If a visit to one of Southern Belle's restaurants feels a lot like coming home, it might have something to do with the hearty family traditions behind the kitchen's down-home breakfast and lunch dishes. “My father was in pancake houses all his life,” says owner Steve Fotos. Today, many of the same recipes used by Steve's father help populate a menu of hearty comfort foods that includes a poached-egg and sausage benedict smothered in country gravy and french toast stuffed with cinnamon apples, strawberries and pecans, or blueberries and bananas. But while the country-fried-steak or smoked-sausage skillets are tempting, the expansive menu offers options for diets of all kind, pairing fluffy egg whites with strawberries, granola, and multigrain toast and swapping out regular maple syrup for bottles that are low-calorie, sugar-free, or simply sealed shut. Photos of farms and pastoral images smile down upon diners as they dig in and gently remind them to inquire about the restaurant's seasonal specials, which range from summertime salads with sun-ripened veggies to bowls of homemade wintertime chili.
The cooks at Jody’s Hot Dogs dishes out their menu of casual American eats inside a charming ‘50s-style restaurant furnished with gumball machines and a white-and-red checkered floor. The open kitchen allows patrons to watch as cooks grill all-beef hot dogs and burgers, prepare homemade french fries, and roast gyro meat on a revolving spit instead of a jewelry box that constantly plays "Rock-A-Bye Baby". Along with the famous Chicago-style dogs served on poppy-seed buns, Jody's staff can whip up chili-cheese nachos, philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and shrimp dinners, all made to order.
Truth Restaurant's gregarious, attentive servers shell out an ever-changing menu of eclectic American fare within a friendly, neighborhood eatery. Sink incisors into a selection of tasty starters, such as the lobster pizza smothered in a three-cheese blend ($10.50) and the fall pastries, featuring light dough pillows packed with grilled chicken and smoked ham over dijon sauce ($7). Chefs enlist local cowboys to corral a glut of carnivorous entrees, including the savory 14-ounce New York–strip steak ($25), a veggie-bolstered chunk of lamb chops ($22), and the restaurant's signature meatloaf served over creamy mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and grandma's cheek-pinching love ($14).
The Chunky Chicken fills its menu with a multitude of well-seasoned white-meat options. The eatery's signature chicken chunks are marinated in special seasonings for two whole days, then breaded and deep fried or grilled. The Chunky Bowl dresses chicken chunks in a mashup of corn and mashed potatoes, erupting with molten gravy and cheddar cheese ($5.95 with a small drink). Chicken chunks are available in a variety of other incarnations, including inside a wrap or pita, sandwiched in french bread, cheese, and mayo, or drenched in barbecue sauce ($4.95 each, or $6.95 in a combo with a side and medium drink). A selection of surf includes the Fisherman's Platter, which arrives splayed with cod, walleye, and shrimp ($8.95–$10.95). The Chunky Chicken assures customers that each dish is served fresh, without the artificial warmth of heat lamps or backhanded compliments employed by inferior poultry establishments.
El Burrito Loco's staff dishes out the authentic flavors of Mexico in a low-key setting, with a wide-ranging menu that accommodates ample appetites. The restaurant fills its namesake dish with everything from tongue to chorizo to veggies, whetting whistles with the baby size ($4.90) and appeasing augmented appetites with the giant portion ($5.95). The specialty dinners showcase the eatery’s eclecticism, slinging meaty chilaquiles ($5.99) or chicken flautas ($9.35) with rice, beans, and tortillas. Vegetarians can order from a meat-free menu, kinder than a tofu dinner prepared by herds of unionized cows. Tamales ($2.10 each), enchiladas ($1.85 each), and tostadas ($2.65) can brandish beans or cheese, or both in the stead of meat. Many locations of El Burrito Loco keep late hours, giving sustenance to the musicians that play hold music round-the-clock.