Omnivore - Where's the leg of lamb and big hair?

A visit to the Majestic Diner

What a day, Thursday. I lunched at Star Provisions and ended up at the Majestic Diner ("Food that pleases") for a late dinner.

Here's my double burger with its weirdly dappled patties whose taste prompted reverie of meals gone by --those drunken 4 a.m. visits here after a night in the clubs when I was ravenous and needed more substance than Krispy Kreme could provide.

Oy. I hadn't been in the Majestic in years and found it quite disorienting. It's all mirors and really bright light. And not a single employee called me "hun" or "darlin." In fact, most of the employees are young men who look like they are probably in bands.

The Majestic is in its 80th year of operation. For a time, in the early '80s, I lived in a huge old apartment less than two blocks away from it, behind the old Plaza Drugs (where the Urban Anorexic Outfitters is now). Every Sunday, I woke up to the sounds of the Salvation Army band playing in front of the drugstore. I went to the Majestic for the same thing every Sunday — leg of lamb, a specialty of the diner's Greek owners. It was always delicious and just the right price for a free-lance poet. The servers were all total characters, big-haired women who had worked there for many years and kept lipstick-stained cigarettes burning in ashtrays 24/7.

Actually my burger tonight wasn't too bad and the staff was great, even if they called me "sir" instead of "darlin'." I didn't see the apple pie that was the signature dessert years ago. Nor did I see the weird little oven that seemed to take half an hour to heat a single slice.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)