CLIP| ‘Six Degrees of Separation,’ 1993

CLIP| ‘The Paper,’ 1994

CLIP| ‘Will you marry me, Le-Chahn?’

TRAILER| ‘Nobody’s Fool,’ 1991

EATS| Luke’s is an old, reliable Upper East Side friend

Luke's1Luke’s, just around the corner from our good Tim’s place, has been a favorite for years.

For years, denizens of Yorkville, Lenox Hill and other precincts of the Upper East Side have relied on Luke’s Bar and Grill for consistently decent pub fare. Less crowded and more of a neighborhood secret than its fabled southern neighbor, J.G. Melon, Luke’s serves up solid omelets, burgers and Blood Marys. We’ve frequented the place since our friends, Tim and Carl, moved to the neighborhood five years ago. We were committed patrons during our town Yorkville tour in the year I spent at the j-school.

Opened in 1990, Luke’s menu mostly offers staples from an earlier era, like Roquefort and Cobb salads, meatloaf and Chicken Paillard. The full range of expected appetizers are on offer and the soups are equally reliable. Devotees of hamburgers rate the Luke’s entry with high marks. Other sandwiches, like the BLT, are also good choices.

The crowd is as predictable. Young families who’ve yet to embark on the trails that lead north and west to the suburbs mix with the fresh-from-college aspirants and Park Avenue dowagers. At brunch, all seem a bit bleary and wonder aloud why they drank so much the night before. While we were enjoying brunch with Tim yesterday, Emily correctly identified the tweedy older gentleman and his wife at the next table as the much-maligned Tony and Charlene Marshall. Luke’s is that kind of place.

Luke’s Bar and Grill
1394 Third Avenue between 79th and 80th streets
(212) 249-7070
New York, New York

DINING| Stewart’s is a summer tradition in New Jersey’s Morris County

Stewart'sStewart’s, a staple on U.S. Route 46 in Dover, New Jersey, doesn’t exactly look like much. Still, it serves some of the best hot dogs your writer has ever encountered.

My earliest memories of Stewart’s, the famous root beer chain’s drive-in a few miles from my New Jersey home, are from either the summer of 1984 or the summer of 1985, before the stand built its semi-enclosed shelter. I remember having a hot dog and a small root beer. Both tasted the same when my father and I had lunch there last week.

The place is a delicious little pocket of Americana and a longstanding tradition in western Morris County, where the stand is considered the gold standard of fast food.

The menu is simple: Stewart’s Famous Root Beer or Orange Drink is served along side hamburgers, delectable hotdogs, Philly cheesesteaks (I had a penchant for these in the 1990s that ended badly), scramburgers (sloppy joes) and sides of onion rings and fries. The atmosphere is equally basic as a few clusters of plastic, outdoor tables and chairs huddle around the building that houses a tiny kitchen, serving area and rest rooms. If you don’t care to eat outside, carhops armed with those old-fashioned change-counters on their belts, will serve you in your vehicle. Just turn on your headlights for service.

I believe the Dover location opened after the war, some time in the 1940s. I know it was there for much of parents’ childhoods in the 1950s. The chain was founded in 1924 in a stand built by Frank Stewart, a school teacher, in Mansfield, Ohio. Today, the chain is largely focused in New Jersey, with additional locations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio. For more, visit Stewart’s Inc.

The Dover Stewart’s is usually open until Columbus Day on weekends (In my childhood, signs near the men’s room indicated that the stand was closed on the Lord’s Day. I don’t know if this is still the case or not.) and, if the weather is good, through till Halloween. Don’t miss the root Beer (also divine in floats with soft-serve vanilla ice cream) and don’t miss the hot dogs.

446 U.S. Route 46 East
Dover, New Jersey 07801
(973) 328-0070

StewartsThe menu at the Dover, N.J. Stewart’s is displayed on the stand’s roof.

CLIP| Jimmy Connors at the U.S. Open, 1991

CLIP| ‘Copperline,’ 1990s

HILARITY| We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!!

First, there was Look at this Fucking Hipster. Then there was the charming Awkward Family Photos. Today, We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!! delights with its school portraits from the era of parachute pants, hypercolor and the first gulf war.

It’s a hoot.

TRAILER| ‘Ski School,’ 1991

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