BEST DINER - 2000
Chuck Berry's classic "Back in the USA" celebrates a return from foreign lands that, among other things, lack diners "where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day." No question Chuck would dig the Band Box. The resilient, funky, cramped Elliot Park neighborhood landmark offers six counter seats with a grill view, and four small tables. Two eggs, American fries, and toast will set you back $3.25 for breakfast; for lunch, you can get one of the habit-forming Band Box burgers for just $1.25 (or $1.50 with cheese); a side order of local gossip is free. Open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday; closed Sundays. They don't take checks, so bring some folding money, will ya?