Always Open

Ian brings you everything but an After Diner mint.

(The bacon was served under the American cheese. I don't know whether this was intentional — and it does prevent the lovely fusing of processed cheese and ground beef — but it's such a head-slappingly obvious solution to the great bacon-falling-all-over-the-place design flaw of the bacon cheeseburger that I can't believe I've never seen it before. I mention it here for anyone else who takes these things seriously.)

After offers four "Full Plates": chicken-fried steak, fried cod, meat loaf and strip steak. Each is served with mashed potatoes or mac-and-cheese, green beans and a biscuit. I tried the chicken-fried steak, which came properly smothered in a thick white gravy flecked with black pepper. The gnarled batter was very crisp, and the pounded-thin steak was tender enough, but both batter and gravy were too salty. The macaroni and cheese was enjoyable in a Kraft-dinner-throwback sort of way, but the green beans (tossed with small pieces of bacon, but without much bacon flavor) and biscuit were buffet-line bland.

I skipped dessert, because After doesn't make its own, though it does offer a selection of treats from several local bakeries. But know that you can get an ice-cream sundae made with ten scoops of Edy's Grand served in a goblet that you could turn upside down and wear as a helmet. Also, if you want, you can add nacho cheese to anything on the menu for just 95 cents. If either option appeals to you — and I suspect it will to someone, probably at two in the morning on a Friday — well, then:

After hours: (clockwise from left) Jon Huntley, Ilya Feldman and Daniel Defosset partake of some diner grub.
Jennifer Silverberg
After hours: (clockwise from left) Jon Huntley, Ilya Feldman and Daniel Defosset partake of some diner grub.


4146 Manchester Avenue, 314-652-4800. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Nacho cheese $0.95
Coffee $1.25
Omelet $5.25
After Burger (with bacon) $7.90

The diner is there.

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