The Golden Apple is right down the street from the Athenaeum Theater, wedged between a baker's dozen bars that lure the booze-hounds away from Lincoln Park. Make no mistake, the food is average at best. The Skillet Eggs are a bit undersized (especially for folks who cut their teeth at The Lincoln Restaurant), and the shakes can't hang with Clarke's, but that's not why anyone goes, anyway.
This is vintage boozer grub, and the Golden Apple is never so raucous as after carousing has run its course (only the Hollywood can top it for conversations overheard and hook-ups cemented). The menu is immense, with six pages alone for just the breakfast stuff. You'll spy the stereotypically necessary rotating glass dessert carousel, and the waitstaff are old pros. But the Golden Apple doesn't delude itself. Aside from a few wizened regulars at the counter, this joint sent the kids to college on the plastic-sliding power of those inebriated folk who frequent this haggardly cozy dive, Mastercard-in-tow.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jacob Knabb