Sealey's Lunch

A diner with old-time friendliness and leisurely pacing
By MC SLIM JB  |  March 11, 2009

 

090313_Sealey_main

You've driven past this one restaurant a hundred times, often thinking, "I should check that place out." Years go by. Hundreds of drive-bys stretch into thousands, and still you haven't gone in. The 1940s-vintage sign outside gets steadily more weathered. Dining trends and the restaurants that follow them come and go. Yet still this place persists. Finally, one day you pull over and check it out. Does it surprise you to learn that it's a friendly little neighborhood diner with gentle prices and a menu with nothing that would perplex or frighten your great-grandmother?

Such is Sealey's Lunch, a tiny counter-service Greek-American joint that has been serving daytime meals since 1914. Photos of bygone athletic teams from nearby Brookline High cover the walls. Morning finds town employees lingering before their workday over good filter coffee ($1.50–$1.75) and plates of eggs ($2.75–$4.25) and omelettes ($5.00–$5.50) served with toast and okay home fries. A stack of pancakes with two eggs and Jimmy-Dean-tasting breakfast sausages is $5.50. Throughout the day, you'll find old-timers lunching on a budget and teenagers gobbling post-school plates of fries ($3.00). Everything is cooked to order, so service can be slow, but nobody seems to mind. The hurly-burly of the modern diner or fast-food restaurant is noticeably, quaintly absent here.

A fried-egg sandwich on toasted Wonder bread with a bag of chips costs $2.00, a tuna melt $5.00. There's the usual variety of ordinary cold and hot subs, like egg salad ($5.75), grilled chicken ($6.00), and a steak bomb ($6.50). A cheeseburger club plus fries is a mere $6.50. There's Sysco-grade deep-fried stuff, too, like Buffalo wings with fries and slaw ($7.45). It's not all pedestrian: Greek-leaning dishes stand out, like a special of chicken souvlaki with tsatziki sauce and grilled pita, onions, and tomatoes ($7.25), or a fresh-tasting feta and spinach soup ($3.25 cup, $4.25 bowl). Milk, bottled water, and American soft drinks ($1.50–$2.00) are your sole beverage options beyond coffee. In short, Sealey's fare occupies that stratum of the diner world where everything is solid, fairly priced, and largely unmemorable. No matter: for several generations of Brookline neighbors and kids, this modest little 40-seater is a fixture, an essential hangout comfortably woven into the fabric of their days. For them, the sweetness of the owners, the old-fashioned food, and perhaps especially the downtempo pacing of the place, are all a welcome throwback.

Sealey's Lunch, located at 147 Cypress Street, in Brookline, is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 am to 2 pm. Call 617.566.8529.

Related: Where to go with what's in your pocket (or couch, or car), Review: Village Heart Bakery Café, Review: Bluebird Café, More more >
  Topics: On The Cheap , Culture and Lifestyle, Food and Cooking, Foods,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MC SLIM JB
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN AT ESTELLE’S SOUTHERN CUISINE  |  March 12, 2013
    In food-nerd circles, the question of authenticity is a loaded one.
  •   OYSTER STEW AT STEEL & RYE  |  March 01, 2013
    Pity the poor would-be restaurateur in the city of Boston.
  •   PROVENÇAL FISH STEW AT SYCAMORE  |  February 13, 2013
    For food geeks accustomed to dining in urban Boston, it's easy to be a little dismissive of suburban restaurants.
  •   LAMB BELLY AT PURITAN & COMPANY  |  February 01, 2013
    By about the end of 2011, restaurant-industry PR people had already worn out the phrase "farm to table."
  •   PORCHETTA ARROSTO AT CINQUECENTO  |  January 18, 2013
    As a South Ender, I find it easy to admire the smooth professionalism and crowd-pleasing instincts of the Aquitaine Group, which operates six of its eight restaurants in the neighborhood, including Metropolis, Union, Aquitaine, and Gaslight.

 See all articles by: MC SLIM JB