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Catering to the downtown 9-to-5ers looking for a no-nonsense meal, Big Ed's Chili Mac Diner stays open only until 2 p.m. The unpretentious diner features counter service with tables along the opposite wall and a menu of diner staples, including eggs, burgers and of course the eponymous chili mac.
"Eat Rite or Don't Eat At All." So it says on the coffee cups (and the souvenir T-shirts) at this no-frills 24-hour greasy spoon amid the industrial wasteland between downtown and Soulard. Folks come from miles around to fill up on the breakfast-and-burgers menu: bar-hoppers and club kids finally coming down from their late-night-into-early-morning highs; factory workers and blue-collars getting off graveyard shifts; curious newcomers who've heard about the bizarro vibe that pervades these cramped counter-only environs. To call the food at Eat-Rite cheap is an understatement -- six burgers (real-size, not White Castle-size) run $4.50. And many swear by the Eat-Rite's redoubtable slinger (for the uninitiated, that'd be fried eggs, hash browns and a burger patty, avec chili).
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