Omnivore - Checking out Ann's Snack Bar after five years

Miss Ann



I found myself out Memorial Drive Friday and realized, as I was buying a car battery, that Ann's Snack Bar was just a few blocks away. I hurried over for the first time in probably five years.

Just in case you didn't know, the Wall Street Journal's critic named Miss Ann's plate-sized Ghetto Burger his favorite burger in America in 2007 (despite failing to mention its slather of chili). The citation created lines with hours-long waits. These have moderated somewhat but no addict can be deterred by a wait, anyway.

I thought the day after Thanksgiving might mean a respite from the wait and I was sort of right. Business was constant - mainly teenagers, it seemed - but most folks ordered their burgers to go. There's also a porch with a lot of seating, but it's not too cozy on a winter day. In any event, I scored a bar stool right away.

Then I waited 30 minutes for my double cheeseburger, fries and lemonade. I'm not going to go into a florid description of the burger. It, like all the others on the menu, is a respite from the gourmet burgers that have flooded America. These are big messy piles that threaten to inflict a temporomandibular disorder.

There were three people working behind the counter during my visit while Miss Ann sat at one end chatting with customers. Nonstop. It was rumored for several years that the diner was for sale. I asked the very hospitable woman helping out in the kitchen what had happened. She said "the deal fell through." The New York Times published an article in 2010 blaming the bad economy.

I do have a warning about the place. I'm sorry to say it has become very dirty. I'm not talking about the floor particularly, but the walls are all coated with grease. It needs major sprucing.