If you're hankering for the feel (and tastes!) of the 50's, without all the hype and knocked-off decor, visit the FAIRLANE GRILL, a tiny hole-in-the-wall (on the corner, actually) at 617 Bethlehem Pike in the hamlet of Erdenheim, PA, affectionately called "Mayberry" by my sister & me. It's a small town where everyone seems to know each other because nobody ever leaves.
A neighborhood staple, formerly called Hazell's, has the original boomerang-patterned formica & stainless steel counter, tables & booths, and a homey, local feel from the waitresses. There's only one table, 5 or 6 booths, and a short counter, and the hours are limited, so call ahead (215-233-5863). You won't be dissapointed, especially if you order something your Mom used to make you for lunch at home, like GRILLED CHEESE & BACON, FRIES, and a BLACK & WHITE SHAKE.
Fairlane won "Best of Philly" (Philadelphia Magazine) for breakfasts a few years ago, so I highly recommend that you go there for that meal, particularly the SOS (creamed chipped beef, to the uninitiated). Portions are large and delicious. I'm going to have to schedule a pre-2004-resolution excursion w/ Cheesewit so we can indulge guiltlessly on all of our old favorites there.