Ah, the old-fashioned American diner.
The place where the servers wear uniforms with tarnished gold name tags, the coffee tastes like city tap water and the food is nothing, if not predictable. It's been the same since man first walked on the moon, and it sure ain't gonna change any time soon.
Alternately called the "greasy spoon," the classic American diner is known for cheap eats--often with little nutritional value--served with a smile and blue plate specials featuring regional cuisine like chicken fried steak or migas with extra oily cheese on top.
Here in Houston, a city mostly unconcerned with health food and haute cuisine, our greasy spoons are some of the longest-lasting culinary institutions. From House of Pies to Dot Coffee Shop, these are the places that feel like home.
But we don't want to know about the same old popular spots. As we've said in the last few underrated posts, we consider an underrated spot or dish to be something that isn't often covered by local or national media. We want to know which places make really good food, but may not get enough credit because they're overshadowed by other, more media-friendly spots or because, simply, not many people know about them.
Alternatively, you could consider something underrated if many people know about it, but you think it's better than anyone gives it credit for. In the case of greasy spoons, that might be a spot like Waffle House. It's a national chain; most people know about it. But a lot of people discount it because it's a chain. Maybe you love it, though. That would make it underrated in your book (and mine, because I love me some smothered hash browns).
For more insight into Houston greasy spoons, check out Eater Houston's coverage of Greasy Spoons Week from last July.
Leave us a note in the comments here or on Facebook or Tweet at us to let us know what you think is the most underrated greasy spoon in town and why. If your comments are particularly eloquent, we might feature them in the final roundup. We'll then tally the votes and put it to a runoff poll.
So tell us, Houston: Which greasy spoon is the cat's pajamas?