunch so I was compelled to give them a try.

I must confess that I have a soft spot in my heart for diners. Diners are a perfect example of real Americana. From the time that I got out of the Army until now, I have found that a diner almost always offers something unique. For example, the Overland Diner on Woodson Rd. had one of the greatest old pin-ball machines I've ever seen, let alone played. It also had no tables or booths, only a counter with stools. It was the real deal. Some of my other local favorites include Lady Di's in St. Charles, where they have a smoking and non-smoking area and a thirteen egg omlette with cheese and chili if you want! Like most diners, you won't go hungry there.

Of course it's difficult to not acknowledge Tiffany's diner in Maplewood. An all-night ER for the famished that always comes to life after the local bar's closing time. There is something to be said for the curative properties of the jukebox in the corner and the inhalation of grease laden air along with lots of hot coffee. I must admit that the next morning most people will second guess that late night decision.

The other thing I really appreciate about a diner is that, no matter the time of day, or night, is the ability to eavesdrop on some very interesting conversations. Sports and politics followed by family issues are the most often heard topics. These discussions are always straight from the heart. Especially if fueled by an elegant sufficiency of alcohol. With the vastly divergent nature of a diner's clientele, you will soon realize that this is a perfect example of America's belief in free speech. Depending on your patience and degree of sobriety, you may feel free to join in on the great debates!

After parking in the lot behind Spencer's, a wave of nostalgia came upon me as we entered the door on Kirkwood Rd. A row of booths, stools at the counter complete with purse hooks and a menu on the chalk board on the back wall greeted us along with the smiles of all the employees dressed in their Spencer's T-shirts. The decor includes a '50's era wall clock and other kitsch wall hangings, a collection of children's coloring book pages and lots of chrome and formica. Also, be sure to look for the pyramid stacked coffee creamers. I love it!

We sat in a booth and were quickly served by a young waitress who brought us the largest drinks I've seen in a long time. Thy had to be at least 32 ounce! The daily lunch special was meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans for $7.75, not bad.

Sue wasn't that hungry, so she had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich on wheat bread and a side of apple sauce. The sandwich was grilled in butter and delicious. Since I always had breakfast at Spencer's in the years past, I had two eggs over easy with some hot sauce and biscuits and gravy! That's another way to tell if someone has been in the Army, hot sauce was the only way to make powdered eggs have any kind of taste! The best thing about Spencer's, other than the food, is the fact that the breakfast menu is served all day, as is the lunch menu. You can always get what you want, when you want it. Brilliant!

Spencer's has been in business since 1947 and still serves great food at a reasonable price in a family atmosphere. Once again a true American experience.

Now may we have a moment of silence for O.T. Hodges and a late night – early morning Slinger!

Spencer's Grill is located at the corner of Kirkwood Rd. and West Monroe, 223 South Kirkwood Rd. 314-821-2601 open daily 6am - 3pm