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I have a fondness for diners. They remind me of the cigarettes, coffee, and grilled-cheese sandwiches (if I could afford it) of my poetry days, when all I ever wanted was to be alone with my notebook and my deep thoughts. These days I hardly ever frequent diners, but when I do, it has to be old school. None of that newfangled business where the bacon is turkey or the coffee espresso.

My Friday afternoon visit to Aunt Emma’s Pancakes in Chula Vista gave me a dose of everything I love about diners (minus the poetry). The booth was roomy, the coffee was plenty, and the bacon was bacon.



Another thing I love about diners: waitresses. Meet Cecilia and Betty. Betty has worked at Aunt Emma's for 24 years.

I ordered my BLT before I saw the boysenberry syrup on the table. Had I seen the purple stuff first, I’d have ordered a waffle and sausages, for sure. But the BLT, though heavy on the mayo, was damn good.


This $10 lunch includes the above-mentioned BLT, fries (blah), a (freakin’ delicious) pickle, and, of course, coffee.

Total bill: $9.36

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