We were returning to Chicago from a family visit to Mississippi. I had really wanted to dine in Memphis but was outvoted. When it was finally time to eat, I was annoyed at all the suggestions to eat at Denny's or Perkin's. Traveling with my family is a wilting experience for a chowhound, often I am simply labeled a food snob. Oy!
Finally in disgust, I got off at the southern Blytheville exit and drove past the Perkins toward town. It was 8:30 on a Thursday evening and pretty much the sidewalks had rolled up. About a mile off the expressway, I found an old motel with a chinese restaurant which appeared to be open. However, it had one of those names I would have grooved to in the 1960's which seem kitch today. So I motored on.
We came up Main Street (aka State Highway 18) and drove through a series of arches enticing us to spend our dollar. We were especially amused by a clothing store with the name, "Chicago Stylin'" or something to that effect. I thought I could return in the morning to offer my services as a SUPER model! We passed one more open restaurant called Hot Wings, which we noted and would return to if we found nothing else.
We then came upon (the northern) I-55 interchange with all the usual fastfood and motel options. Determined not to eat at a chain, I pulled into the Grecian Steak House. Before seating, I read the menu and began to make some inquiries about what they did best. "Why steaks, of course." "You have baklava, do you make it?" "I'm somewhat embarassed to say it's frozen because we don't have enough local interest." "You offer gyros, is it fresh from the cone or reheated on the griddle?" "Fresh from the cone!" My chow bell rang at the last answer.
I ordered the gyro's with extra sauce. The bread had been toasted on a griddle with a very generous quantity of freshly cut meat from the cone on top. The cucumber-sour cream sauce was as good as anywhere else I have had. Winter tomato slices were the best offered to a family member who gladly ate them. No onion slices came initially without my specifically requesting them. Was it the best gyro of my life? No, but it was unexpectedly good considering the locale and against all the other options available there.
My family was kind of punch happy and giggly, which annoyed the only other customers: a more sedate family than ours. After dinner, we decided we were too pooped to carry on and stay at the Comfort Inn next door, which included breakfast in the $55 total rate.
Breakfast at the Comfort Inn included biscuits and gravy, a waffle iron with adjacent plastic cups filled with batter ready to pour, breakfast cereals, hard boiled eggs, milk, juice, coffee, tea and a tropical fruit salad. Certainly better than the local drive through.
AS we headed back to the interstate the next morning, my family was still chattering cheerfully about our drive through Blytheville.
Grecian Steak House
1600 West Main Street
Blytheville, AR 72315
10 AM - 10 PM
1520 East Main Street
Blytheville, AR 72315
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