I have a confession to make: sometimes, I have no idea where to eat lunch. As confessions go, it’s not terribly salacious, but it’s a little sad, given how often I make lunch recommendations for other people.
When I’m not sure what I want for lunch, I do the same thing you do – I ask Twitter. When I put the question out today (with a specific request for soup), Tiffany came to my aid and suggested the 20/20 Diner.
I had bought soup from the diner’s booth at the Memphis Farmers Market, but I’d never actually been to the restaurant. Mainly, because it’s not really a restaurant so much as a dining hall inside of the Southern College of Optometry. Since I’m not an optometrist-in-training, I didn’t think I was allowed to eat there.
I was wrong – anyone can eat at the 20/20 diner, as long as they show their driver’s license to the burly security guard on the first floor of the college. The diner is on the fourth floor, tucked into a dimly-lit corner (follow the food smell and you’ll find it).
The menu is fairly simple, mostly sandwiches, paninis, salads and the soups of the day. While the diner offers a bunch of soup for sale at their MFM booth, there were only two choices today: chicken noodle and black bean chili. 20/20′s chicken noodle soup was fairly classic - big, flat egg noodles, chicken chunks, carrots and celery slices in a savory broth.
As far as atmosphere goes, the diner doesn’t have much. It feels like eating in a college cafeteria, albeit one where almost everyone is wearing a white lab coat. It’s obvious that the diner is used to serving hurried students – it only took about 2 minutes for the woman behind the counter to call my name after I placed my order.The prices are also student friendly. A large soup is $3.25, and all of the sandwiches are less than $10.
1245 Madison Ave