Best Place to Meet a Stranger (08) | Food + Drink | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Best Place to Meet a Stranger (08) 

Handy's Lunch

Counter Intuitive

Eating out solo can be lonely — unless you're one of the lucky lunchers sitting around the horseshoe bar at Handy's. Every day, proprietor Earl Handy puts himself in the middle of the little diner that's open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the corner of Maple and South Champlain streets in Burlington. He works the counter: greeting customers, taking orders, serving food, ringing up checks. But his Olympic multitasking, while impressive, is the least of it. Handy is also the social lubricant for everyone eating in the place, whether they're creative types from local advertising agencies, student athletes, blue-collar workers or nattily dressed lawyers.

Anything goes at the retro restaurant festooned with autographed pictures of local sports teams. There's also an autographed picture of Phish. You can immerse yourself in a newspaper and a $2.25 hamburger with fries; Handy will leave you alone. You can pretend to be reading and eavesdrop; the place is small enough to let you hear conversations clearly. Or you can take a chance and engage the stranger sitting across the counter — directly or with Handy as intermediary. Pretty soon the whole semi-circle is involved. It's just like family, only without the annoying relatives.

- Paula Routly

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Food + Drink

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation