A week ago, my dad came into town for a little father/daughter date. When trying to decide where to go for lunch, a friend suggested Miss Katie’s Diner, and what a perfect suggestion it was. After years of studying and nights at bars, my mind had completely forgotten about the time my family and I visited Miss Katie’s when I was younger. And I, being a lover of nostalgia, immediately wanted to go back. As a little girl, who was thoroughly obsessed with the 50’s culture and movies like Grease, I thought Miss Katie’s was the coolest thing ever. And even though I have traded in my saddle shoes for a pair of Chuck Taylors, the place is still rockin enough to share its name with me.
South of the Marquette Campus and just across the street from 794, Miss Katie’s Diner is just on the edge of “downtown.” The restaurant resembles and old diner car and looks deceptively small from the outside. But once inside, you find that there is plenty of room for hungry guests. The décor is simple retro, and while nothing is really “dirty” or “rundown” it sure seems like the tables and booths have been there since the place opened. And from what I saw, I’m guessing the waitresses have been there even longer. Most of the ladies waiting tables were in there 50’s and wore venerable poodle skirts with careworn faces. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, the service was swift and polite, but gusto was lacking a bit. I almost think this made me like Miss Katie’s even more; I would rather have an aloof waitress over an overtly perky one.
While a boy of about 5 fiddled with the quarter a song jukebox, my dad and I ordered. I got the Bar-B-Q Chicken Breast Luncheon with Pitch’s (they own Miss Katie’s and have another restaurant in Milwaukee) famous BBQ sauce. It came with green beans (topped with bacon and butter), a roll and side salad. I got the green beans instead of fries cause I was trying to “healthy,” but it’s a diner and I guess I should have known better. My dad ordered the BBQ pork sandwich (which is their most popular) with a side of creamy slaw. Both dishes were pretty tasty and I really appreciated that my chicken had been cooked over an open flame, allowing all those cancer causing carcinogens I love so much to develop.
While we didn’t see Bill Clinton, Rachel Ray, John Kerry or former German chancellor Helmut Kohl (who have all eaten at Miss Katie’s) while we were there, my dad and I enjoyed ourselves. I might sneak back sometime for a game of shuffle board and a brew when no one is looking.