I love old time diners and am so happy this one has preserved it’s look for all these years – Spare Time Grill is now Spare Time Belly + Soul.
And thankfully they kept the street sign too! These classic signs are so iconic – and the restaurant has actually been used in movies because of it’s historic features. You may have seen it in “Fresh Horses” and more recently “Carol”.
Their menu is small but they are open for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast has some fun specialties like the Benny – poached eggs on sourdough with turkey & avocado and topped with hollandaise. Lunch has sandwiches and burgers and PIES!
It still has the diner counter and a few tables lining it. It is TINY inside so you’re better off going at maybe a slightly off time so you can get a table. The bathroom is actually accessed from outside (it’s underneath the restaurant) – so you might go beforehand if you need to. Think along the lines of the Root Beer Stand on the inside – but with a few more seats.
I ordered their Burger of the Week – I can’t remember everything – but it was a Garlic burger. The burger itself was pretty good – not the best but a good bun, cooked medium rare per my request and fresh toppings. I wouldn’t say it was a Terry’s Turf Club burger – but it was good. Soft bun too – and messy – which to me – is a good thing.
The onion rings were a big stand out – I love onion rings and these were tasty. I would have thought they were fresh – but if I have to judge by the Frisch’s test (when you bite them – if the onion pulls out – it was frozen) – they weren’t. I won’t say that for sure – but they didn’t pass the Frisch’s test. Still – they were crispy and battered – which I prefer to breaded all day long.
All of this sounds good and we had a good experience with the actual taste of the food. Service though – is another story. It took 40 minutes to get our order. (I knew the time I ordered based on the pics I was taking and sharing.) Well maybe they take their time? They cook the food in front of you. Other tables came, ordered, ate and left in the time it took to get our food. Finally after 40 minutes I grabbed our server and she said it was coming. (She was nice – very young.) I couldn’t imagine they would forget us since we were sitting at the counter – but I’m 99% sure they forgot or lost our order. That said – our food came probably 10 minutes later – with absolutely no apology. None. Not a word of even – sorry about the wait – nothing. Honestly – I was expecting for something to be taken off the bill because of the crazy wait – but AT LEAST an acknowledgement of the ridiculous wait. But no.
Why didn’t we just leave? I was starving and really wanted to try it. At that point – we figured it would still be quicker to just wait for them.
Why Should You Go? Well – the food was good – but not worth the lengthy wait and the disappointing service.
Another side note that was funny – I saw an acquaintance there. He even said – out loud – “Ooh the food blogger is here!” Guess they didn’t hear or maybe they didn’t give a rats. Oh well – not like I expect to carry clout – but man this was rough!