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A small restaurant or diner, especially one that serves fried foods. Every time I go on a road trip, I make it a point to stop at a greasy spoon for at least one of my meals.
the greasy pole
The route to advancement in one's place of employment or education, likened to a greased pole that is slippery and difficult to climb. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I know it's been a hard month, but it's just another upward movement on the greasy pole.
Fig. a cheap diner, where the silverware might not be too clean. The corner greasy spoon is always busy at lunchtime.
A cheap restaurant, especially one serving short-order fried foods. For example, College students short of cash tend to eat a lot in that greasy spoon. This expression also implies that the restaurant is not very clean. [c. 1900]
the greasy poleBRITISH
The greasy pole is used to talk about someone's attempts to reach a more successful position in their career. In 1982 he joined the ruling party, since when he has climbed its greasy pole, becoming finance minister in 1991. Michael's plan was to impress the boss and start up the greasy pole. Note: This expression is often used disapprovingly, especially to suggest that success at work is not of great value. Note: In the past, climbing up or along a greasy pole in order to get a prize at the end of it was a popular fairground competition.
a greasy spoonINFORMAL
A greasy spoon is a small, cheap, unattractive café that serves mostly fried food. We ate at a greasy spoon called the Step Inn Cafe.
the greasy poleused to refer to the difficult route to the top of someone's profession.
The original literal greasy pole was a pole covered with an oily substance to make it more difficult to climb or walk along, used especially as a form of entertainment.
greasy spoona cheap, run-down restaurant or cafe serving fried foods.
1968 Len Deighton Only When I Larf Bob said he was hungry and wanted to pull up at every greasy spoon we passed.
n. an untidy and unappetizing diner or restaurant. Let’s eat at the greasy spoon over on Maple. The food is gross, but the people-watching is good.