Chicago Vignette no.3 / by Deborah Clague

Chicago has a number of restaurants that, bizarrely, cater to those who seek rude service and like to be insulted by complete strangers. I discovered this inadvertently the last time I was in the city and found a nice (or so I assumed) 50s-style diner to have supper at. Dining solo, I was completely unaware that Ed Debevics' "theme" was to be complete jerks to their patrons and watched in horror as those around me were singled out to be mocked in front of the entire restaurant. Thankfully, my waiter took pity on me sitting by my lonesome and made a point to let me eat my cheeseburger in peace. Big tip. BIIIIIIIIG tip. 

So why did I return during this trip to the Windy City? Well, I did recall that my cheeseburger and malt were really, really tasty. And also, my friend hates crude behaviour, fast food served with poodle skirts, and places where young children run rampant. This would be payback for all of the strange men she's tried setting me up with over the years that I've known her. 

Thankfully, she was so excited to be in Chicago (and so attracted to our waiter, "Thumper") that she had a great time. The singing, the dancing, the throwing of napkins in our faces and insults about our home and native land, it was a night not to be forgotten. Especially since it was, as we discovered, Ed Debevics last. Their doors closed the following night. No joke.