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The hot turkey / hot hamburg plate

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I’ve been eating hot turkey sandwiches and so-called “hot hamburg plates” at area restaurants. (Now in the lockdown, that will be done via take-out.)

These plates are classic diner or family-style restaurant fare, and I look forward to checking out more of them and writing about them soon.

For now, look at just about any menu from said diner or family-style venue, and you’ll likely find some sort of variant of a hot hamburg or hot turkey plates — the fact that “hot” is usually included in the description, and that it’s sometimes “hot hamburg” (rather than hamburger) has always intrigued me.

For me, there’s a certain romance and nostalgia to such diner dishes; they speak of an era and are pop culture artifacts.

Actually, they evoke certain (and sometimes super-silly pop-culture) images in my mind: Dagwood Bumstead, in the “Blondie” comic strip, often visits Lou’s Diner and regularly gets a plate of food thrown at him by grumpy ol’ Lou, cigarette butt dangling from his lower lip.

Hot turkey special at Queen’s Family Restaurant (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

Dagwood, sandwich aficionado that he is, must have tried one of Lou’s open-faced turkey plates at one time or another.

I also think of Curly working at the diner in “The Three Stooges” and battling, if I recall, some clams in a soup he was preparing. He too must have been slinging hot turkey plates.

Edward Hopper, “Nighthawks” / Art Institute of Chicago.

And I also imagine Edward Hopper’s divine 1940s painting “Nighthawks” — with its quiet, lonely sense of big city — and assume the soda jerk depicted must also be serving the diner classic as well.

So, if you have favourite hot turkey or hot hamburg plates, please let me know.

And regardless … Support local diners!

[Banner image: Jack’s Family Restaurant hot hamburg plate/andrewcoppolino.com]

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