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Alice's Diner

Great hamburgers and Austin Powers-era Chinese food are both on the menu at Alice's


My brother Dave and I were sitting at a table in Alice's Diner a little after eight on a recent Wednesday morning. Dave was finishing off two big patties of spicy breakfast sausage and a pathetic waffle rendered even worse by the pats of melting margarine and the container of artificially-flavored syrup that came with it.

I was mopping up my ham and eggs. The over-easy eggs were perfectly fried, but the thin slice of ham was lame as lunchmeat. Dry toasted white bread and watery grits were the uninspired accompaniments.

Alice's Diner should start offering Chinese mustard with their burgers.
Troy Fields
Alice's Diner should start offering Chinese mustard with their burgers.

Location Info

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Alice's Diner

4670 Beechnut
Houston, TX 77096

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Details

4670 Beechnut, 713-664-4335. Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Vegetable omelet: $5.25

Beef with hot pepper sauce: $6.25

Alice's deluxe hamburger: $5.15

Barbecue ribs: $6.25

Pork with garlic sauce: $8.50

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As Dave and I watched, two old women made their way into the restaurant. Before they had reached the door, the waitress had placed two coffee cups and a silver thermos bottle on the table beside ours. Eventually, the two women made their way into the restaurant, and everyone said hello. “I am going to have something a little different this morning,” the younger old woman told the waitress. With wild abandon, she got one slice of well-done bacon on a saucer along with her usual order of eggs and dry toast.

I looked around the place. There were about a dozen people eating breakfast that morning, most of them elderly folk who stayed at their tables long after their food was finished. Alice's Diner is obviously the local breakfast club for seniors.

When the waitress came around to take the very old woman's order, she reached down and tucked her paper napkin into her blouse. My brother and I looked at each other, awestruck. It was a gesture that was at once tender and frightening.

One night around dinnertime, I tried to eat at Alice's again. I called to order a “Ken & Sean's Burger” to go. It's the biggest burger on the menu — a double-meat, double-cheese monster with bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion rings. I figured I'd bring it home so I could drink a beer and watch the Astros game while I ate it, and I intended to ask for some Chinese mustard on the side to continue that experiment. But the guy who answered the phone dashed my hopes. At Alice's, burgers are only served for lunch, which ends at 3 p.m., he told me.

I'll go back to Alice's to try that big burger with Chinese mustard someday soon. But I think I'll wait a few more years before I go back for breakfast.

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