Joanna Brown, 21, has been homeless since October. She chose not to have her photograph taken because her parents read the Independent. Usually, she eats McDonald's salads, something from the chip shop, or noodles from the Chinese takeaway.
'I bought a vegeburger for pounds 3.95. It wasn't very solid, but the bread was fresh; so was the salad and there was a choice of cheese.
'I wouldn't normally eat there because it is too expensive. For the pounds 4 it cost, I could have bought a McDonald's hamburger for pounds 2, then had pounds 2 for the rest of the day. But if I was working, it would be a place I would choose to eat at. The quality was good, so I would pay for it.
'I didn't like seeing the food cooked in front of me. I might as well be in a kitchen. And I wouldn't buy meat there: don't know how well it has been cooked or what's in it.
'I was a bit disappointed in the decor. It wasn't set out like the cafe in Twin Peaks, for example, or in Grease where they have booths; the seats were really crammed together round a bar.
'I was by myself and I didn't feel very comfortable. Wherever you sit, you find yourself opposite a complete stranger, and the close bar stools meant you had to sit close to someone you didn't know. But I liked the gadgets and the mini-jukeboxes stuck right in front of me.
'I wouldn't say it was a place for a family. It is clean and white, but there is a lot of metal and it is not very homely. The children would fall off the high seats, and there is little space. The restaurant opens on to the street, and the children would be likely to run into the road.
'The waitresses were polite considering how late it was; they said please and thank-you. It would have been different if I'd gone in with my sleeping bag. I'm not allowed into very many places when I'm carrying my gear.
'The appeal of Ed's Diner is to sit in. But that is a waste of time for a homeless person. I would never fit in there: I'm on a different wavelength. At the moment, I wouldn't go there again. And if I were asked to pay pounds 4 for a burger in McDonald's, I would go off my head.'
'I would recommend Ed's Diner to a homeless person only if they were very hungry: you could get away with eating a hamburger at midday, then not having anything else for the rest of the day.
'I saved half of my burger for my boyfriend, and was still full up.'Reuse content