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The Great Grill: Why classics never go out of style

No wonder there’s so much nostalgia for the 1950s. It was the golden -- or should we say, chrome -- era of American classics: rock

‘n roll, tail fins, and jukebox diners with the best food on earth.

Those were the days of home-made meatloaf and banana splits, of

milkshakes and chicken-fried steak. Those days were so great that

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some folks just won’t let them go. Thank goodness.

One such ‘50s devotee is Burbank local George Martin. Almost a

decade ago, he got a job at a restaurant on Glenoaks Boulevard called

The Great Grill. The owner, Pete Micalchuck, loved the ‘50s as much

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as Elvis loved Cadillacs. Micalchuck’s kitchen had been putting out

wholesome American favorites since the early ‘70s, ranging from

open-faced turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and

cranberry sauce, to home-made apple pie and hot fudge sundaes. He

themed his restaurant with the slogan, “Back to the ‘50s.”

Since then, The Great Grill has moved to a new location in Burbank

Village. It is decorated from top-to-bottom with red and white vinyl,

checkered floors, tabletop jukebox selectors, plus a full-size floor

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jukebox -- and lots of chrome and glass. And although Micalchuck

doesn’t own The Great Grill anymore, he still has breakfast there

almost every day. The guy who usually cooks it is his former employee

George Martin, who, with partners Samvel Yerkanyan and Grigor

Mkrtchyan, bought the restaurant a few years back.

There’s still the same family atmosphere, and the same home-style

cooking. Elvis, Frankie Avalon, and Buddy Holly are still the

favorite picks on the juke box. Banana splits and chicken-fried steak

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still top the list of favorites.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu is as classic as the

philosophy. “Our sandwiches are still bigger and better, and our

ingredients are fresh daily,” vow the owners.

The Great Grill is located at 126 N. San Fernando Road. For

information, call (818) 567-0060.

--J. Anderson


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