My neighborhood diner...
Phill’s Diner, a place in the neighborhood just made for breakfast and lunch. Cause they don’t do dinner. I love places that don’t do dinner. It reminds of the good advice that always floats around in emails on how to live life well and healthful…eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out credit card. Words to live by, but they’re not my words. Nope, cause I tend to eat like a king morning, day and night. It’s an issue. I’m working on it. After I eat this donut.
So anywho…Phill’s is loaded with tables, booths and two counters. I came for brekkie this weekend, cause it’s my favorite meal of the day. Pretty much any time of day. I was feeling frisky and saw a waffle in my future, but wouldn’t ya know it, the waffle machine broke about 3 minutes after I placed my order. That machine gets quite the workout in this joint. They’re not Belgian waffles, but I’ll be darned if they don’t look Belgian. Deep wells of crusty, sweet carbohydrate, just waiting to be filled with butter and syrup and, my favorite, powdered sugar. Or even peanut butter if I’m feeling a little adventurous. Or nutty.
Instead I switched my order to biscuits and gravy, 2 eggs scrambled, and hash browns. Which is OK too. As much as I wanted a waffle that morning, biscuits and gravy (aka B&G) is actually my favorite comfort food besides a grilled cheese sandwich. Mmmmmm….grilled cheese. They have those too.
Now because B&G is my cocaine, I consider myself an aficionado. That’s just a pretty way of saying I’m picky about my B&G. Now don’t get me wrong, but biscuits come in all shapes and sizes, and in my opinion you really can’t mess up a biscuit. For me, it’s the gravy, the gravy is the key. What I’m about to say may shock some people, but for me it’s true. I don’t care for sausage gravy. Before y’all grab the pitchforks let me explain. I love pork, pork fat, and everything that that entails, but I don’t care for pork meat to be hidden in silky, white, peppery cream gravy. I like the flavor of some bacon or sausage grease as the base of a gravy, but not the meat itself. No sir, no way, well….maybe sometimes….there’s a place in Oklahoma City called Coit’s Drive In and their B&G are my all time favorite, after Mama’s of course, and their gravy is loaded with sausage. But that’s a post for another day. And you will hear about it, oh, yes you will!
Phill’s is the kind of place where people not only tip the waitresses but also make a special trip over to the 16 year old busboy to tip him as well. Saying “it ain’t a tankful Jack, but it’ll help get ya down the road”. Can I just tell you how much I love 16 year old busboys, they are adorable. I wanna pick ‘em up and stash ‘em in my pocket, I have a few chores at home they can handle. Phill’s has the same waitresses week after week, and probably year after year. Asking “hope to see you next Sunday” or “you haven’t been in for a while, everything OK?” and “how ya feeling? you shore look better”. They know you, and miss you. It’s a small town feel in a big city diner. Family from another mother, if you will.
You’re not going to find a bloody mary, or a fresh mimosa at Phill’s, but the food is good and there’s plenty of it. They don’t pretend to be something they’re not, and I love that in a diner. A good, old fashioned, neighborhood diner. Phill’s is found at 32nd and Harvard in midtown. My library is right next door. If B&G is my cocaine, libraries are my secret lover. But, that’s a whole other obsession I’ll get into at another time. Go to Phill’s, eat, drink coffee, and say Hi to Mary.