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
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
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
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
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.