FAVORITE LUNCH SPOTS ‌ Kitty's Fine Foods 

Who: Ken Burger, long-time sports columnist for The Post and Courier, frequently voted "Best Columnist" by discerning Charleston City Paper readers

Favorite Place: Kitty's Fine Foods, 1137 Morrison Drive. Started by (Miss) Kitty Proctor in the '60s and taken over by David Runey 18 years ago, about the time Ken Burger began stopping by. For better or for worse, not many changes have been made here in the past 40-plus years.

Why a Favorite: For one thing, Mr. Burger enjoys the eclectic mix of customers at breakfast and lunch. At a recent lunch, we spotted two collared clergymen, numerous day laborers, an informally dressed business owner sitting at the counter, several young men who likely work in the nearby labor union halls, a nattily-dressed sports columnist (Ken), a balding college instructor (me), and two middle-aged couples. Ken, who has seen his share of politicians there, says one is hard-pressed to find such a mix of humanity anywhere else in the city. Secondly, Kitty's is close to his office. Thirdly, the food is tasty, filling, and downright cheap, and service comes with a smile. It also comes with a load of cholesterol, but hey, Kitty's is a joint; it's a greasy spoon; it's down-home; it might even be a dive, but it bears no resemblance to or pretension of being a health food restaurant or "dining establishment." I also liked the fact that the waitress never felt the need to introduce herself and tell us she would be our "waitstaff" today.

Preferred Dish: Ken and others come here for the "meat and three" (veggies) for a modest $5.99. ("Meat and two" is $4.99.) He usually gets the hamburger steak drowned in surprisingly light gravy and covered with cooked onions with a heaping portion of white rice plus sides of corn and fried squash. Biscuits are served instead of bread or hushpuppies and are delicious. Ken, a son of the South and an avid sportsman, sheepishly admits in a whisper to healthy dieting so he tries to assuage some guilt by washing it all down with un-Southern Diet Pepsi. --Roy Freedman

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