Friday, June 22, 2007

Cascone's Grill: 20 E. 5th

Friday, June 22, 2007
I have been to Cascone's Grill for breakfast before while visiting the farmer's market on Saturday. I was moderately impressed, not necessarily because the food was good, but because it seemed somehow to escape the onslaught of dog and baby-toting yuppies and clueless crowd-navigators that populate the area across the street. So anyway I decided to pay a visit for lunch the other day.

As usual, I was on my own so I was really pleased to see a lunch counter that I had not remembered from my first visit. A lunch counter is a great thing: designed for the lone diner because there is plenty to watch in the kitchen, often there is a tv or at least some random newspapers to occupy your time. I decided to conduct the ultimate test of a lunch spot: the classic American Lunch. What would that be? Why of course a cheeseburger, fries and a coke. I'm happy to report that Cascone's passed the test on all three counts.

There are two different genres of restaurant burgers. You have the "diner-burger" typified by places like Max's, and Town Topic which are small, thin patties, fried on a flat grill. These are often served, preloaded with lettuce, tomato and condiments inside a cheap wonderbread type bun. Even more often, they are served without vegetable accompaniment at all, simply meat and cheese (and maybe onion). The other type of burger is what we typically call the "restaurant burger." This is a fancier and more substantial beast, available at most mid-ranged bar and grill places like McCoy's et al. They are thick, seasoned, and come with a substantial bun, and feature any number of add-ons. I think both of these can be things of beauty, but they are different animals. The fancy restaurant burger runs the risk of being boring and overpriced, while the diner burger runs the risk of being just plain gross.

Fortunately, Cascone's serves a perfectly good diner burger: smallish, cheap and hot. American cheese is standard, and lettuce and tomato will cost you a quarter extra (it's worth it for the McDLT effect). The fries are average but fine. And best of all the Coca-Cola comes from a fountain. I look forward to a future rant about the virtues of Fountain Soda versus cans/bottles.

Anyhow, Casone's has all the earmarks of afamily-run joint and is worth a visit. i should note that the server was excellent and extremely fast. I was out of there in 20 minutes without even trying.

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Cascone's Grill on Urbanspoon



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