Short Orders: Circle Grill

Circle Grill
3701 N. Buckner Blvd.

"Is the food at that place still good?"

Those were the first words uttered by my cab driver after dispensing with the 'where to' preliminaries. My car decided to stick around and wait for awhile--see if a willing tow truck would chance by.

Circle Grill is a wayside, after all. It draws cabbies and truck drivers, travelers and locals. Some regulars earn seats, reserved at the counter by metal nameplates. It reminds me of Rosener's on highway 67 near Desloge, Missouri, or any number of rural truck stop diners--without the lot lizards (as far as I know).

And, yes, it is still pretty respectable as far as roadside kitchens go.

The place sits along I-30, sorta on its own hook, surrounded by parking spaces. Nothing visibly special about Circle Grill, really--just a Texas diner serving breakfast all day long.

There should, of course, be a law requiring joints like this to serve breakfast throughout the day, especially when options include single skillet meals like the # 8: crunchy hash browns, sauteed onions, sausage, ham and bacon, melted cheese and such under two eggs, however you want them. Deconstructing a dish like this is pointless--it's a bunch of common ingredients prepared simply and treated, ultimately, as if they belong together in this form.

This is the beauty of a good diner. We all crave fried chicken, pancakes, liver and oni...no, scratch that. But biscuits and gravy hit the spot when the grayish paste slathers your palate with milk and pepper--even when the biscuits seem commonplace.

If I were to quibble about anything here, it's the hours. Circle Grill closes at 4 p.m. on weekdays, 9 p.m. on weekends.

But that's a minor point. Otherwise, the diner is good enough even my car decided to stay for a spell.

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