Best Lunch Counter - 2011
The rock band Head East shot the back cover of its first album, Flat as a Pancake, inside the Olivette Diner. Back then the place was called the Rite-Way, and "Never Been Any Reason" was inching its way up Billboard's singles chart. More than three decades later, a framed copy of Pancake hangs on the diner's wall, and it's a good bet that someplace not far from here some hoosier is "going down for the last time" even as we type this. Unlike '70s album rock, diner fare has never gone out of fashion. How can you improve on a BLT or a club sandwich with crisp bacon and (in summer) gorgeous red homegrown tomatoes? And why would you want to? (Though, come to think of it, Olivette Diner does offer a twist on the classic BLT: the "BFT," made with feta cheese.) Want breakfast for lunch? Now you're cookin' with Crisco! Sitting at the counter, watching a plateful of "Amazing Banana Waffles" take form, you might even be tempted to order breakfast for dessert.