When I was a kid, we rarely went out for dinner. But when we did, my folks would take me to different places – mainly burger joints. One night – I was maybe 7 years old – we went to a place on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. I don’t remember much about the place or the food. But I remember – keenly – my father’s reaction. “Man – this is really a greasy spoon.” Greasy spoon. I looked around on the table. No spoons. I thought – Wow! That is a cool term.
The next time we went out for dinner to one of the regular sit down burger joints, the waitress came over and took our order. I looked up at her and asked – quite seriously – “is this a greasy spoon?” I don’t recall the waitress’s reaction but I remember my father laughing and trying to wriggle out of my inquiry.
The “greasy spoon” comment probably pales to the time when my father’s boss – Mr. Lovell – came to the house for dinner. And I said quite innocently “gosh – we oughta have company more often. This food is really good!”