BEST OF St. Louis 2011:  BEST DINER

Imagine a flashback to the '50s — a simpler time with simpler foods, with drive-up dining and a few stiff, dine-in booths. Friendly waitresses take orders of signature burgers, fries, shakes and malts, returning with arms full of hot food and frosty drinks to satisfy the most primitive of mealtime cravings. More than half a century later, St. Louis' own Chuck-A-Burger is still cruisin' and cooking up midcentury-American grease-enhanced favorites with plenty of nostalgia on the side. A meal here will make you wonder whether poodle skirts might have been a good idea after all.