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Dining Out

December 20, 2000

Shawna Saperstein Galassi, Enjoy!

GLENDALE -- We all seem to have those moments when we yearn for the

soothing solace of comfort food but aren't in the mood to cook it

ourselves.

For those of us who are not big fans of diners or cafeteria food,

there aren't many options at such times.

Though few people know about it, the Elks Lodge in Glendale has been

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quietly serving up home-cooked alternatives to nonmembers, as well as

members, every Friday night for more than 30 years.

First-timers might feel a little lost as they enter the lodge's vast

dining room, which is full of circular tables set for eight. With no host

in sight or sign directing diners to seat themselves, nonmembers must

simply follow the lead of those who seem to know what they're doing.

This means choosing any one of a number of seats, then striding into

the bar for a drink, or over to a side table for serve-yourself soup and

salad. The night we went, the soup was a superb navy bean with huge

chunks of ham.

After several cupfuls, a waiter came to tell us the evening's

offerings: New York steak, halibut or chicken in a mushroom cream sauce.

We opted for the New York steak and the chicken.

The steak was a behemoth piece of perfectly cooked meat that did

double duty as sandwiches the next day. The chicken was moist and tender,

with a mild-flavored sauce.

Both entrees were served with a lovely side of steamed asparagus and a

large baked potato. Just as we felt we couldn't possibly eat another

bite, the waiter returned with two generous portions of German chocolate

cake.

Though sated, we managed to devour every last crumb of this freshly

baked treat. When the bill arrived we were astounded to discover the

entire meal, including milk and iced tea, came to $20.60.

With prices like this, it's tempting to let the Elks Lodge do our

comforting every Friday night. And just like home, no reservations are

required.

Today's guest restaurant critic is Shawna Saperstein Galassi, a

Glendale resident and elementary school teacher.

IF YOU GO:

WHERE: Elks Lodge, 120 E. Colorado St., Glendale.

PHONE: 242-2105.

LIQUOR: Full bar.

HOURS: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays.

PRICES: Entrees $8 to $11, all of which goes to charities.

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