As editor of AHT, I'm ashamed to say I've never been to the Apple Pan, but I've read and heard plenty about the place. Over at Serious Eats, we even have a nice video about general manager Charles Collins and his own 50th anniversary of service there. But today's story in the L.A. Times brings some new, quirky info (at least to me):
- It's well-known that you can't get tomato on your burger, but "regulars know you can request an onion slice or even fried onions, when the grill isn't too busy."
- The Apple Pan has remained stubbornly old-school in terms of food prep and service: "Soft drinks are still poured in paper cones supported by stainless steel cupholders, in the 1940s lunch-counter way. Over time those bases began to disappear, and about a year ago it looked as if the restaurant would finally have to start using cardboard or plastic cups. 'But then a customer found a bunch of bases for us on EBay,' [owner Martha] Gamble says."
It's a loving portrait of a type of place that is sadly becoming all too rare these days. One that treats its customers and employees with respect (the "newest" kitchen member has been there 17 years) and doesn't try to meddle with a good thing or expand or chain itself out, thereby losing quality.
Related: The Apple Pan, Quality So Far
Photograph from Ilpo's Sojourn on Flickr