A Diner of Many Names!
This colorful little diner was once called, Super Sandwich Shop.
After Universal Studios used it in the film, White Palace, the diner hoped to keep the new name. Universal said no, so then it became White Knight.
Bounce Castle in the Street!
When Don and I drove by it last fall, we both laughed.
It was sitting there at the intersection of 18th and Olive Boulevard, just west of downtown. It looked like one of those blow-up Bounce House Castles, that had been caught by a breeze and landed in the street.
Glass Block and Turrets
Don and I lived in St. Louis, but neither of us really remembered this oddball place. We adore a good diner with character, so we of course had to stop.
The sign said they were open for breakfast and lunch and it was after 3. Darn. At least I could peek through the glass beside the colorful letters, "God Bless America" and see the interior. Wow. What an iconic looking place.
Not only was the diner iconic, but it had a little history with Hollywood.
In 1990, the quaint diner had a starring role as a hamburger joint in the movie, "White Palace". The movie starred Susan Sarandon, as a waitress and James Spader as her young lover. The little diner proudly displayed many old movie photos and news clippings.
Anyone from St. Louis knows about White Castle, whether you can stomach the greasy burgers or not. White Castle is really what author, Glenn Savan was writing about when he wrote the book "White Palace" in 1987... but he had to change the name.
Don and I were living in St. Louis in the eighties. We lived near a cafe in Webster Groves where the author spent time. When I visited the cafe, I thought I recognized Savan, sitting alone reading. Like a groupie, I introduced myself, but he laughed and said no. Sadly he died in 2003 at 49.
Back to the Diner
Don and I were actually more curious about the diner itself, than the film connection. Who would go there? We decided to catch breakfast the next morning before leaving town. It was hopping at 9:30.
We sat down on 2 of the 4 red stools near the 3 small booths. Later, when some black stools around the corner cleared, I snapped a few photos. Lots of St. Louis Cardinals and US flags in the diner!
There were 3 women hard at work. The place was small, but there were tons of carry out orders.
I so wanted to ask about the history of the place, but the cook, was a little busy for chit chat. She did mention that the current owner had owned the business for 46 years. I can find little on the internet, so that's about all I know on history.
I ordered from the menu section titled, "Customer Creations". I ordered the "How 'Bout 'Cha", which was a grilled up combo of chopped ham, hash browns, eggs, cheese, green pepper and onions. Not too bad, with some crunch to the potatoes.
This is the second photo I took of Don and his pancakes. He was taking a bite when I snapped the first time. Angela, who was seated next to me, laughed and reprimanded me for taking a photo of my husband when he was chewing.
That opened up our conversation which went on until we left the diner. Angela had been trying to converse with the cook and servers earlier.
But they had no time to hear about what Angela thought of her church service last week, or how her bus ride went that morning. But I was happy to chat with Angela, who despite missing a few teeth, posed beautifully for our photo.
"I don't usually warm up to women that much!" She laughed after we had talked quite some time. She told me about how she became a minister at age 5 and how she just finished her cancer treatment and how her daughter looked after her.
We chatted until the other tables cleared out. She told us to come back and get the hamburger next time. We promised we would and she wished us well as we departed.
Interesting atmosphere. Interesting people encounter and interesting connection with the movie world! I just wish I knew more about how this little place has managed to hold onto this spot for so many years. I'm sure there are good stories out there!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.