The Burgers of Chi
Anyone out there old enough to remember Salt & Pepper Diner on Lincoln in Lincoln Park? I imagine quite a few of you are. There was also a Wrigleyville location but it wasn't the same as the LP original. It opened in 1965 so it was a part of Lincoln Park going back to before my arrival in the 80's. So if you grew up in Lincoln Park pre-2000's you most likely have a memory of this place. If not you may remember a skit that John Mulaney did on the jukebox there or something to that liking? Our groups often crossed paths at S&P and house parties back in the 90's as we were all neighborhood kids and some of us (not me) went to school together. Though our group was typically viewed as the neighborhood trouble. Well Salt & Pepper was our spot if it was before the afternoon. Usually after a night of debauchery at a house party hosted by someone dumb enough to hold one at their parents house and if there wasn't a house party we were probably hanging out at Jonquil Park across the street drinking booze obtained with a fake ID at Mama Kum's further down the block on Lincoln.
Newly Opened in Lincoln Park
A Dash of Salt & Pepper opened on Lincoln (kitty corner from Oz Park) this past year. If the people working there look familiar that's bc the staff from the old Salt & Pepper opened it. Our high school crew had a handful of spots that we ate at often. S&P was a short walk from our usual posting place at my friends house around the corner. They had a really good sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich and a damn fine diner burger. I shuffled between the two rarely getting anything else. So I was told by another friend the burger at a Dash of S&P was the same as it ever was back at the original. So I had to go see for myself. This is a burger I'd still thought about now and then long after S&P closed for good. I recognized the owner (old S&P waitress) right away and thought wow maybe the burger is also somehow the same, and it mostly is. At first I was quick to dismiss it bc it came dressed and ready to eat. Back at S&P it would come served opened faced with the traditional diner style toppings of L,T,O on the top bun and the mayo on the side. Now they put all the toppings including mayo on the burger which isn't a big deal once you taste it. It's really close to the original. I think the bun might be different but the fries are pretty much the same and that's a good thing too. Not all of the menu is the same as before, it's more updated and reflective of the neighborhood now than in the 60's, but the old diner standards like the burger seem to be very similar. Sometimes nostalgia really is just as you remembered.
Diner Burger at a Dash of Salt and Pepper
Dash of Salt and Pepper Diner
2201 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614