With so much mediocre gravy in the world, finding a decent one can make your day.
And you can at a spot in University Park — it’s a standby for fried chicken and has been there long enough to be an established staple. In fact, when I was 6, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and knocked a tooth out right on that same block; so it's been awhile. That sidewalk has been fixed, my teeth are fine and Bubba’s Cooks Country is still serving fried chicken and a solid breakfast.
In college I remember hearing if you were detained by Highland Park or University Park overnight, the next morning you'd get a meal from Bubba's. I didn't seek to confirm it myself.
It can be packed on the weekend as people fill the diner chairs standing on the black-and-white checkered floor among the bright red decor. If you’re looking to go outside the “brunch scene” and just start your day with hearty sustenance, take a seat here.
The menu is straightforward: Plate options get you different arrangements varying among eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon and pancakes. You can also get muffins, hash browns, grits or a cinnamon roll.
A standard breakfast at Bubba's
Like most places, if you order an egg over-medium, it comes out over-easy. The bacon is thin and perfectly crispy, while the sausage patty is fine, in no way surpassing the quality of Jimmy Dean.
The cinnamon roll that's worth skipping
The highlight of some plates will be the biscuit and gravy. Standing at the counter to order, if you peek around to the right, you’ll see a station covered in flour where an employee is getting biscuits ready for baking. They'll then come out just dense enough and a bit flaky when pulled apart. It’s the perfect weight to handle the gravy, which is not too thick but with plenty of sausage and salt. The cup of gravy on the plate looks simple and maybe even sad, but after taking a spoonful for your biscuit, there’s a chance you’ll want it on everything.
The blueberry muffin you shouldn't skip
The cinnamon roll is fine: loaded with a sugar coating, as it should be, with a bread that’s drier than you really want it ($2.49). But if you’re looking for more carbs, you can simply order a blueberry muffin. Tearing this in half, you find there are fresh blueberries here, which clearly sank to the bottom of the pan, but they give this fresh bread a simple sweetness that puts a smile on your face.
Better yet, breakfast here is on the less expensive side: A plate of two eggs, bacon, sausage, a biscuit, gravy and a muffin was $6.29 and enough to share between two people.
There's a reason this Park Cities spot has been more or less beloved since it opened in 1981.
Bubba’s Cooks Country, 6617 Hillcrest Ave., University Park. Breakfast served 6:30 to 11 a.m. daily.