Best Unexpected Food in a Dive - 2002
Lancer Lounge - CLOSED
At the Lancer Lounge, a true neighborhood joint, everyone knows your name -- even if you've forgotten it by the time you stumble in. Although legendary for its stiff drinks and amiable stiffs, the Lancer has some new bragging rights: It serves hearty, down-home food, thanks to Sully, who's now stirring the pot. A decided improvement over earlier operations (we're still trying to forget the Salvadoran-food era), the kitchen turns out a different -- and unbelievably cheap -- special every day. Monday's meatloaf plate is a real bargain -- but don't order so much that the Lancer can't sell its thick, filling meatloaf sandwiches the rest of the week.